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Design of Yield Pillars in the Southern Coal Field of New South Wales

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Author Chaturvedula VK and Bhattacharyya AK
ID P199207030

Description

With increasing demand for more efficient production from the underground coal mines in the Southern Coalfields- of New South Wales, their design and operational aspects are constantly being reviewed and improved. One key area in such pursuits is the reliable design of stable and yielding pillars. The current designs of pillars based mostly on experience leads to unnecessary sterilisation of coal or strata control problems. To explore such mine design problems, computer based modelling is increasingly being applied. In the study described in this paper, the object was to determine the particular width of pillars separating three roadways in a panel at which the pillars yielded completely and their loads largely transferred to the unmined coal at the flanks of the panel. This was approached through a computer simulation of the behaviour of the strata around a panel, in which the three roadways were separated by pillars of progressively decreasing width. A computer program called FLAC based on the finite difference method was used to simulate the relevant strata behaviour in vertical sections. The appropriate in situ values of the deformability parameters relating to the coal seam, roof and floor were determined from the back analysis of some displacement measurements in such a panel. The process involved successive modelling of a vertical section through such a panel,starting with realistic values of the parameters and varying them until the measured and the modelled displacements agreed closely. Based on the results of the numerical modelling, the width of a yielding pillar for the given conditions is Suggested.