Experimental Study on the Microstructure Evolution Laws in Coal Seam Affected by Temperature Impact

  • Shumin Liu
  • Dengke WangEmail author
  • Guangzhi YinEmail author
  • Minghui Li
  • Xuelong Li
Original Paper


The microstructure of coal has a significant influence on the permeability of the coal seam. To study the characteristics of microstructure changes in coal seam under temperature impact, we conducted temperature-impact experiments using a high–low temperature test system, and we studied the coal pores and fissure structure before and after the temperature impact using scanning electron microscopy, industrial micro-computed tomography, and mercury intrusion. Based on the digital image processing technology and thermal stress theory, we qualitatively and quantitatively analyzed the variation of crack width, specific surface area, and pore diameter, and deeply analyzed the failure mechanism of temperature impact on coal seam microstructure. The results showed that the temperature impact caused the macropores to interpenetrate and form macroscopic cracks in the coal sample, which resulted in a relatively small volume of macropores and increased the volume of mesopores and small pores. The maximum thermal stress generated during the temperature impact process was located in the tangential direction of the coal sample surface. The thermal stress generated by the temperature impact exceeded the tensile strength of the coal sample, which directly causes crack initiation, expansion, and mutual penetration. This study provided the technical support necessary for the efficient development of coalbed methane and the improvement of gas drainage rate in the coal seam.


Temperature impact Pore and fissure structure Thermal stress Failure mechanism 

List of Symbols


Elastic modulus

J0 (gnr)

The first zero-order Bessel functions

J1 (gnr)

The first-order Bessel functions


Radius of the cylindrical coal sample


A positive root


Exothermic coefficient


Thermal conductivity coefficient


Distance from any point in the cross-section to the center of the cross-section (0 ≤ r ≤ b)


Linear expansion coefficient


Poisson’s ratio


Thermal stress in the radial direction


Thermal stress in the tangential direction perpendicular


Temperature difference



The authors would like to acknowledge the financial support from National Natural Science Foundation of China (51774118, 51434003), the Chinese Ministry of Education Innovation Team Development Plan (IRT_16R22), the State Key Laboratory for GeoMechanics and Deep Underground Engineering, China University of Mining & Technology (SKLGDUEK1814), the Key Scientific Research Projects of Henan Provincial Education Department (18A620001) and the Science Research Funds for the Universities of Henan Province (J2018-1).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Coal Mine Disaster Dynamics and Control, College of Resource and Safety EngineeringChongqing UniversityChongqingChina
  2. 2.State Key Laboratory Cultivation Base for Gas Geology and Gas Control, School of Safety EngineeringHenan Polytechnic UniversityJiaozuoChina
  3. 3.State Key Laboratory for GeoMechanics and Deep Underground EngineeringChina University of Mining and TechnologyXuzhouChina

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