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An integrated approach to support design in underground coal mines.

Gadde MM; Rusnak JA; Mark C
Proceedings of the International Workshop on Rock Mass Classification in Underground Mining. Mark C; Pakalnis R; Tuchman RJ, eds., 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, 2007 May; :49-56
Rock mass classification systems are extremely useful for site characterization and have been employed by the rock mechanics community for several decades. While empirical in nature, the classification systems provide a viable means to quantify the nature of rock mass, which is necessary for stability analyses. In U.S. coal mines, the Coal Mine Roof Rating (CMRR) is the most widely used classification system for several purposes, including support selection, chain pillar design, assessing the stability of extended face cuts, etc. The Analysis of Roof Bolt Systems (ARBS) is an empirical method developed from the CMRR to guide selection of roof bolts as the primary support system in U.S. coal mines. In this paper, the experience of Peabody Energy in applying ARBS to support design is discussed. In general, data from the Peabody mines show that ARBS predictions match well with field conditions. Peabody, however, does not use ARBS as the stand-alone methodology for support selection. Peabody uses a two-pronged approach in which the support requirement is initially estimated from the classification method, and then numerical modeling is used to select the proper reinforcement system. Such an integrated approach is necessary, as ARBS suggests only the "amount of steel" that may be used to support the roof and does not specify which type of roof bolt to use. A case study is used to demonstrate the usefulness of ARBS and Peabody's integrated approach to support design. Also, the application of ARBS at several Peabody mines showed a very good correlation with support cost. The correlation indicated a direct relation between bolting cost and the ARBS value.
Mining-industry; Underground-mining; Coal-mining; Hard-rock-mines; Ground-control; Ground-stability; Geology; Geophysics; Mathematical-models; Rock-mechanics
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Pittsburgh Research Laboratory, 626 Cochrans Mill Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15236
Publication Date
Document Type
Conference/Symposia Proceedings
Marc C; Pakalnis R; Tuchman RJ
Fiscal Year
NIOSH Division
Source Name
Proceedings of the International Workshop on Rock Mass Classification in Underground Mining
Page last reviewed: January 27, 2023
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division