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Simplifying CFD modeling of longwall gobs with a modular meshing approach

Mining Engineering , 2015, Vol. 67, No. 3, pp. 68-72

Gilmore, R.C.; Marts, J.A.; Brune, J.F.; Saki, S.; Bogin, Jr., G.E.; Grubb, J.W.


Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modeling involves the creation of a computation domain called a mesh or grid to solve the equations defining the physics of fluid flow. This process often comprises the majority of time spent in modeling efforts. In a project sponsored by the U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), researchers at the Colorado School of Mines used an innovative meshing approach, allowing easy adaptation of the CFD model to adjust to a variety of longwall bleeder-ventilated and progressively sealed (often referred to as bleederless in the United States) mining geometries, with gob porosity and permeability scalable over a wide range. This paper presents the methodology of the meshing and scaling approach along with recommendations for using CFD modeling in longwall gob ventilation applications. The new meshing technique was utilized to evaluate the function of a back return in a progressively sealed gob and a bleeder-ventilated gob.