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The Fracture Mechanics Approach To Understanding Supports In Underground Coal Mines; Proceedings Of The Second International Workshop On Coal Pillar Mechanics And Design
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    This paper introduces the fracture mechanics approach—a unique way to predict the stability of a coal mine panel. The technique uses analytic equations to calculate the stress, strain, and yield characteristics of coal support systems. It uses fracture mechanics to model almost every type of mine support structure. Another feature is a method that incorporates field-tested knowledge into the analytical analysis. For example, this technique can model the yield characteristics of a coal seam by combining empirical pillar strength equations into the analytic analysis. It may be possible to simulate multiple-seam mining by incorporating subsidence methods into the analysis. The method is simple and quick, which makes it attractive for stress analysis software. It should be more accessible to those in the mining industry who do not have expertise in rock mechanics or numerical modeling. Although the purpose of this research is for modeling coal mines, it should be adaptable to any mine in a tabular deposit.

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