A Stability Factor for Supported Mine Entries Based on Numerical Model Analysis

Esterhuizen, Gabriel S.
Organization: International Conference on Ground Control in Mining
Pages: 9
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2012
This paper addresses the need for a method to compare the effectiveness of different support systems when designing ground support in coal mines. At present, support design methods include empirical methods based on observations of past performance of installed support systems, analytical methods where the roof is typically simulated by elastic beams and numerical model analysis. The approach presented in this paper estimates the relative stability of a support design through geotechnical evaluation of the rock mass and numerical model analysis of the interaction between the rock mass and the support system. Models are used first to simulate the design performance at the expected rock conditions. The rock strength is then reduced until collapse is indicated in the model. The stability factor is then calculated as the ratio of the expected rock mass strength to the rock mass strength at the onset of collapse, and is similar to the well-known factor of safety used in engineering practice. The stability factor can be used to assist in developing a final support design by comparing the effectiveness of various support systems and the stability of excavations under various geological and loading conditions. Examples of the method?s application in three different geological settings are presented.
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