Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration, https://doi.org/10.1007/s42461-019-0065-7
In longwall mining, ventilation is considered one of the more effective means of controlling gases and dust. In order to study longwall ventilation in a controlled environment, U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) researchers built a unique physical model called the longwall instrumented aerodynamic model (LIAM). The LIAM is a 1:30 scale physical model geometrically designed to simulate a single longwall panel. It has an 8.94 by 4.88 m (29 by 16 ft) footprint with a simulated face length of 220 m (720 ft) in full scale. LIAM is built with critical details of the face, gob and mining machinery, and scaled to preserve the physical and dynamic similitude. This paper discusses the gob-face interaction, airflow patterns within the gob, and airflow dynamics on the face for varying roof caving characteristics. Results are discussed to show the impact of caving behind the shields on longwall ventilation.