Design Trade-Off For Angle Roof Drilling

Fletcher, James H.
Organization: International Conference on Ground Control in Mining
Pages: 3
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1982
Much data and experience has been accumulated, especially in the last 5 or 6 years, to show that modern roof trusses, both of the Birmingham type and the bolt-and-channel type, perform well to support certain kinds of coal mine roof. For some time now, roof trusses of the Birmingham type have been effective in controlling thick shale roof, which tends to sag and fall over a period of about eight weeks. These falls leave dame-shaped cavities which are reminiscent of the pressure arch theory of roof failure. Lately there has also been significant interest in supporting some longwall panel entries with channel and-bolt systems. These systems utilize two vertical center bolts and two 45 degree end bolts through a heavy gage channel. Both types of truss systems have long bolts, which require 8 to 9 Foot holes on a 45 degree angle, and point anchor resin bolts, which utilize a 2 or 3 foot rebar grouted in a thin annulus of polyester resin. Consequently, many coal mining people have been impressed with the very good anchorage characteristics and tensionability features of these systems. However, the same people have been proportionately dismayed to find that very often the most difficult part of introducing a trussing program to a mine is deciding on the machine specifications which determine the truss installation rate. The purpose of this paper is to indicate aspects of truss bolter design and use which are not shared by roofbolter design and its vertical pattern of bolts. Of the two types of drill units conventionally accepted, arm feed units and mast units, only one 15 judged suitable. While the arm feed unit offers low collapsed height with a long drill feed length, a great attribute for low seam use, it has not lent itself to being rolled over to a 45 degree angle. One reason for this inability is that many items which are conventionally mounted on the arm feed unit cannot be allowed to rotate with the unit. These items include drilling controls, tool Cray, lights, canopy or safety post, panic bar, and stab jack(s). If these items were independent of the arm feed drilling unit, they would have to be out of the way of the boom arms, links, and feed cylinder as the unit moves. To ease this problem, the arm feed unit can be made very short and even mounted across the machine. However, the resulting short feed length is undesirable. Several short drill steel extensions are required to drill a relatively long hole, making this procedure time-consuming as well as increasing the likelihood of drilling a crooked hole. Another reason for abandonment of the arm feed unit is that a very stiff drill guide (or "centralizer") is required to start the hole. Using the mast tilt control, the roof bolter operator will force the bit against the roof and will rotate the bit without feeding to cut sideways into the roof to form a hole face. Omission of this step often results in the skidding of the bit toward the rib. To date, no such sturdy drill guide has been designed for an arm feed drill unit. The mast style unit has been the most successful design for angle drilling. It is easily rolled over to a 45 degree angle or to 90 degrees and, on single head models, often has been made to roll through 180 degrees. The mast style is compact, in plain view and is easily fitted with heavy duty manual or hydraulically operated drill guides. It can be mounted directly on a machine chassis, or onto a swinging boom, or onto a slider arrangement in a broad variety of configurations which will accommodate controls, tool trays, stab and roof support jacks, lights, canopies, and panic bars. The only significant difficulty with mast drilling units occurs in lower mining heights when desirable low mast height is accompanied by undesirable short feed length. While the lead extension in the drill string can be as large as the mining height will allow, a short feed length will permit only the use of shorter middle extensions and drivers, and perhaps will. require the use of two different length wrenches. The associated problem is the relatively short distance from the drillhead to the drillguide. This distance is further shortened when raising the drillhead to get the bit to the roof. One might keep longer lead extensions on the machine; drill a vertical pocket for the bit, starting the angle hole at this pocket; or modify the mast. If the mast is made so that the distance from the drillhead to the drillguide remains constant while the mast extends, after which the drillhead travels up the mast, the shorter mast can be made to start the hole more easily. However, short teed length will still result in longer drilling time. It is obvious from these points that a proper choice of mast is simply the highest one which will be moved easily in the given mining height. This, of course, goes against the grain of most experienced coal mining people who realize that a relatively small decrease in mining height can create a problem correctable only with the purchase and installation of shorter masts. If the mining
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