A Laboratory Investigation Into The Effect Of Specimen Size On The Strength Of Coal Samples From Different Areas

Merwe, J. N. van der
Organization: The Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 8
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2003
The results of over 900 coal strength tests done during the period 1993?1994 for the SIMRAC project COL021A were re-analysed with a view to find a method to delineate areas or seams that can be grouped together for analyses of coal strength and strength decay characteristics. It was confirmed that the strength of a coal specimen increases linearly with increasing diameter-to-length ratio and decreases exponentially with increasing size of specimen. However, by extrapolation of the data, it was shown that beyond a diameter of approximately 2 m, the size effect is insignificant. For larger specimens, the diameter-to-length ratio (referred to as the width-to-height ratio for full scale mine pillars) alone continues to influence the strength. The slope of the linear strength vs. diameter-to-length ratio relationship is independent of the size of the specimen and is not unique for coals from different mines. However, the intercept of that relationship is unique and is a function of specimen size. This offers a previously unknown method to distinguish between the coals from different mining areas and coal seams. Ranked from weakest to strongest, the samples tested from the different mines are in the order shown below, which roughly corresponds to the judgement of practising rock engineers in the field: ?Sigma ?ZAC ?Goedehoop ?Kriel ?Bank ?Blinkpan ?Secunda ?Greenside Arnot ?Khutala ?Delmas
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