UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Investigation of underground mine pillar design procedures Potvin, Yves


The principal functions of underground mine pillars are to stabilize openings and to carry the load of overlying rock strata. They are often (partially or completely) recovered at a later stage when their stabilizing effect is no longer required. For economic reasons, an optimum-sized pillar is the smallest one satisfying safety requirements. Thus the pillar design problem consists of determining the pillar's minimum dimensions as the load approaches the ultimate pillar strength. Because the pillar's strength and the load acting upon it are both functions of many interrelated factors, which may vary as mining progresses, the determination of pillar dimensions is a complex task. Furthermore, the multiplicity of pillar shapes, sizes, rock material and functions add to the designers' problem. Consequently, pillar design programs are still generally performed as a trial-and-error process. In order, to improve the present pillar design practices (1) -AApillar classification is proposed to standardize the design procedure (2) The principal design methods, divided into four groups, are summarized and their applicability is is defined (3) A five-phase design procedure with design charts is developed (4) The design procedure is applied in analysing two case histories

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