An Investigation Of Longwall Pillar Stress History

Schuerger, M. G.
Organization: International Conference on Ground Control in Mining
Pages: 9
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1984
The United States Steel Mining Company, Inc., (USM) Lynch District, operated the No. 37 Mine in the Harlan coal seam, Harlan County, Kentucky, from 19'2 until its sale to Arch of Kentucky in 1984. Overburden depth varied from 400 to 2000 feet and mining height varied from 8 to 12 feet. In 1981, because of deep overburden, high seam height, and previous pillar stability problems, U. S. Steel Research and the Lynch Mining District entered into a joint project to measure longwall pillar stress. Eight gateroad pillars were instrumented with a total of 86 vibrating-wire stressmeters under overburden depths varying from 500 to 1550 feet. Stress-increase measurements were taken during: (1) pillar development, (2) retreat of longwall panel No. 1, and (3) retreat of longwall panel No. 2. Total average pillar stress was approximately three times the pre-mining stress with total stress at an individual meter reading 5.5 times the pre-mining stress. When maximum, measured average pillar stress was compared to pillar strength predicted by several popular pillar design methods, the pillars were found to be stronger than predicted. This paper will summarize the pillar instrumentation program and present the results. Stress distributions, average measured pillar stress, and comparison of measured pillar stress to predicted pillar strength by several design methods will be given.
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