A physical and numerical modelling investigation of the roadway stability in longwall mining, with and without narrow pillar protection

Yavuz H. , FOWELL R.

TRANSACTIONS OF THE INSTITUTIONS OF MINING AND METALLURGY SECTION A-MINING TECHNOLOGY, cilt.113, sa.1, 2004 (SCI İndekslerine Giren Dergi) identifier identifier

  • Yayın Türü: Makale / Tam Makale
  • Cilt numarası: 113 Konu: 1
  • Basım Tarihi: 2004
  • Doi Numarası: 10.1179/03718404225004300


The drivage of the supply gate of a development panel in the presumed low stress zone adjacent to the loader gate of an excavated panel with a very small width of intervening pillar between the two entries, known as skin-to-skin working, resulted in an extensive fall of the supply gate roof at a UK coal mine, Bilsthorpe colliery in 1993. This fall left a question over the application of skin-to-skin drivage of gate entries supported primarily by rock bolts. To investigate the possible reasons behind this fall, both physical and numerical modelling studies were carried out. Physical and numerical models were successful in demonstrating the potential danger of the working method with the rock bolt support system employed. Development of a shear failure plane from the rib edge into roof strata of the loader gate and development of the second shear failure plane at the abutment side of the supply gate exposed the supply gate to the fall of large rock blocks released by shear failure zones. Models demonstrated that the fall of the supply gate roof was not due to the inability of the rock bolts to prevent bed separation, but it was the method of working that made the bolts ineffective due to the height of the block delineated by the shear failure planes. Further physical and numerical models were undertaken to investigate the influence of 5, 7(.)5 and 10 in wide intervening pillars between the entries on the stability of the rock bolt supported supply gate roof These studies showed that a 7(.)5 in or 10 in wide pillar would have prevented development of failure zones and fall of the roof while a 5 in pillar was found to be an undersized pillar width causing the development of extensive failure, zones in the roof.