An Engineering Analysis Of "Squeeze" Failure Of Pillars In The Pittsburgh Coal Bed
Organization: International Conference on Ground Control in Mining
Jan 1, 1981
In mid-1979, J&L Steel Corporation experienced rapid failure of pillars after only two weeks' operation with a combination of full retreat and partial mining in the 154 Road Section of its Nemacolin Mine, Greene County. The rate of advance of the "squeeze line" was very rapid for the first 500 feet, but it slowed down considerably as it approached some large coal blocks and gas well barrier pillars. After moving all section equipment out tc a safe distance, all accessible headings and crosscuts were filled with cribs and tri-set posts to prevent further spread of the squeeze. At one time, there was great apprehension by mine management that without implementation of some immediate corrective measures the safety of #3 airshaft and the only haulage and access road to the 8 Road mining area would be in jeopardy. In September, 1979, the U.S. Bureau of Mines established convergence monitoring stations outby the squeeze area. Readings were taken at weekly intervals until January, 1980, and monthly thereafter. Mathematical calculations, plot- ting of contour maps, and graphing of total convergence at different stations were used to follow and analyze the progress of the squeeze and provide guidelines for mining plans in the adjoining areas.