In this study, a new physical model for longwall mining is developed combining features of the "sandbox" model with a new concept for excavation of mine openings using a special tool. The model is used to examine stress distributions around a longwall face in chain pillars, as well as in the panel. Reproducible results are obtained, which enable a successful simulation by the model of the mode of stress changes in chain pillars, and measurement of the development of panel front abutment.
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