The needle penetration index to estimate the performance of an axial type roadheader used in a coal mine

  • Sair KahramanEmail author
  • A. Sercan Aloglu
  • Bilal Aydin
  • Egemen Saygin
Original Article


Roadheaders have been used widely in coal mining and tunneling for excavating low strength rocks. The performance prediction of a roadheader to be used is important for designing the projects and cost estimation. There are some performance prediction models for roadheaders in the literature. However, available models cover generally standard test methods which are difficult to carry out. This research investigates the predictability of performance of an axial type roadheader from the needle penetration index test which is a simple and practical test. The performance measurements of Dosco Mk-2B roadheaders were carried out during roadway excavations in Cayirhan Coal Mine. The performances of the machines were measured at nine different locations and the net cutting rate (NCR) values were calculated. The needle penetration tests were also carried out at least ten different points on the gallery faces during performance measurements and the needle penetration index (NPI) values were calculated. The NCR and NPI values were evaluated using regression analysis and a logarithmic relation with a very strong correlation coefficient was established between them. Increasing the NPI values decreases the NCR values. The derived relation was validated by the F test. It can be concluded that the NCR of axial type roadheaders can be easily estimated by using derived model for the similar rock types and conditions.


Axial roadheaders Net cutting rate Needle penetration index 



The authors thank TUBITAK (The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey) for the support of the project (Project No. 114M836). The authors also thank CINER Group for allowing field studies.


  1. Abdolreza YC, Yakhchali SH (2013) A new model to predict roadheader performance using rock mass properties. J Coal Sci Eng 19(1):51–56CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Aydan O (2012) The inference of physico-mechanical properties of soft rocks and the evaluation of the effect of water content and weathering on their mechanical properties from needle penetration tests. In: Symposium of ARMA, Chicago, Paper No. ARMA12- 639 (on CD)Google Scholar
  3. Aydan O, Ulusay R (2013) Geomechanical evaluation of Derinkuyu antique underground city and its implications in geoengineering. Rock Mech Rock Eng 46:731–754CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Aydan O, Watanabe S, Tokashiki N (2008) The inference of mechanical properties of rocks from penetration tests. In: Proceedings of the 5th Asian rock mechanics symposium (ARMS5), Tehran-Iran, vol 1, pp 213–220Google Scholar
  5. Aydan O, Sato A, Yagi M (2014) The inference of geo-mechanical properties of soft rocks and their degradation from needle penetration tests. Rock Mech Rock Eng 47:1867–1890CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Aydin Y, Funfstuck J (1988) Beypazari project report. In: Proceedings of the sixth coal congress of Turkey. Chamber of Mining Engineers of Turkey. (in Turkish)Google Scholar
  7. Bilgin N, Seyrek T, Erdinc E, Shahriar K (1990) Roadheaders clean valuable tips for Istanbul Metro. Tunn Tunn 22:29–32Google Scholar
  8. Bilgin N, Copur H, Balci C (2014) Mechanical excavation in mining and civil industries. CRC Press, Taylor and Francis GroupGoogle Scholar
  9. Broch E, Franklin JA (1972) Point-load strength test. Int J Rock Mech Min Sci 9:669–697CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Copur H, Ozdemir L, Rostami J (1998) Roadheader applications in mining and tunneling industries. In: Annual meeting of American Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration (SME), Orlando, Florida, March 10–12, Preprint Number: 98–185Google Scholar
  11. Ebrahimabadi A, Goshtasbi K, Shahriar K, CheraghiSeifabad M (2011) A model to predict the performance of roadheadersbased on rock mass brittleness index. J South Afr Inst Min Metall 111:355–364Google Scholar
  12. Erguler ZA, Ulusay R (2007) Estimation of uniaxial compressive strength of clay-bearing weak rocks using needle penetration response. In: Proceedings of 11th congress on international society rock mechanics, Lisbon, vol 1, pp 265–268Google Scholar
  13. Gehring KH (1989) A cutting comparison. Tunn Tunn 21:27–30Google Scholar
  14. Gunsallus KL, Kulhawy FH (1984) A comparative evaluation of rock strength measures. Int J Rock Mech Min Sci 21:233–248CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Haciosmanoglu ME (2004) Development of a subsidence model for Cayirhan coal mine, MSc. Thesis, Middle East Technical University, TurkeyGoogle Scholar
  16. ISRM (1985) Suggested method for determining point load strength. Int J Rock Mech Min Sci Geomech Abstr 22(2):51–60CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Kahraman S (2001) Evaluation of simple methods for as-sessing the uniaxial compressive strength of rock. Int J Rock Mech Min Sci 38:981–994CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Kahraman E, Kahraman S (2016) The performance prediction of roadheaders from easy testing methods. Bull Eng Geol Environ 75:1585–1596CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Khandelwal M, Ranjith PG (2010) Correlating index properties of rocks with P-wave measurements. J Appl Geophys 71(1):1–5CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Khandelwal M, Rai R, Shrivastva BK (2015) Evaluation of dump slope stability of a coal mine using artificial neural network. Geomech Geophys Geo-Energ Geo-Resour 1:69–77CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Ocak I, Bilgin N (2010) Comparative studies on the performance of a roadheader, impact hammer and drilling and blasting method in the excavation of metro station tunnels in Istanbul. Tunn Undergr Sp Tech 25:181–187CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Park Y, Obara Y, Kan SS (2011) Estimation of uniaxial compressive strength of weak rocks using needle penetrometer. In: Proceedings of 12th ISRM international congress on rock mechanics, Beijing, pp 795–798Google Scholar
  23. Rostami J, Ozdemir L, Neil DM (1994) Performance prediction: a key issue in mechanical hard rock mining. Min Eng 11:1263–1267Google Scholar
  24. Thuro K, Plinninger RJ (1999) Roadheader excavation performance—geological and geotechnical influences. In: The 9th ISRM Congress, Theme 3: Rock dynamics and tectonophysics/rock cutting and drilling, Paris, pp 1241–1244Google Scholar
  25. Tumac D, Bilgin N, Feridunoglu C, Ergin H (2007) Estimation of rock cuttability from shore hardness and compressive strength properties. Rock Mech Rock Eng 40(5):477–490CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Ulusay R, Erguler ZA (2012) Needle penetration test: evaluation of its performance and possible uses in predicting strength of weak and soft rocks. Eng Geol 149–150:47–56CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Ulusay R, Aydan O, Erguler ZA, Ngan-Tillard DJM, Seiki T, Verwaal W, Sasaki Y, Sato A (2014) ISRM suggested method for the needle penetration test. Rock Mech Rock Eng 47:1073–1085CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Xu T, Yang T, Chen C, Liu H, Yu Q (2015) Mining induced strata movement and roof behavior in underground coal mine. Geomech Geophys Geo-Energ Geo-Resour 1:79–89CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Yamaguchi Y, Ogawa N, Kawasaki M, Nakamura A (1997) Evaluation of seepage failure response potential of dam foundation with simplified tests. J Jpn Soc Eng Geol 38(3):130–144CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Zhao J, Zhang Y (2017) Studies on rock failure of layered rock in underground mining-face and control techniques. Geomech Geophys Geo-Energ Geo-Resour 3:405–414CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sair Kahraman
    • 1
    Email author
  • A. Sercan Aloglu
    • 2
  • Bilal Aydin
    • 1
  • Egemen Saygin
    • 1
  1. 1.Mining Engineering DepartmentHacettepe UniversityAnkaraTurkey
  2. 2.CINER GroupAnkaraTurkey

Personalised recommendations