Mining Publication: Comparative Analysis of Moisture Sensitivity Index Tests for Coal Mine Roof
Moisture deterioration of clay-rich roof rocks causes high numbers of roof falls in coal mines in humid summer months. Rocks with high moisture content are generally weaker and can further deteriorate when subjected to wetting and drying cycles. As a result, it is important to evaluate the moisture-sensitivity of roof rock prior to mining. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has evaluated three moisture-sensitivity index tests on roof rocks from 23 U.S. coal mines. The three tests were the University of Kentucky Weatherability test (Weatherability test), the Consol Energy Water Sensitivity test (Water Sensitivity test), and the NIOSH Immersion test (Immersion test). Of these three tests, the Weatherability and Water Sensitivity tests are more reliable in classifying the moisture-sensitivity of roof rocks.