The author comments on the background to model-analysis of mining problems, and describes the use of urethane rubber in the construction of a layered model simulating strata over mine workings. The unique properties of this rubber allow models to be constructed with layers of varying moduli, and needing only to be subject to a gravitational loading of 1g to be activated. The properties of the material allow models to be used many times, over long periods, and can be used to observe 'dynamic' development of mining and tectonic features. In the dynamic model described, the development of a full subsidence profile was observed and calculations showed it to be realistic with respect to equations developed by the National Coal Board to describe observed subsidence curves.
Previous experimental work by other researchers using elastic homogeneous models has yielded model 'angles-of-draw' in the region of 45°. In this paper the author describes angles-of-draw below 35° and also the subsidence development profile of the model in relation to those observed for some European mines.
The author concludes by suggesting possible future applications for this type of model work.