An Overview Of Geomechanics Safety Research On Mobile Roof Supports
Description:After an analysis of the hazards of room-and-pillar retreat mining systems, it became apparent that safety could be significantly improved by considerations of (1) human factors, (2) remotely controlled mobile roof supports (MRS=s), (3) mine layout designs, and (4) ground monitoring systems. Initial studies of the effectiveness of MRS=s focused on their interaction with mine strata and evaluations of suitable measurements for detecting roof stability problems during pillar extraction. These studies indicated that overall stress distributions and strata movement were most influenced by the stiffness of coal-measure rocks and the design of mining layouts. Thus, to improve worker safety, mine layouts should be carefully designed and a pillar extraction method chosen for specific geologic and stress conditions. Pillar failure was often associated with an increase in pressure on the hydraulic gauges of the MRS, and roof failure was often preceded by rapid changes in the rate of roof-floor convergence. These studies led to development of a monitoring system that displays loading rate on an MRS in real time. A major MRS manufacturer cooperated in installing and testing the system on an MRS. New field studies focus on evaluating the performance of the system, measuring roof-floor convergence, and optimizing the safety of MRS operations through proper mine layout design.
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