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(protective arch), in mining, a structure that ensures safe stoping and separation of minerals from caved material. Canopies are classified according to design and function as protective shields, flexible canopies of the enclosing and partitioning types, and interlayer canopies.
The design of the protective shield and the techniques for mining thick, sharply sloping coal seams using such shields were proposed by the Soviet scientist N. A. Chinakal in 1935 and were used in the Kuznetsk Coal Basin (Kuzbas) in 1938. Sectional protective shields were widely used in the 1940’s and 1950’s. Protective shields make it possible to work the entire thickness of a seam at once. Elastic reinforced-concrete protective shields have the great strength necessary for working seams in excess of 7-10 m thick and can be used many times. The shield is made of reinforced-concrete beams or pipes; for beams longer than 6 m it is made in sections. It moves along the slope behind the advancing face by its own weight and the weight of the caved material when the pillars on which it rests along the periphery are undermined.
Flexible metal canopies were first used in the USSR in the late 1940’s for working thick seams in the Kuzbas. They were subsequently used as components in new systems for working coal seams. Beginning in the early 1960’s they were used for working metallic ore deposits. In the early 1970’s, metal canopies were replaced by polymeric types that provide greater strength and malleability, better suitability for erection, and resistance to corrosion. The flexible canopy is set on the installation level along the upper limit of the floor or subfloor to be worked and at the mediate roof.
Interlayer canopies are used as a stable support for the roof, and sometimes for a floor, when mineral deposits are mined by sluicing. They are made of a 0.3–0.6-m thick layer of rocks or minerals, and the bridging is made of concrete slabs, wood, or metal grids.
V. V. ZHUKOV
ii. The umbrella-like fabric body of a parachute, which provides high air-drag when deployed. It is usually made of nylon and supports the parachutists or load during the descent. It is the main deployable body of a parachute.