Dynamic Mine disasters can be induced by the instability and failure of a composite structure of rock and coal layers during coal mining. Coal seam contains many native defects, severely affecting the instability and failure of the compound structure. In this study, the effects of coal persistent joint on the strength and failure characteristics of coal-rock composite samples were evaluated using PFC2D software. The results show that with the increase of included angle α between the loading direction and joint plane direction, the uniaxial compressive stress (UCS) and peak strain of composite samples first decrease and then gradually increase. The elastic moduli of composite samples do not change obviously with α. The peak strain at α of 45° is the lowest, and the UCS at α of 30° is the smallest. This is inconsistent with theoretical analysis of lowest UCS at α of 45°. This is because that the local stress concentration caused by the motion inconformity of composite samples may increase the average axial stress of upper wall in PFC2D software. Moreover, the coal persistent joint promotes the transformation from the unstable crack expansion to the macro-instability of composite samples, especially at α of 30° and 45°. The majority of failures for composite samples occur within the coal, and no obvious damage is observed in rock. Their failure modes are shear failure crossing or along the coal persistent joint. The failure of composite sample at α of 30° is a mixed failure, including the shear failure along the persistent joint in coal and tensile failure of rock induced by the propagation of coal persistent joint.
An uniaxial compression mechanical model for the roof rock-coal (RRC) composite sample was established in order to study the effects of height ratio of roof rock to coal on the structural strength of composite sample. The composite sample strengths under different height ratios were established through stress and strain analysis of the sample extracted from the interface. The coal strength near the interface is enhanced and rock strength near the interface weakened. The structural strength of composite sample is synthetically determined by the strengths of rock and coal near and far away from the interface. The area with a low strength in composite sample is destroyed firstly. An analytical model was proposed and discussed by conducting uniaxial compression tests for sandstone-coal composite samples with different height ratios, and it was found that the structural strength and elastic modulus decrease with a decrease in height ratio. The coal strengths far away from the interface determine the structural strengths of composite sample under different height ratios, which are the main control factor for the structural strength in this test. Due to its lowest strength, the rock near the interface first experienced a tensile spalling failure at the height ratio of 9:1, without causing the structural failure of composite sample. The coal failure induces the final failure of composite sample.