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Mining Contract: New Vest Style Escape SCSR Through SCSR Efficiency Improvement Study

Contract DetailValue
Contract #12FED1213244
Start Date6/1/2012
Research Concept

This effort is to investigate efficiency improvements for pure oxygen breathing apparatus used by miners in emergencies, namely SCSRs, and to develop an improved ergonomically designed SCSR.

Program Areas

Contract Status & Impact

The objective of the project is to develop a Vest Style Mine Escape SCSR by studying and adapting the efficiency enhancements that can be applied to existing SCSRs. During the first year of funding, the efficiency of current SCSR’s oxygen dosing system will be improved by incorporating electronic and/or mechanical ventilation-linked, dosing valve control designs into a hybrid prototype using existing mining SCSRs as a test platform. Then, a one-hour duration vest- style SCSR prototype will be developed for mine escape. The Vest design will run concurrent with the SCSR efficiency improvement following a delayed start of a couple of months, and extend into the second year of the project.

NEDU would manage selected sub-contractors in collaboration with NIOSH and guide the development of a one-hour vest-style escape SCSR specifically for use by miners. Both unmanned and manned performance testing of the resultant prototype according to 4 2CFR Part 84 Subpart O rules will be performed focusing on the performance and capacity characteristics of this design.

The SCSR efficiency improvement will be by reducing the oxygen consumption rate (and therefore improve gas duration) during rest from the currently wasteful constant flow rate, and also allow the wearer to safely increase oxygen flow during exercise without requiring tiring "respiratory pulling" on the demand valve. This would involve 1) electronic and mechanical design, 2) mechanical and electrical fabrication, and 3) unmanned and manned testing of the ventilation-linked control device.

The project would consist of the following tasks.

Task 1 – Obtain and conduct performance tests on the Ocenco M20 (or M20.2), CSE SRLD and Draeger OxyK6000 Self-Contained Self Rescuers to establish baseline metabolic performance measures. Identify areas of efficiency improvement of these devices.

Task 2 – Develop a preliminary design specification for a one-hour Vest Style SCSR.

Task 3 – Design and build mechanical ventilation control valve/s in order to improve the oxygen consumption.

Task 4 – Design and build an electronic ventilation control system for oxygen dosage.

Task 5 – Initiate a contract for design and manufacture of a very high pressure (>= 7,500psi) one-hour cylinder certified to DOT regulations.

Task 6 – Integrate electronic and mechanical control components with one or more of the selected SCSRs to form "hybrid" test platforms.

Task 7 – Conduct unmanned and manned tests to determine the efficiency improvement of all metabolic parameters provided by the hybrid test platforms.

Task 8 – Modify test platform system components for improvement if necessary and re-test as per Task 7.

Task 9 – Analyze the results generated and knowledge gained after Task 8 and develop an updated design specification for the vest style SCSR that incorporates these efficiencies in the design as appropriate.

Task 10 – Prepare an Interim Report with results and recommendations for improvement of all or any of the SCSRs identified in task 1.

Task 11 – Produce engineering drawings of the general assembly and sub-components with enough detail for manufacturing the vest prototype.

Task 12 – Design and build a special CO2 canister that can fit ergonomically into the vest style SCSR.

Task 13 – Procure remaining parts and components to build vest prototype.

Task 14 – Produce one Vest Style SCSR prototype with target duration of one-hour use.

Task 15 – Conduct unmanned and manned performance and capacity tests of the prototype provided in Task 12 according to 42 CFR84 subpart O.

Task 16 – Modify the vest style SCSR for improvement if necessary and re-test as per task 15.

Task 17 – Prepare a Final Report on the Vest Style SCSR including performance test results, conclusions and recommendations.

Task 18 – Deliver three (3) vest style SCSRs of the modified design from Task 14 for validation testing at NIOSH.

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