The load transfer concept is central to an understanding of the load transfer mechanism of rockbolts. The schematic mechanism of the load transfer is shown in Figure opposite. The efficiency of load transfer significantly influences the performance of the reinforcement system. Fundamentally the movement of the reinforced rock block initiates the load transfer mechanism. In the reinforcement system, the load transfer concept is defined by Fabjanczyk and Tarrant (1992) as a mechanism by which force is created and maintained by a supporting tendon when the strata start deforming. Windsor (1997) identified this concept as the transfer of load from unstable rock layers via the reinforcement system to stable rock. The load transfer concept consists of three basic mechanisms (Windsor, 1997):
- Load transfer from the unstable region to the reinforcing element subsequent to the rock movement.
- Load transfer from the unstable zone to the stable rock mass through reinforcing element.
- Transfer of the reinforcing element load to the stable rock region.