Practical Stoppings Construction

MacEvoy, Warren D.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 2
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1982
INTRODUCTION Good ventilation bulkheads (stoppings) can be obtained only by conscientiously adhering to four basic principles: carefully selecting the site for the bulkhead, adequately preparing the site, properly constructing and sealing the bulkhead, and checking the results with a smoke tube before leaving the area. If all these guidelines are followed during each ventilation project, a poor job will result only from the use of improper materials and cannot be blamed on carelessness or oversight. SITE SELECTION A perfectly constructed bulkhead in the wrong location can be completely worthless. Conceivably, a bulk-head in the wrong location could cause dangerous ventilation conditions that are difficult to identify and isolate. If the suggestions herein are followed, a considerable amount of work, time, and material may be saved. Perhaps the single most important step is always to select the exact site for a bulkhead before starting construction. Although the latitude in selecting a site may be limited by instructions or operating conditions, it is common to find poor bulkheads built within a few meters (feet) of a site that would have been far superior but was overlooked during the planning process. The ideal site for a bulkhead should have as many of the following features and conditions as possible: 1) To provide a solid bulkhead, the selected site should be in firm and unbroken ground. 2) To minimize the amount of work and material required and to minimize the danger of later damage to the bulkhead, the site should have as small a cross section as possible. 3) The bulkhead site should not be encumbered by interferences such as pipes, wires, ditches, wire roof supports, trash, muck piles, etc. 4) The walls and timbers of the site should be free from oil, grease, or tar that would inhibit adhesion of the sealant used on the bulkhead. 5) Unless special precautions are taken, the site should not have water seepage, standing water on the floor, or water-carrying ditches. 6) To expedite construction of the bulkhead, the site should have reasonable access to transportation, supplies, communication facilities, and compressed-air lines. 7) The site should have a reasonably level floor, allowing direction of the bulkhead door swing to be reversed at a later time if so desired. In a steeply sloping location, it may be possible to open the door in one direction only. SITE PREPARATION Once a suitable site has been selected for the bulk¬head, it must be prepared properly. All site preparation work should be completed before starting any construction work on the stopping itself. Unfavorable site conditions can be identified during the course of thepreliminary site preparation, saving time, effort, and materials that otherwise might be wasted. The follow¬ing preparation steps help assure the construction of a good stopping: 1) If wire mesh has been used at the site, a strip 457 mm (18 in.) wide should be cut and removed from the walls and roof at the selected location. 2) The exposed strip of rock should be barred down thoroughly to provide a smooth surface. 3) All obstructing materials should be removed, including old timbers, pipes, rockbolts, wires, etc. If a conduit must cross the bulkhead area, it should be located or relocated away from the floor, walls, and roof to allow a 6.28-rad (360°) seal around the juncture between the conduit and the bulkhead structure. 4) All loose muck should be cleaned from the site and a trench about 152 mm (6 in.) deep should be dug from wall to wall in the floor. The trench must be wide enough to accommodate the entire bulkhead, including the posts. 5) The rock surfaces of the walls and roof should be cleaned with a wire brush to remove as much loose surface material as possible. Thorough cleaning promotes adhesion of the bulkhead sealant to the surfaces of the walls and roof, thus promoting an airtight seal. 6) It is quite difficult to seal landing mats that cross a bulkhead. If such a crossing cannot be avoided, the bulkhead should be placed between the end and the first hole in the steel so at least one side of the bulk-head can be sealed easily and completely. That may have to be done prior to actual construction if the end is located on the opposite face from the seal coating of the bulkhead. BULKHEAD CONSTRUCTION The three principal considerations in bulkhead con¬struction are the type of bulkhead, materials to be used, and construction method to be employed. For many projects, the bulkheads are specified by the requesting agency, with no latitude for independent choice of the type, materials, or construction method. In such cases, any deviations from the specifications, for any reason, must be approved in advance by the proper department or by the project senior ventilation engineer. Types and Materials When a choice of type, materials, or method is allowed, consideration should be given to factors such as cost, required useful life, proximity to blasting concus¬sions, availability of materials, direction of permissible air leakage, and degree of airtightness required. Other factors to be considered include the amount of time available, accessibility of transportation, potential for interference with operations or production, ambient water conditions, availability of connections to com¬pressed-air lines, etc. Despite the multitude of factors to be considered, most stoppings can be analyzed easily and the proper choices can be made without much difficulty. The four common classes of bulkheads utilized in
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