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Aspect ratio and other parameters that affect the performance of Burrell Can roof supports.

Gearhart DF; Batchler TJ
Proceedings of the 31st International Conference on Ground Control in Mining, July 31-August 2, 2012, Morgantown, West Virginia. Morgantown, WV: West Virginia University, 2012 Jul; :1-9
The Burrell Can is a thin, steel, tubular shell filled with aerated concrete that is used as a roof support in coal mines. The Can height is always shorter than the mining entry, so it is capped with wooden timbers and wedges when it is installed. This combination of the Can and the wooden header is a standing support system that is designed to yield in a controlled manner and exhibit a constant yield, or elastic-plastic behavior. The Burrell Can is capable of withstanding 20 in or more of vertical convergence and 15 in or more of horizontal displacement. Because of this exceptional ability to sustain load through extended convergence and displacement, it is one of the most robust standing supports in use today. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) conducted testing on seventeen Burrell Cans in 1995, during development of the support where the ratio of the height to the diameter, or the aspect ratio, was between 2:1 and 4:1. Based on the results of that testing, it was suggested that the standard aspect ratio of the Can be less than 5:1. This suggestion is intended to preserve the overall stability of the Can, which will help to maintain the initial stiffness and prevent load shedding. Recently, the necessity of the aspect ratio has been questioned, and this issue will be addressed in this paper. Since the initial development and introduction, more than 130 tests of the Can have been conducted at the NIOSH Mine Roof Simulator (MRS), and 25 of those specimens had aspect ratios greater than 5:1. The 18-in-diameter by 10-ft-tall specimens had the largest aspect ratio, 6.67:1.However, the aspect ratio is not the only parameter that affects the performance characteristics of the Can. Multiple factors, such as the use of different wood species, the use of different header or footer configurations, and the use of pedestals, as well as biaxial loading conditions can also decrease the stiffness and capacity of the Can. Data from full-scale tests that include these other factors are analyzed to show that the initial stiffness is primarily affected by the roof and floor contact configurations. Furthermore, load shedding is more likely to occur or begin earlier when the aspect ratio is greater than 5:1 and one or more of the other factors are present. This investigation confirms that the 5:1 aspect ratio rule-of-thumb should still be used for longwall tailgate applications although Cans with larger aspect ratios have been stable under some conditions. It also shows that the initial stiffness of the support is affected by the roof and floor contact conditions created during installation and must be considered in the support system design.
Mining-industry; Underground-mining; Ground-control; Ground-stability; Coal-mining; Longwall-mining
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Proceedings of the 31st International Conference on Ground Control in Mining, July 31-August 2, 2012, Morgantown, West Virginia
Page last reviewed: March 25, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division