Large deformation control of deep soft rock roadways has been a major problem in mining activities worldwide. This paper considers the supporting problem related to large deformation of a deep soft rock roadway in Chao’hua coal mine. The discrete element simulation method (UDEC software) is adopted to simulate a tailgate of panel 31041 in Chao’hua coal mine. The failure patterns of unsupported and primary supported roadway are simulated, and these reveal the characteristics of deformation, stress and crack propagation. The excavation of roadway leads to high deviator stress, which exceeds the peak strength of shallow surrounding rock and causes it to enter the post-failure stage. Tensile failures then initiate and develop around the roadway, which causes the fragmentation, dilation and separation of shallow surrounding rock. The compressive capacity of the primary support system is low, which results in serious contraction in the full section of the roadway. An improved control scheme is put forward for the support of a tailgate. The underground test results confirm that the improved support system effectively controlled large deformation of the surrounding rocks, which can provide references for support in the design of roadways excavated in deep soft stratum.
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