Design Methods To Control Violent Pillar Failures In Room-And-Pillar Mines

Zipf, R. Karl
Organization: International Conference on Ground Control in Mining
Pages: 15
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1996
The sudden, violent collapse of large areas of room-and-pillar mines poses a special hazard to miners and mine operators. This type of failure, termed a "Cascading Pillar Failure" (CPF), occurs when one pillar in a mine layout fails transfering its load to neighboring pillars causing them to fail, and so forth. Recent examples of this kind of failure in coal, metal and nonmetal mines in the U.S. are documented. Mining engineers can limit the danger posed by these failures through improved mine design practices. Whether failure occurs in a slow, nonviolent manner or in a rapid, violent manner is governed by the local mine stiffness stability criterion. This stability criterion is used as the basis for three design approaches to control cascading pillar failure in room-and-pillar mines, namely, the containment approach, the prevention approach, and the full extraction mining approach. These design approaches are illustrated with practical examples for coal mining.
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