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Geomechanics and Engineering
  Volume 8, Number 2, February 2015 , pages 237-255
DOI: https://doi.org/10.12989/gae.2015.8.2.237
 


Analytical solutions for crack initiation on floor-strata interface during mining
Chongbin Zhao

 
Abstract
    From the related engineering principles, analytical solutions for horizontal crack initiation and propagation on a coal panel floor-underlying strata interface due to coal panel excavation are derived in this paper. Two important concepts, namely the critical panel width of horizontal crack initiation on the panel floor-underlying strata interface and the critical panel width of vertical fracture (crack) initiation in the panel floor, have been presented. The resulting analytical solution indicates that: (1) the first criterion can be used to express the condition under which horizontal plane cracks (on the panel floor-underlying strata interface or in the panel floor because of delamination) due to the mining induced vertical stress will initiate and propagate; (2) the second criterion can be used to express the condition under which vertical plane cracks (in the panel floor) due to the mining induced horizontal stress will initiate and propagate; (3) this orthogonal set of horizontal and vertical plane cracks, once formed, will provide the necessary weak network for the flow of gas to inrush into the panel. Two characteristic equations are given to quantitatively estimate both the critical panel width of vertical fracture initiation in the panel floor and the critical panel width of horizontal crack initiation on the interface between the panel floor and its underlying strata. The significance of this study is to provide not only some theoretical bases for understanding the fundamental mechanism of a longwall floor gas inrush problem but also a benchmark solution for verifying any numerical methods that are used to deal with this kind of gas inrush problem.
 
Key Words
    crack initiation; analytical solution; panel floor fracture; critical panel width
 
Address
Computational Geosciences Research Centre, Central South University, Changsha 410083, China.
 

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