Verification Of Pillar Life Prediction Method

Merwe, J. N. van der
Organization: The Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 10
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2004
The principal goal of the research described in the paper was to determine, by measurement of pillar scaling on pillars that have not failed, whether the pillar life prediction method developed by van der Merwe (2003) was valid as it stood or whether adjustments were necessary to the rates indirectly derived from observation of failed pillars. To this end, measurements were taken on over 350 pillars at 13sites on 6 mines. The project was done as a collaborative effort between the University of Pretoria, the Nancy School of Mines and CSIR Miningtek. During the course of the investigation, it was found that the majority of pillars display maximum scaling at mid height, that there was no clear preferential direction of pillar scaling, and that pillar corners do not scale significantly more than the mid pillar areas. The most important conclusion was that the scaling rates found by measurement agreed with the inferred rates found in the previous work. The previously developed procedure for the prediction of pillar life spans consequently requires no adjustment, although the error span is in the region of 20%. It is recommended to do further research into the effect of sealing of panels and, possible chemical changes taking place in the pillars as they age on the scaling rate.
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