Field Evaluation of Three Longwall Pillar Systems in a Kentucky Coal Mine
Description:The U.S. Bureau of Mines is conducting research to assess the effectiveness of different chain pillar designs in maintaining gate entry stability. A particular concern is ground control for deep-cover 1ongwalls located at depths in excess of 1,000 ft. The study described in this report was performed in two experimental sections in one longwall headgate section which contained three different pillar designs. Two of the designs used conventional abutment pillars, while the third was a total-yielding pillar system. Both of the test areas were located under 1,800 ft of cover. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of these three pillar designs for gate road stability. As the longwall mined passed the test areas, Bureau engineers monitored entry convergence, roof sag, and changes in roof quality. The study indicated that the all-yield system performed nearly as well as the better of the two abutment pillar systems; but all of the three designs would have failed to provide acceptable stability for second panel mining without considerable artificial support.
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