A theory of cutter roof failure and its application

CIM Bulletin, Vol. 92, No. 1032, 1999

K. Barron, University of Alberta, and A. Baydusa, Suncor Energy Inc., Alberta

A theory for cutter roof failure in coal mines has been developed. It is shown that the key parameters influencing the likelihood of cutter roof failure are the rock strength, the vertical stress (depth) and the horizontal to vertical stress ratio. The support force necessary to prevent the development of this mode of failure is, in most cases, so high as to make it impractical to apply a force of such magnitude. It is, therefore, better to allow the failure to occur and to design a bolting system to support the dead weight load of the failed block. This is probably best achieved by using a yielding bolt system (such as split set bolts) which is anchored well beyond the top of the potential failure block. The maximum potential caving height determined from this theoretical approach compares favourably with field observations reported in the literature.