Estimating the unconfined yield strength of coal in the case of longwall coal mining with hanging wall top caving

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This study presents an innovative approach for determining the unconfined yield strength σc during the excavation of coal from the earth’s crust by using an equipment that was developed for measuring the mechanical properties of bulk materials stored in silos. Highly productive excavation of coal with a hanging wall top caving leads to intensive deformations in the hanging wall and the broken coal can be considered as bulk material. In this research, the shear tester Johanson Hang-Up Indicizer was used to measure the unconfined yield strength of the tested samples, even though such a tester cannot produce stress-strain conditions similar to those occurring during the excavation. An attempt was made to estimate the real unconfined yield strength of broken coal deep under the surface through a combination of measured data and extrapolation.

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