Calibration Of The Analysis Of Longwall Pillar Stability (ALPS) Chain Pillar Design Methodology For Australian Conditions

Colwell, Mark
Organization: International Conference on Ground Control in Mining
Pages: 9
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1999
This paper summarizes the results of a research project whose goal was to provide the Australian coal industry with a chain pillar design methodology readily usable by colliery staff. The project was primarily funded by the Australian Coal Association Research Program and further supported by several Australian longwall operations. The starting point or basis of the project was the Analysis of Longwall Pillar Stability (ALPS) methodology. ALPS was chosen because of its operational focus; it uses tailgate performance as the determining chain pillar design criterion rather than simply pillar stability. Furthermore, ALPS recognizes that several geotechnical and design factors, including (but not limited to) chain pillar stability, affect that performance. There are some geotechnical and mine layout differences between United States and Australian coalfields that required investigation and, therefore, calibration before the full benefits offered by the ALPS methodology could be realized in Australia. Ultimately, case history data were collected from 19 longwall mines representing approximately 60% of all Australian longwall operations. In addition, six monitoring sites incorporated an array of hydraulic stress cells to measure the change in vertical stress throughout the various phases of the longwall extraction cycle. The sites also incorporated extensometers to monitor roof and rib performance in response to the retreating longwall face. The study found strong relationships between the tailgate stability factor, the Coal Mine Roof Rating, and the installed level of primary support. The final outcome of the project is a chain pillar design methodology called Analysis of Longwall Tailgate Serviceability (ALTS). Guidelines for using ALTS are provided.
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