Mining Publication: Use of Rocsil® Foam to Remotely Construct Mine Seals
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is conducting a program of research to evaluate and improve remote mine seal construction technology for mine fire control and suppression. The main focus of this work is to develop reliable technology that will remotely seal a mine opening from floor-to-roof and rib-to-rib. NIOSH, in partnership with Strata Mine Services Inc., is evaluating the capability of a two component phenolic foam-based product, called Rocsil®, that is intended for cavity filling, air and gas sealing, and consolidation of highly fractured strata. Rocsil® can be rapidly applied, has a quick cure time, a high expansion rate, good compressive resistance and excellent anti-static properties. When the resin and catalyst are mixed, an immediate foaming reaction occurs followed by rapid expansion up to 30 times the original volume. By virtue of its fire-resistance properties, Rocsil® foam has application for sealing underground mine areas undergoing heating from spontaneous combustion and it could be useful for remote mine seal construction to aid in mine fire control and suppression. This paper presents an overview of remote mine sealing technology, introduces the use of Rocsil® foam for remote mine seal installations, offers a case study of the use of this rigid foam material to remotely construct a temporary in-mine seal and discusses technology improvements.