Mining Publication: Pumpable Roof Supports: An Evolution in Longwall Roof Support Technology
Pumpable roof supports provide an alternative approach to secondary support in underground mining. Unlike all other supports that are either partially or fully prefabricated prior to being transported into the mine, the pumpable support is fabricated in place in the mine entry. This reduces the underground material handling efforts and thus the injuries historically associated with in-mine support construction. On-site fabrication also facilitates application of the support in areas that are inaccessible to transportation equipment such as scoops or rail cars, making it ideal for many bleeder applications. One of the main advantages of the pumpable support is that it fully bridges from the mine floor to the roof, thereby eliminating the requirement of "topping off" the support with wooden wedges or crib blocks that soften most other support responses. This report examines the development of modern pumpable roof support technology and provides a full description of the performance capabilities of each of the support products now on the market.