Coal burst is a manifestation of rapid energy release, which is considered as one of the most critical operational hazards in underground coal mines. This study numerically investigates the effects of discontinuities on the strength and energy release characteristics of coal mass samples under uniaxial compression. The universal distinct element code (UDEC) was used to model pillar-scale coal mass samples that were represented by an assembly of triangular deformable blocks, and pre-existing discontinuities such as bedding planes and cleats were also included in the models. It shows that cleat spacing can have a significant impact on compressive strength and energy release, with both strength and energy release (magnitude and rate) reducing as the number of cleats was increased. This work is one of the first attempts to numerically model and quantify the energy release which occurs during the failure of pillar-scale coal mass samples with varying cleat densities. The insights from the numerical modelling can help to understand the possible energy release mechanisms and associated coal burst potential in changing coal cleat conditions.
Vardar, O., Zhang, C., Canbulat, I., & Hebblewhite, B. (2019). Numerical modelling of strength and energy release characteristics of pillar-scale coal mass. Journal of Rock Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering, 11(5), 935–943. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jrmge.2019.04.003