Positive set value system for hydraulic powered supports

Gwiazda, J. B.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 3
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1990
Maintenance of a constant load setting throughout longwall support units and selection of the proper initial bearing capacity depending on the type of roof strata are the basic factors that ensure good performance of roof support in a longwall. These requirements can only be met by hydraulic support. The greatest advantage of hydraulic support is achieved when uniform pressure is imposed on the roof throughout the length of the longwall. Such support, however, is provided only if each of the support units acts with the same force against the roof, i.e., has the same setting load. In such cases, the roof behaves like a uniform plate without bending and shearing stresses, thereby ensuring an undisturbed structure. Without a positive set value system, achieving an equal setting load for all units of the longwall support is impossible. Due to alterations of the feed line pressure of support units as well as some reasons related to man's psychology, operators extend the height at different setting loads. This produces nonuniform roof stress, and disturbs the structure. Consequently, the roof usually cracks. The author has developed a positive set value system, which is described in this Technical Note. Selection of the setting load Two pressure values in the feed lines are usually applied in longwall hydraulic systems. Lightweight support is fed by 25 MPa (250 bar) liquid, while heavy duty units receive a nominal pressure of 31.5 MPa (315 bar). Such pressure is required not only for the props but also to power the adjust¬ment jacks and the advancing ram. If the feed pressure is too low, there will be difficulty in shifting the unit despite the inversion system of the advancing rams. On the other hand, for many roof types, the feed pressure often appears to be too high when applied as the setting load pressure. An excessive setting load acts too strongly against the roof, crushing weak strata close to the roof. The author has recognized a case where an excessive setting load destroyed not only the nearby roof strata but also the strata above a 2-m (6.6-ft) sandstone layer. In addition, an excessive setting load relieves the side¬walls, increasing the resistance when using cutting machines. As a result, the yield of coarse coal is diminished, and increased fines dominate in the final product, lowering its economic value. As indicated, selection of the proper setting load, depend¬ing on the mining and geological conditions of the extracted seam, is extremely important. In some mines, measures applied to prevent disturbances include reduction of the feed line pressure by adjusting the feed pump valve. The disadvantage accompanying reduced feed line pressure is more difficult operation in advancing the ram. Due to the reduced feed line pressure, the force of the advancing ram is much lower than the designed value. Other designs suggest using a third feed line. However, installation of supplementary valves on the support units is required, a time-consuming and expensive procedure. The disadvantages of the powered supports are eliminated by a system designed by the author. So far, such a method of setting load control has not been used in any type of support. Setting load control unit The designed positive valve set for prop loading and the setting load control correspond to existing control systems for hydraulic powered support. The layout of the unit connected to the hydraulic prop control is presented in Fig. 1. The unit is marked LIDS. It incorporates three valves that may operate separately or connected. Valve A automatically opens and closes with liquid flow in the prop feed circuit. The valve is opened when the canopy touches the roof and closed when the support unit is withdrawn. Valve B serves as the setting load control. Valve C automatically opens and closes the flow in the line connecting the under-piston space of E to the prop F with the separator G. The valve block of each support prop is marked BZ. The UDS unit is connected by the hydraulic lines to the F prop control circuit. A valve is connected by H to pressure line J and by K to the G separator. In the UDS-3 version, line L is connected to M, linking the over-piston space of F prop with the G separator. Valve B is linked with valve A by a connector; it is also connected to the under-piston space E of prop F by line P. Valve C is fixed between lines K and P, connecting space E of prop F with the separator G. When setting the support, the liquid flows from line J through separator G, the BZ valve, and valve C to the space E of prop F. When reaching the roof with the canopy, valve A is opened and C closes. In this way it is impossible for the operator to cause the liquid pressure in space E of prop F to reach the level of line J. The prop pressure is set by valve B of the UDS unit. When withdrawing the support, valve C is automatically opened and A closed. Three UDS units have been fabricated and are designated
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