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How to Cope with Cutter Roof Problem


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Author Khair A W


This paper presents results of the experiments carried out in Beth Energy No. 33 Mine for the purpose of alleviating problems associated with cutter roof. Cutter roof problems have delayed the advance of the entry development considerably and maintenance cost of these entries was very high due to the requirement of very extensive and heavy artificial supports. The study includes assessment of the problem, investigation of the geology and lithology of the mines, study of in-situ stresses and corrective measures to combat the problem. Two approaches were selected as the corrective measures: 1) implementing yield pillar concept in order to reduce the effects of in-situ horizontal stresses, 2) designing an effective roof reinforcement system and application procedure. Results of this study revealed that roof strata is weak and in-situ stresses are very high at the problem area which results in development of cutter roof. Implementation of yield pillar concept was found to be ineffective because cutter roof often developed at the entry face concurrent to the development. However, proper design and implementation of roof reinforcement system stabilized the roof and eliminated roof caving during both entry development and retreat of longwall face, despite existence of the cutter roof, at a much lower cost.