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Testing and analysis of cement foam materials for coal mine seals

Transactions of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration , 2014, Vol. 336, No. 1, pp. 467-482

Mohamed, K.M.; Zipf, Jr., R.K.


The shear strength properties of generic cement foam material and cement foam/concrete interfaces were examined at three testing scales. In laboratory direct shear tests on specimens with average shearing area of 0.006 m2 (10 in.2), the cement foam material had average peak and residual shear strengths of 0.88 MPa (128 psi) and 0.39 MPa (56 psi), respectively. Depending on the concrete strength, the cement foam/concrete interfaces had peak and residual shear strengths ranging from 0.71 to 0.81 MPa (103 to 117 psi) and from 0.27 to 0.29 MPa (39 to 42 psi), respectively. In laboratory direct double shear tests on specimens with average shearing area of 0.084 m2 (130 in.2), the cement foam/concrete interfaces had average peak and residual shear strengths of 0.17 to 0.30 MPa (25 to 44 psi) and of 0.11 to 0.23 MPa (16 to 33 psi), respectively. In large shear tests of simulated cement foam seals with the Mine Roof Simulator (MRS) test frame, cement foam/concrete interfaces with shearing area of 1.486 m2 (2,304 in.2) had average shear strengths of about 0.08 and 0.16 MPa (11 and 23 psi) along the roof and floor interfaces, respectively. The average shear strength through the cement foam material was 0.38 MPa (55.3 psi).

  Finite element analysis of the large seal tests and the back analysis of the shear strength of full-scale cement foam seals conducted at the NIOSH Lake Lynn Laboratory confirmed shear strength of about 0.14 MPa (20 psi) along the seal/rock interfaces. The study concluded that the structural analysis of cement foam seals should be based on their residual shear strength determined from small laboratory-scale tests of the cement foam/concrete or rock interface and not be based on their peak strength.