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Using A Postfailure Stability Criterion In Pillar Design; Proceedings Of The Second International Workshop On Coal Pillar Mechanics And Design
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    Use of Salamon's stability criterion in underground mine design can prevent the occurrence of catastrophic domino-type pillar failure. Evaluating the criterion requires computation of the local mine stiffness and knowledge of the post failure behavior of pillars. This paper summarizes the status of the practical use of this important criterion and suggests important research to improve our capabilities. Analytical and numerical methods are used to compute the local mine stiffness. Work to date in computing local mine stiffness relies mainly on elastic continuum models. Further work might investigate local mine stiffness in a discontinuous rock mass using alternative numerical methods. Existing post failure data for coal pillars are summarized, and a simple relationship for determining the postfailure modulus and stiffness of coal pillars is proposed. Little actual postfailure data for noncoal pillars are available; however, numerical models can provide an estimate of post failure stiffness. Important factors controlling postfailure stiffness of rock pillars include the postfailure modulus of the material, end conditions, and width-to-height ratio. Studies show that the nature of the failure process after strength is exceeded can be predicted with numerical models using Salamon's stability criterion; therefore, a method exists to decrease the risk of this type of catastrophic failure. However, the general lack of good data on the postfailure behavior of actual mine pillars is a major obstacle. Additional back-analyses of failed and stable case histories in conjunction with laboratory testing and numerical modeling are essential to improve our ability to apply the stability criterion.

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