This contribution describes development and application of a user-friendly finite element program, UT3PC, to address three important problems in underground coal mine design: (1) safety of main entries, (2) barrier pillar size needed for entry protection, and (3) safety of bleeder entries during the advance of an adjacent longwall panel. While the finite element method is by far the most popular engineering design tool of the digital age, widespread use by the mining community has been impeded by the relatively high cost of and the need for lengthy specialized training in numerical methods. Implementation of UT3PC overcomes these impediments in three easy steps. First, a material properties file is prepared for the considered site. Next, mesh generation is automatic through an interactive process. A third and last step is simply execution of the program. Examples using data from several western coal mines illustrate the ease of using the application for analysis of main entries, barrier pillars, and bleeder entry safety.
Pariseau, W. G., Larson, M. K., Lawson, H. E., & Tesarik, D. R. (2018). User-friendly finite element design of main entries, barrier pillars, and bleeder entries. International Journal of Mining Science and Technology, 28(1), 3–10. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijmst.2017.12.015