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|A small scale model has been constructed to simulate air and gas flows on a full scale retreat longwall coal face. Scaling relationships were derived to define how the main aerodynamic properties of the full scale could be preserved in the small scale model. These scaling requirements include: a minimum value for the Reynolds number for the flow on the face in order to maintain turbulent flow with a constant non-dimensionalised coefficient of turbulent dispersion; a constant Richardson number to maintain similitude for the formation of layers of buoyant gas; scaling of the permeability of the waste so as to obtain the same proportion of seepage flow through the waste; pressure gradients due to the ventilation and to the density difference (between the air and the gas layer) were kept in proportion; and in the waste, the relative contributions of inertial dispersion and molecular diffusion were approximately in proportion. The complementary roles of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and aerodynamic scale models for simulating mine ventilation are discussed. The physical model is described and an example presented of simulations of the effect of changes in mining condition on the effectiveness of gas control in retreat longwall coal faces.|