Investigation into the Behaviour of a Support System and Roof Strata During Sublevel Caving of a Thick Coal Seam
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Monitoring of strata control parameters and behaviour of a powered support was carried out during an experimental trial of a mechanized longwall sublevel caving face for exploitation of a 7.5m thick coal seam. Field observations indicated that the requirement of support density for underwinning of top coal by sublevel caving under intact strata is different from that for underwinning under broken and fractured rock mass. Analysis of the leg closure observations and support resistance variations during different mining cycles showed rapid increase of the setting load density of the support in relation to the yield load density. This resulted in a large amount of leg closure during mining cycles of the sub level caving face under broken rock strata. Due to operational constraints, the field observations could not provide enough information to visualize the behaviour of the overlying rock strata. Simulation of the field conditions was therefore performed on a physical model to bridge this gap of information. Results of laboratory investigations on the physical model are combined with those of the field to explain the critical behaviour of the support system during sublevel caving under broken rock strata.
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