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Design methods to control violent pillar failures in room-and-pillar mines.
Zipf RK Jr.; Mark C
Inst Min Metall, Trans, Sect A: Min Ind 1997 Sep-Dec; 106:A124-A132
The sudden, violent collapse of large areas of room-and-pillar mines poses a special hazard for miners and mine operators. This type of failure, termed a ‘cascading pillar failure' (CPF), occurs when one pillar in a mine layout falls, transferring its load to neighboring pillars, which causes them to fail, and so forth. Recent examples of this kind of failure in coal, metal and non-metal mines in the U.S.A. are documented. Mining engineers can limit the danger presented by these failures through improved mine design practices. Whether failure occurs in a slow, non-violent manner or in a rapid, violent manner is governed by the local mine stiffness stability criterion. This stability criterion is used as the basis for three design approaches to control cascading pillar failure in room-and-pillar mines the containment approach, the prevention approach and the full extraction mining approach. These design approaches are illustrated with practical examples for coal mining at shallow depth.
Mining-industry; Underground-mining; Ground-control; Ground-stability; Mine-design
Pittsburgh Research Laboratory, P.O. Box 18070, Pittsburgh, PA 15236
Other Occupational Concerns
Transactions. Section A, Mining Industry/Institution of Mining & Metallurgy
Page last reviewed: October 26, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division