Continuous Monitoring Of Mechanised Breaker Line Supports To Investigate Roof And Pillar Behaviour

Follington, I. L.
Organization: International Conference on Ground Control in Mining
Pages: 6
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1992
A breaker line support (BLS) monitoring system, BLSmon, has been designed and constructed by the CSIRO and installed and commissioned at Laleham No.1 Colliery, Queensland. This system was designed to record hydraulic leg pressure and canopy position measurements and relay these, in real time, to the surface. The system has shown itself to be capable of operating on the BLSs without any adverse affect on production, Analysis of the results of the monitoring exercise has shown that rate of change of leg pressures on the BLSs could be used as an aid in the prediction of adverse mining conditions. Under favourable mining conditions the supports were observed to initially unload from the set pressure, this unloading reduced with time and by the end of a typical lift cycle had either ceased or reversed slightly. This behaviour was considered to be due to one of four possible causes, these being; the compaction of floor debris, and/or compaction of the floor, and/or crushing of the roof and /or support creep. The actual cause can only be determined through detailed monitoring of both roof and support convergence. However observational data would suggest that compaction of debris and softened floor material beneath the supports was the most likely cause. The few positive loading rates recorded under these conditions were of short duration and occurred towards the end of individual lifts. Where mining conditions were unfavourable the negative rates of change of pressure, unloading of the support, were reduced throughout a lift, in both duration and magnitude, when compared with favourable mining conditions. Over the same period the positive rates of change were observed to be greater. The rate of change of loading and convergence can be utilised to identify the onset of instability in the lift area. However, before this facility can be utilised by the mine for the reliable prediction of instability more monitored data and sophisticated processing techniques are required. A mechanism has been postulated for the deformation behaviour of the roof and pillars in a mechanised pillar extraction operation from the continuously monitored data, observational data and results of previous studies. The 7 m wide fenders were observed to yield under abutment stresses before lifting commenced. The stability of these fenders throughout the lifting sequence was considered to be dependant upon the magnitude of their post peak load carrying capability. This is influenced by the post peak stiffness and the extent of roof lowering in the vicinity of the fender. Difficulties with fender extraction occurred where remnant coal left standing in the goaf caused uncaved goat to bridge to the mined fender. Difficulties were also experienced where sub-vertical jointing occurred in the roof of the split reducing it's ability to bridge effectively. Despite the relatively short monitoring period, the potential role and application of continuous monitoring in advancing understanding of the rock mass response to mechanised pillar extraction operations has been demonstrated. This understanding now requires enhancement and shows great potential for aiding the optimisation of mechanised pillar extraction operations.
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