This article presents the results of the study of changes in mineral and chemical composition of artificial aggregates consisting of coal shale (a hard coal mining waste) and fluidized ashes. Such an aggregate was used for road construction. After completion of the construction works but before making the road available for public use, significant deformation of the surface in the form of irregular buckling of the asphalt layer occurred. It was excluded that this resulted from mining damage, design errors or performance mistakes, among others. A study of the materials that had been incorporated in the construction layers was undertaken in order to find the component and the mechanism responsible for the buckling of the road surface. A comparison of the mineral and chemical composition of aggregate samples collected from the embankment where the road buckled with the reference sample and samples from places without deformations showed that the bumps in the road embankment consisted of minerals that were not initially present in the aggregate. Wastes produced as a result of high temperatures (slag and power plants ashes, metallurgical wastes) are not as stable in terms of chemical and phase composition in the hypergenic environment. As a result of the processes occurring in the road embankment, anhydrite, which is the primary component of fluidized ashes, was transformed into gypsum and ettringite. As a result of contact with water CaO (present in fluidized ashes) easily changed into calcium hydroxide. As the crystallization of these minerals is expansive, it resulted in the filling of pores and, in extreme cases, in a substantial increase in the volume of the aggregate and, consequently, in the deformation of the road surface.
This paper presents a complex study of anhydrite interbeds influence on the cavern stability in the Mechelinki salt deposit. The impact of interbeds on the cavern shape and the stress concentrations were also considered. The stability analysis was based on the 3D numerical modelling. Numerical simulations were performed with use of the Finite Difference Method (FDM) and the FLAC3D v. 6.00 software. The numerical model in a cuboidal shape and the following dimensions: length 1400, width 1400, height 1400 m, comprised the part of the Mechelinki salt deposit. Three (K-6, K-8, K-9) caverns were projected inside this model. The mesh of the numerical model contained about 15 million tetrahedral elements. The occurrence of anhydrite interbeds within the rock salt beds had contributed to the reduction in a diameter and irregular shape of the analysed caverns. The results of the 3D numerical modelling had indicated that the contact area between the rock salt beds and the anhydrite interbeds is likely to the occurrence of displacements. Irregularities in a shape of the analysed caverns are prone to the stress concentration. However, the stability of the analysed caverns are not expected to be affected in the assumed operation conditions and time period (9.5 years).