Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Mining Engineering

First Advisor

Chugh, Yoginder P.


AN ABSTRACT OF THE THESIS OF Behrooz Abbasi, for the Master of Science Degree in Mining and Mineral Resources Engineering, at Southern Illinois University Carbondale TITLE: A NUMERICAL ANALYSIS OF MINE INTERSECTIONS AND SUPPORT SYSTEMS FOR STABILITY MAJOR PROFESSOR: Dr. Yoginder P. Chugh Back ground: Partial extraction room-and-pillar mining systems provide about 60 % of the underground coal mined in the USA. This mining system develops 3-way and 4-way intersections. Rock falls related to fatal and nonfatal injuries in the USA for the period 2002 to 2007 identified that about 70% of these falls occur at intersections even though they represent only about 20-25 % of the area mined. A recent study on 2004 to 2008 roof-falls data base (RFDB) for Illinois mines, found that over 80% of these falls occurred at intersections. Thus, there is a significant need to improve stability of coal mine intersections if fatal and nonfatal injuries are to be controlled. The overall goal of this research is to develop an improved scientific understanding of stress distribution and instability around a 4-way intersection. An additional goal is to evaluate primary and secondary support layouts for improved stability around 4-way intersections. The following specific tasks were established for this research. * Perform 3-D numerical analyses to develop a better understanding of stress, strain and displacement distributions and associated instabilities around a 4-way intersection to identify ground support requirements. * Identify primary and secondary supports systems that may be suited to meet ground support requirements in (1) above. * Perform numerical analyses with identified primary and secondary supports installed to assess improvements in stability around an intersection. Analyses results show that pillar ribs across an intersection fail first and lead to progressive failure of immediate roof layers. The failure of immediate roof layers extends about 1.8m. In detail, coal ribs around the intersection corners mostly fail due to tensile stress, while roof and floor strata fail due to shear stresses and rib center fail due to combination of shear and tension mechanism. Primary supports significantly improve stability, but they are not adequate to ensure stability of four-way intersections. Secondary supports are needed to further improve stability of intersections. Also, based on the failure analysis a new secondary support system plan was proposed and analyzed.




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