Mining Publication: Load and Deflection Response of Ventilation Stoppings to Longwall Abutment Loading: A Case Study
Few studies have specifically measured and documented the large-scale loading behavior and durability of ventilation stoppings to mining induced movements, particularly from longwalls. Ventilation stoppings are more commonly the concern of ventilation engineers, and ventilation stopping response to ground movement has only been documented in an incidental manner. This paper presents the investigations of underground measurements that have been conducted to determine the loading response of stoppings constructed from lightweight aggregate concrete masonry units (CMU). These investigations have produced some interesting results that may prove beneficial, not only for developing and assessing alternative stopping construction techniques, but also for designing and selecting standard construction methods for use in varying mining conditions. For instance, the interface friction that results from wedging a CMU stopping during construction plays a substantial role in its ability to resist both lateral and vertical loads. Although they are not intended for ground support, the study showed that block stoppings can resist vertical loads of at least 2,700 to 3,000 kN. Asymmetric loading of a stopping may result in localized failure of blocks within a stopping, which, depending on the severity, can be a precursor of impending stopping failure. In addition to measurement results and implications, the paper will also present details of field measurement methods used to assess stopping response. Stopping stiffness and material strength characteristics will also be presented.