Mine gob has long been a safety concern in the coal industry due to the air flowing through the gob area. Therefore, knowledge of the airflow distribution and locations of hazard zones in longwall gob is important to prevent and control these hazards. Due to the inaccessibility of mine gob, many numerical studies have been performed to simulate gob air leakage using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) programs, but most of the studies isolated the gob from the mine ventilation network (MVN) with only predefined pressure boundary conditions. The MVN is, in fact, not static in a dynamic longwall mining process, and it consequently changes the boundary conditions and the gob flow field (GFF). Therefore, the MVN should be incorporated in the CFD model to prescribe the transient boundaries. However, it is very challenging to couple the 1D MVN and the 2D/3D GFF to make the mine ventilation simulation realistic. This research uses a proposed novel finite tube method (FTM) to couple the MVN and GFF. In the FTM, the GFF is discretized into a finite number of flow tubes, each of which is formed by two adjacent streamlines. These tubes connect the MVN into a new coupling network. Based on the FTM, a model for gas migration in gob is established for delineating the hazard zones of explosive methane concentration and spontaneous combustion.
Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration (2020) 37:1517–1530, https://doi.org/10.1007/s42461-020-00255-0