ICGCM Papers:
Fundamental Research Studies
 
 
The Contributions of the Alpha Foundation to Ground Control Research and Development
35th International Conference on Ground Control in Mining
The Contributions of the Alpha Foundation to Ground Control Research and Development
by
Tom Barczak, Alpha Foundation For The Improvement of Mine Safety and Health, Inc, Venetia, United StatesZach Agioutantis, University of Kentucky, Lexington, United StatesJulian Restrepo, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, United States
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[Conference] 35th International Conference on Ground Control in Mining
[Price] Free  [Comments] 0
[Topical Area] Fundamental Research Studies
[Author] Tom Barczak, Alpha Foundation For The Improvement of Mine Safety and Health, Inc, Venetia, United StatesZach Agioutantis, University of Kentucky, Lexington, United StatesJulian Restrepo, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, United States
[Abstract] 
Key Conclusions:
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Research funding has become more limited in recent years and this trend is likely to continue for the foreseeable future. The Alpha Foundation provides an opportunity to conduct cutting edge research on a number of high priority ground control problems.
Key Findings:
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Since its inception, the Alpha Foundation has received 39 concept papers, invited 14 full proposal submissions, and funded 3 research projects in ground control through three separate solicitations. Funded projects to date are as follows: • Numerical Modeling Methodologies for Assessing Burst Potential in Coal Mines (Colorado School of Mines) • The Precise Determination of Rockbolt Performance Underground (Southern Illinois University Carbondale) • Enhanced Ground Control Assessment for Improving Safety in Mine Design (University of Kentucky) These projects are providing cutting edge research in the areas of coal mine bump research, new developments in roof bolt instrumentation, and advancement in ground control design tools. Another project funded to Virginia Tech is pursuing safety management research and is using ground control as one of the focus areas highlighted in a series of industry workshops. Beyond these awards, several other priority areas have not yet been funded. A sample from the latest solicitation include the following: • Time Dependent Failure Studies - Time dependent failure assessment of ground instability embracing both pillar failure and roof span degradation across all underground mining sectors. • Roof and Rib Failure Prevention - Measurements of rib deformation and rib bolting performance including anchorage, loading, yielding, and energy absorption during rib dilation; assessing the impact of bolting on controlling rib dilation as opposed to containment of dislodged rib material; and development of enhanced rib bolting design criteria. • Hardrock Roof Support Injury Prevention - Prevention of roof/strata bolting and Jack Setter injuries, especially in hardrock mining.
Objective of the Paper:
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The objective of this paper is to highlight the contributions the Alpha Foundation research grants have made in the area of ground control and to discuss the specific aims being sought by the Foundation in pursuit of eliminating unstable ground conditions in all mining sectors.
Problem Statement:
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The Alpha Foundation for the Improvement of Mine Safety and Health, Inc. was founded as part of a Non-Prosecution Agreement in December 2011 following the Upper Big Branch explosion that claimed the lives of 29 miners. Pursuant to that agreement, a trust to fund with $48 million dollars was established to fund research projects to non-profit organizations to improve mine health and safety.