Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date


Publication Details

Gaetano Venticinque and and Jan Nemcik, Numerical Model of Coal Burst Mechanism, Proceedings of the 18th Coal Operators' Conference, Mining Engineering, University of Wollongong, 214-220.


Coal bursts present one of the most severe hazards for the underground coal mining industry. In Australia, coal burst events are becoming increasingly frequent as coal measures are mined progressively deeper. Until now, coal burst mechanisms haven’t been properly understood. A significant ongoing effort and a large number of research activities are searching for answers. This work is supported by the Australian Coal Association Research Program (ACARP) which aims to provide explanation of the probable mechanisms and key factors behind the coal burst phenomena. The available energy required to eject the coal rib into the mine opening has seeded the idea of momentum transfer from within the seam towards the rib side. This mechanism has a strong analogy to Newton’s Cradle device and hence conservation of momentum and energy principles that can account for momentum transfer between confined seam masses at a distance and ejected unconfined fractured mass at the free surface of the rib. Using dynamic analysis, preliminary numerical models successfully simulate fast ejection speeds of coal rib material and thus identify a probable common cause of coal bursts in mine roadways. Modelled coal mine roadway in 3 m thick seam at a depth of 550 m successfully simulated coal burst phenomena; laterally ejecting 3.92 tonnes of coal from the rib with velocities ranging up to 2.3 m/s. Recognising that ejection speeds are dependent on material properties, extent of trigger induced failure between coal/rock boundary and chosen geometry; a few modelled cases are presented here.