Field Test of an Alternative Longwall Gate Road Design
Description:The U. S. Bureau of Mines (USBM) MULSIM/NL modeling technique has been used to analyze anticipated stress distributions for a proposed alternative longwall gate road design for a western Colorado coal mine. The model analyses indicated that the alternative gate road design would reduce stresses in the tailgate entry without increasing stresses in the headgate entry. To test the validity of the alternative gate road design under actual mining conditions, a test section of the alternative system was incorporated into a subsequent set of gate roads developed at the mine. The alternative gate road test section was instrumented with borehole pressure cells, as part of an ongoing USBM research project, to monitor ground pressure changes as longwall mining progressed. During the excavation of the adjacent longwall panels, the behavior of the alternative gate road system was monitored continuously using the USBM computer-assisted Ground Control Management System. During these field tests, the alternative gate road system was first monitored and evaluated as a headgate, and later monitored and evaluated as a tailgate. The results of the field tests confirmed the validity of using the MULSIM/NL modeling technique to evaluate mine designs.
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