Feasibility of using sodium silicate as grouting in loose coal bed sections for methane drainage

Guiying Lu, Yuan Sheng Wang, Yongquan Zhang, Samuel Ariaratnam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Incidents such as borehole collapse, suction drill, and drill pipe drop resulting from borehole instability may occur in the process of drilling in loose coal bed sections for coal mine methane (CMM) drainage before mining. Grouting while drilling (GWD) is a technique used to reduce such incidents. Sodium Silicate used in GWD has the advantages of controllable consolidation-time, non-toxic material, non-pungent odor and relatively inexpensive. Although it will shrink after solidification, this could be used to connect gas channels. This paper presents the feasibility of using Sodium Silicate to make GWD slurry through results of laboratory experiments. The principal ingredients of the two Sodium Silicate grouting slurry formulae, namely 4% Glycerol Triacetate with 20–40% Sodium Silicate and 4% 1,4-Butyrolactone with 20–40% Sodium Silicate, were selected based on the requirements of GWD. The experimental results from a traditional test device revealed that coal cement stress is still low after 45 min thus limiting its field application. However, after 72 h, multiple cracks appear along the edge of the coal grains suggesting that the formulae can be used to connect gas channels naturally after hardening. If a PH stabilizer is not added, the optimal grouting time occurs within 20 min. In the process of GWD, the grouting slurry will not consolidate until it is injected into the borehole wall, which is enables the drill pipe to remain clean after grouting. Seepage grouting simulation experiments based on a self-developed device indicate that injecting certain slurry into pre-set positions of a drilling hole by circulation wind pressure is feasible to some extent when drilling in fractured, strongly fractured, and pulverized coal beds. In powder coal, however, it will close the gas channels, and thus cannot be applied.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)107-113
Number of pages7
JournalTunnelling and Underground Space Technology
StatePublished - Feb 2018


  • Drilling
  • Grouting
  • Loose coal bed
  • Seepage simulation
  • Slurry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Building and Construction
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology


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