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New Strength Formula For Coal Pillars In South Africa; Proceedings Of The Second International Workshop On Coal Pillar Mechanics And Design
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    For the last 3 decades, coal pillars in the Republic of South Africa have been designed using the well-known strength formula of Salamon and Munro that was empirically derived after the Coalbrook disaster. The database was recently updated with the addition of failures that occurred after the initial analysis and the omission of failures that occurred in a known anomalous area. An alternative method of analysis was used to refine the constants in the formula. The outcome was a new formula that shows that the larger width-to-height ratio coal pillars are significantly stronger than previously believed, even though the material itself is represented by a reduced constant in the new formula. The formula predicts lower strength for the smaller pillars, explaining the failure of small pillars that were previously believed to have had high safety factors. Application of the new formula will result in improved coal reserve utilization for deeper workings and enhanced stability of shallow workings.
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