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Mining Product: STOP - Support Technology Optimization Program

Original creation date: April 2010

STOP (Support Technology Optimization Program) is software to assist in making engineering decisions regarding the selection and placement strategy of various standing roof support technologies.

Support Technology Optimization Program screen shotThe software includes a complete database of the support characteristics and loading profiles obtained through safety performance testing of these supports at the NIOSH Safety Structures Testing Laboratory.

Support design criteria in the form of the required support load density at a specified convergence can be established from four options: (1) a data base of measured ground reaction data from various mines or ground behavior information inputted by the user, (2) determination of loading requirements based on a detached roof block or rock failure height, or (3) criteria based on the current roof support system, and (4) arbitrary criteria set the by user. Using these design criteria, the program will determine the installation requirements for a particular support technology that will provide the necessary support load density and convergence control. Optimization routines are also available to determine the most efficient support design for a user specified support installation. Comparisons among the various support technologies are easily made including graphical analysis of relevant support parameters.

STOP can provide an engineering foundation to ensure that inadequate support designs as well as ultra conservative support applications are avoided. Safety will be improved by proper matching of the support performance to the mine conditions which will reduce the likelihood of roof falls and block escapeways. Material handling injuries associated with support construction are known to account for about 5,000 lost work days per year in underground coal mines. STOP can help to define the material handling advantages of alternative support technologies that use lighter weight materials or systems that can be installed with the aid of mechanical assist. The use of these support technologies can significantly reduce material handling injuries. In addition to these performance and material handling measures, STOP can be used to compare support installation costs.

STOP configuration note - STOP includes more than 800 pictures (BMP format, about 94 MB) that are displayed in the Information Center and Support Performance examples. The pictures are for informational purposes only, and the main analysis and comparison sections of the program will run correctly if the files are not present or cannot be found. By default, these pictures are in a sub folder named "photos" where you unzipped the STOP program. You may copy this "photos" folder to the folder where the program was installed, or another convenient location. Then, when you start the program, modify the BMP path to the location where you copied the picture files. The BMP Path configuration window is available from the Main Window File menu, from the Information Center, or from the Support Selection window.

Authors: NIOSH

Audience: Mine operators

Software (Windows) - April 2010

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Version: 3.4

Pittsburgh, PA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 2010 Apr