Mining Publication: Continuous Mining Machine Conveyor System Sound Power Levels
Occupational hearing loss is a permanent illness with no recovery currently possible. For underground coal mine workers, Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL) continues to be a serious health issue. One of the principal and fundamental machines used in underground mining operations is also one of the loudest. Noise generated on the continuous mining machine is the result of 3 operational components: the cutting system, the dust collection system, and the onboard conveying system. During underground acoustic evaluations, the conveyor system noise was observed to be dominant. In order to more closely examine sound generated by the continuous mining machine, sound power levels were measured in a reverberation chamber at the Pittsburgh Research Laboratory (PRL). Different chain types and configurations were installed on the conveyor system, and the resulting sound power level ranged from 118 dB(A) to 108 dB(A). Noise generated by the dust collection system was also examined and found to be 107 dB(A).