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Mining Contract: Identification of Potential Roof Problems Using LED Lighting & Numerical Modeling of Highwall Stability Using FLAC3D

Contract DetailValue
Contract #200-2011-40628
Start Date9/27/2011
Research Concept

This contract will work to accomplish three objectives: (1) develop light technology to help roof bolter operators identify roof problems, (2) use FLAC3D to model highwall stability and determine the effects of ground vibrations from blasting, and (3) produce quality graduate students with advanced degrees in ground control and rock mechanics.

Program Area

Contract Status & Impact

This contract is divided into two main projects, both with the objective to produce quality graduate students with advanced degrees in the field of ground control and rock mechanics.

  1. Identification of Potential Roof Problems
    • A PhD and an MS student will each complete a laboratory investigation of rock samples with different features (e.g. slickensides, fossils, fractures, etc.) illuminated with different modes of light. They will then observe several active roof bolters at the mine face area and talk to bolter operators to determine how they currently locate potential problem areas.
    • The PhD student will then determine why different light colors and frequencies show discontinuities and problem areas differently.
    • The MS student will develop a lighting system using permissible components that can completely light the roof being bolted with no other lighting present. This student will also develop a means of deployment for roof bolting machines.
  2. Numerical Modeling of Highwall Stability
    • A second PhD and MS student pair will observe and document active and planned highwall mine sites.
    • The PhD student will determine what frequencies have the greatest detrimental effect to highwall stability from blasting-induced vibrations and why. The student will also investigate the amplitude effects from ground vibrations and devise a rating system for highwalls that can be used to set vibration limits to prevent failure based on the highwall geology and condition. This will be done through numerical modeling with FLAC3D.
    • The MS student will accurately model several highwall configurations and determine the stability. The student will then introduce ground vibrations and compare the analyses. Comparisons will then be made to other commonly used programs for highwall stability such as ARMPS-HWM (Analysis of Retreat Mining Pillar Stability - Highwall Mining).
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