Mining Publication: Temperature Corrections to Earth Pressure Cells Embedded in Backfill
Determining backfill stress is an important part of evaluating mine safety, whether personnel are working in proximity to backfill or in other areas of the mine where backfill is an integral part of regional support. To assist in determining stress in backfill more accurately, researchers from the NIOSH Spokane Research Laboratory, Placer Dome, Inc. (Turquoise Ridge Mine), Peabody Energy Co. (Foidel Creek Mine), and Hecla Mining Co. (Lucky Friday Mine) used temperature readings recorded by thermistors to correct for the influence of temperature on stress data. These thermistors were positioned in the stems of earth pressure cells installed in backfill. Corrections were then calculated and compared using four different methods: polynomial equations fit to temperature-versus-stress plots before the pressure cells were loaded by overburden, a factor provided by the manufacturer, a theoretically derived factor, and a linear correction factor based on information collected during periods when no mining was taking place. To evaluate the accuracy of these methods, corrected stresses were calculated using each method and results compared to cumulative stresses caused by blasting at one of the mines. Results indicated that only a small percentage of the temperature effect on stress was corrected using the factor from the manufacturer because that factor accounted for only the pressure transducer and not the entire instrument body. Stresses adjusted with a linear correction factor based on information collected during periods when no mining was taking place were the most accurate. Stresses recorded at two other mines were corrected using the theoretical method and the polynomial equations method; the two methods produced similar results. For some time intervals, the results were identical.