Mining Publication: New Tools for Roof Support Evaluation and Design
Researchers at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) have developed several new tools for evaluating roof support performance. A miniature data acquisition system (MIDAS) was developed that can collect readings from up to 16 strain gauges at regular time intervals and store the readings for later retrieval. Three LED lights change from green to yellow, then red, based on the reading levels and/or rates of change of rock movement. This feature can be used to warn miners of rock instabilities. The system can be used with any strain-gauged support (resin bolt, friction bolt, cable bolt) or with a newly developed rock strain strip (ROSS) developed by NIOSH to measure rock strain. A ROSS is grouted in a hole drilled adjacent to the rock support to be evaluated; the deformed shape of the ROSS provides anchorage on either side of the strain gauges. Data from both laboratory tests and field evaluations are presented that describe the capabilities of both the MIDAS and ROSS instruments.