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The Long-Term Performance of Surface Support Liners for Ground Control in a Underground Mine
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    During the past few years, the Pittsburgh Research Laboratory of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has been evaluating developments with surface support liners which includes shotcrete and thin spray-on liners (also referred to as sealants, coatings and membranes) from a ground control perspective. The proper selection and use of a surface support material can significantly enhance ground control which may result in a decrease in worker related injuries due to ground falls. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the preliminary findings of a long-term underground study of various types of surface support liners, and to examine installation practices that are critical for an effective liner material application. The underground study utilizes NIOSH’s Lake Lynn Laboratory Experimental Mine to evaluate the long-term performance of several types of shotcrete and thin spray-on liner materials. Liner material performance to date was evaluated on a regular basis over a three year period. Although the study is still ongoing, critical mining practices were identified that may seriously affect the bond of the liner material to the mine roof and rib.

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