Reliability of Pillar Design in Coal Mines Based Upon Existing State of the Art

Organization: The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 7
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1991
The far reaching consequences of designing pillars for coal mines, while retaining concern for safety and economics, are cause for the search for refinement of the existing engineering methods to continue. Coal pillars, while having various functions within the overall mine plan, are the basic structural elements that assure the stability of a mine. Reliable coal pillar design methods take into account criteria which the pillars should meet in specific applications. These applications include typical mining situations such as the partial extraction room and pillar method with and without subsidence considerations, high extraction rate room and pillar, longwall mining chain pillars, and barrier pillars. However coal pillars are onlyu one element of a three element roof-pillar-floor system, weakest element of which system usually determines the stability of the excavations; however, the mining engineer can ony change dimensions of a pillar, properties of the surrounding strata remain beyond his control. The state of the art approach in pillar design places emphasis on recent developments in research. A widely encountered problem in certain coal fields is where pillars are underlain by weak floor strata. The resultant pillar design constantly maintains the perspective of the reliability of the design.
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