Development of a spring analogue approach for the study of pillars and shafts

Amichai Mitelman, Davide Elmo, Doug Stead

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


In civil and mining operations that involve ground excavation and support, the loads are distributed between the ground and support depending on their relative stiffness. This paper presents the development of conceptual single-degree-of-freedom models, which are used to derive equations for estimating displacements and stresses for ground-support interaction problems encountered in pillars in room-and-pillar mining (natural support system), and liners for circular vertical shafts (artificial support systems). For pillar assessment, mine-pillar interaction curves can be constructed using a double spring analogy. Additionally, the effectiveness of different support systems can be evaluated depending on their effect upon the mine-pillar system. For shaft design, an initial estimation of the required lining strength and thickness can be readily made based on a double ring analogue. For both problems, the results from the proposed approach compare well with those obtained by finite element numerical simulations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)267-274
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Mining Science and Technology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Ground-support interaction
  • Rockbolts
  • Room and pillar
  • Shafts
  • Spring analogue


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