Mining Contract: Development of Components for Breathing Escape Apparatus (DSOV)
The objective of this research is to deliver working prototypes of docking and switch-over valves that will be used in the next generation of escape breathing apparatus. These components must be designed and developed with due consideration to ease of use, compact size, durability and adaptability to selected breathing apparatus.
Contract Status & Impact
This contract is ongoing.
Following a catastrophic event, mine workers and rescue teams may be exposed to harmful gases in the mine atmosphere. Breathing air supplies (BAS) technologies are used to isolate the lungs from this atmosphere or provide refuge alternatives where the atmosphere is controlled. Breathing air supplies for underground mining refer to a range of devices and systems that offer respiratory protection to miners in the event of an emergency. Some examples of BAS are self-contained self-rescuers (SCSRs), closed-circuit oxygen breathing apparatus (CCBAs), and gas supplies for refuge alternatives. Advanced BAS technology could improve a mine worker’s chances of surviving a mine disaster.
Working prototypes are needed of docking and switch-over valves (DSOVs) that will be used in the next generation of escape breathing apparatus. These components must be designed and developed with due consideration to ease of use, compact size, durability, and adaptability to selected breathing apparatus. DSOVs would enable connection of two breathing apparatus to allow for a seamless transfer by the user from one device to the other.
Under this contract, Avon Protection Systems will produce a prototype DSOV, or prototype DSOVs of different designs, that is compact and easy to use in a mine emergency situation by minimally trained users. Avon will also provide OMSHR with a complete technical data package resulting from testing of the components. The goal of this research is to produce a technology demonstrator that could be incorporated into a breathing device able to meet the relevant requirements of CFR 42 part 84, "Approval of Respiratory Protective Devices."
As of 2014, a prototype DSOV was produced. A final report has been drafted and is expected to be approved and available by the end of 2014.