Analysis of Cutter Roof Using the Boundary Element Method

Ahola, Mikko
Organization: International Conference on Ground Control in Mining
Pages: 11
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1987
This paper describes recent innovative analyses conducted by the Bureau of Mines to demonstrate the application of the boundary-element method in evaluating the effectiveness of caving chambers or sacrificial entries to relieve the stress conditions initiating cutter roof failure in underground coal mines. The analysis assumes that cutter roof failure results when the shear strength of the roof rock at an entry corner is exceeded by the applied shear stress. The applied shear stress is due to large differences between the horizontal and vertical in situ stresses known to exist in many coal mining districts experiencing cutter roof failure. The results of boundary-element analysis suggest that driving an arched lead entry in advance of adjacent rectangular entries and allowing it to cave significantly reduces the difference between the principal stresses at the corner of the rectangular entry, thereby lowering the maximum shear stress. Slippage of the immediate roof along horizontal bedding planes into the caved entry is shown to further reduce the stress conditions in adjacent entries. Practical applications of this stress control technique to longwall and room-and-pillar mining are discussed.
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