New Developments in Mine Ventilation

Kissell, Fred N.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 6
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1982
INTRODUCTION During the last few years, several new ventilation developments have attracted the interest of mining engi¬neers. Some of these developments are applicable pri¬marily to hard-rock mining, while others are more applicable to coal mining. STOPPINGS Parachute Stopping The parachute stopping is a new type of quick-erect stopping that is intended for temporary use in hard-rock mines (Kissell, Thimons, and Vinson, 1975). As shown in Fig. 1, the stopping is shaped very much like an ordinary parachute, with a canopy of impermeable fabric that is sewn to regularly spaced straps running to a common point. To erect the stopping, the straps are attached to a fixed anchor point such as a roof bolt, and the edge of the canopy is lifted into the moving air¬stream. The airstream pops the parachute canopy into place, and the differential air pressure across the stop¬ping holds it in place, forcing the fabric against the walls, roof, and floor of the mine opening. The principal advantage of the parachute stopping is that it requires only a few minutes to install, making it a great time-saver for emergency use or for day-to¬day changes in ventilation during the production cycle. However, the parachute stopping does require some minimum air velocity to lift it and some minimum differential pressure to hold it in place. For a fabric weighing 0.27 kg/ m2 (8.0 oz per sq yd), the minimum air velocity is about 0.5 m/s (100 fpm), and the mini¬mum differential pressure is about 0.05 kPa [0.2 in. water gage (WG) ]. There is always some air leakage around the stop¬ping, mainly depending upon the extent to which pipes or other obstructions encumber the airway and prevent good sealing. Leakage of a few cubic meters per second (a few thousand cubic feet per minute) can be expected, unless foam is used to improve the seal at the edges of the canopy. Quick-Fix Blowout Stopping The quick-fix blowout stopping is a variation of the parachute stopping (Thimons and Kissell, 1976), and it is used in the proximity of blasting operations. This type of stopping is designed to be blown out easily by the blast forces, and it may be reinstalled quickly and easily. The long high-strength straps of the parachute stopping are replaced by groups of short straps that tear easily. These straps are attached at six equally spaced locations around the perimeter of the canopy. To erect the stopping, one strap of each of the six groups is fastened to the mine wall, roof, and floor by using spads, by setting pins with a powder-actuated gun, or by tying the straps to some firm anchor point. Once the straps have been attached, the differential air pressure across the stopping, which must be at least 0.025 kPa (0.1 in. WG), forces the stopping perimeter against the mine walls, thus creating the air seal. It is the self-sealing feature of this stopping that makes it a significant time-saver. Only a few attachment points are needed; in many cases, four attachment points are sufficient, since the stopping naturally tends to form a seal with the airway surfaces. When nearby produc¬tion blasting exerts excessive forces on the stopping, one or more of the straps tears away from its attachment point, protecting the stronger canopy from damage. Damage-Resistant Brattice The damage-resistant brattice is a stopping that is designed for use in mines such as salt and limestone mines where the differential pressures are low and the roof is relatively flat. As shown in Fig. 2, the damage-resistant brattice consists of a series of brattice panels that are hung vertically and joined by Velcro® connections. When the brattice is subjected to strong blast forces, the Velcro® connection peels apart and allows the panels to open without incurring damage. The Velcro® connections can be resealed by hand within a matter of minutes. Such damage-resistant brattices have withstood the blast effects of 318 kg (700 lb) of ammonium nitrate-fuel oil (ANFO) explosive detonated as close as 91 m (300 ft) from the brattice. Ordinary brattice cloth is used for the panels, with a 51-mm (2-in.) wide strip of Velcro® hooks sewn along one edge of the length, and a 51-mm (2-in.) wide strip of Velcro® pile sewn along the other edge. Both the hooks and the pile are sewn onto the same side of the brattice cloth. The resulting Velcro® seal formed be¬tween adjacent panels is perpendicular to the brattice itself, and the leading edge of the seal can be directed either toward or away from the blast forces; the brattice works equally well in either case. To hang the brattice, panels of brattice cloth about 0.9 m (3 ft) longer than the height of the airway are cut from a 1.8-m (6-ft) wide roll. The additional 0.9 m (3 ft) of brattice cloth allows 0.3 m (1 ft) for attachment to the roof by means of a board, with 0.6 m (2 ft) for forming a good air seal at the floor. Each brattice panel is wrapped once or twice around a 51 X 102 mm (2 X 4 in.) or 25 X 76 mm (1 X 3 in.) mounting board that is 254 to 305 mm (10 to 12 in.) shorter than the width of the panel. For convenience in
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