Yield pillars for stress control in longwall mines — case study

  • K. Y. Haramy
  • R. O. Kneisley


The demand for increased productivity and the problems associated with mining at greater depths have increased the interest in using the yield pillar concept in the United States. This paper summarizes chain pillar behaviour in a mine that historically experienced coal bumps in both room-and-pillar and longwall sections. Results indicate that, generally, the chain pillars yield as designed, but that yielding occurred either after development or with approach of the longwall face. The Bureau of Mines investigated several yield pillar design approaches to possibly explain observed differences in pillar behaviour. These approaches suggest that very localized conditions, such as coal and rock properties, cover depth, and extraction height, may influence the behaviour of any one pillar. At this mine, yielding chain pillars result in de-stressing of the longwall entries and the transfer of potentially dangerous stress concentrations to adjacent panels. Pre-longwall-mining behaviour indicates the existence of a pressure arch, the width of which increases with depth. Results indicate that use of yield pillars improves stress control, reduces bump potential, and increases resource recovery.


Yield pillars longwall mining coal mining pillar design rock mechanics 


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Copyright information

© Chapman and Hall Ltd 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. Y. Haramy
    • 1
  • R. O. Kneisley
    • 1
  1. 1.Denver Research CenterBureau of MinesDenverUSA

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