Mining Publication: Performance of Roof Support Under High Stress in a U.S. Coal Mine
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health's (NIOSH) Pittsburgh Research Laboratory (PRL), RAG Pennsylvania, and Strata Control Technologies of Australia have collaborated to conduct an extensive study of roof bolt strata interaction at the Emerald Mine in southwestern Pennsylvania. The main goal of the project was to obtain detailed data on the interaction between the mine roof and the support elements for use in modeling studies. The study site was a longwall tailgate subjected to high horizontal stress. Three arrays of instruments were installed at the site--one in the tailgate entry and two in an adjacent crosscut. Pumpable concrete cribs were present in the tailgate array, and cable bolts were installed in one of the crosscut arrays. The instruments included mechanical and sonic extensometers for measuring roof movement, instrumented roof bolts, and three-dimensional roof stress cells. The study was ultimately successful in determining the magnitude of the horizontal stress concentration, the height of roof failure and the roof failure sequence, and the loading history of the primary roof supports.