Stress and deformation analysis of gob-side pre-backfill driving procedure of longwall mining: a case study

Rui Wu, Penghui Zhang, Pinnaduwa H.S.W. Kulatilake, Hao Luo, Qingyuan He

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

At present, non-pillar entry protection in longwall mining is mainly achieved through either the gob-side entry retaining (GER) procedure or the gob-side entry driving (GED) procedure. The GER procedure leads to difficulties in maintaining the roadway in mining both the previous and current panels. A narrow coal pillar about 5–7 m must be left in the GED procedure; therefore, it causes permanent loss of some coal. The gob-side pre-backfill driving (GPD) procedure effectively removes the wasting of coal resources that exists in the GED procedure and finds an alternative way to handle the roadway maintenance problem that exists in the GER procedure. The FLAC3D software was used to numerically investigate the stress and deformation distributions and failure of the rock mass surrounding the previous and current panel roadways during each stage of the GPD procedure which requires "twice excavation and mining". The results show that the stress distribution is slightly asymmetric around the previous panel roadway after the “primary excavation”. The stronger and stiffer backfill compared to the coal turned out to be the main bearing body of the previous panel roadway during the "primary mining". The highest vertical stresses of 32.6 and 23.1 MPa, compared to the in-situ stress of 10.5 MPa, appeared in the backfill wall and coal seam, respectively. After the "primary mining", the peak vertical stress under the coal seam at the floor level was slightly higher (18.1 MPa) than that under the backfill (17.8 MPa). After the "secondary excavation", the peak vertical stress under the coal seam at the floor level was slightly lower (18.7 MPa) than that under the backfill (19.8 MPa); the maximum floor heave and maximum roof sag of the current panel roadway were 252.9 and 322.1 mm, respectively. During the "secondary mining", the stress distribution in the rock mass surrounding the current panel roadway was mainly affected by the superposition of the front abutment pressure from the current panel and the side abutment pressure from the previous panel. The floor heave of the current panel roadway reached a maximum of 321.8 mm at 5 m ahead of the working face; the roof sag increased to 828.4 mm at the working face. The peak abutment pressure appeared alternately in the backfill and the coal seam during the whole procedure of "twice excavation and mining" of the GPD procedure. The backfill provided strong bearing capacity during all stages of the GPD procedure and exhibited reliable support for the roadway. The results provide scientific insight for engineering practice of the GPD procedure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1351-1370
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Coal Science and Technology
Volume8
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Abutment pressure
  • Floor heave
  • Gob-side pre-backfill driving procedure
  • Roadway stability
  • Stress distribution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology

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