Mining Publication: Comparison of Methods: Dynamic Versus Hydrostatic Testing of Mine Ventilation Seals
From 2001 to 2007, the Pittsburgh Research Laboratory (PRL) of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) conducted studies to develop alternative methodologies to full-scale explosion testing for determining the ultimate strength of mine seals. As a result, the PRL developed and proposes an alternative seal-strength evaluation method based on a hydrostatic pressure-loading concept. The researchers suggest pressure loading a seal using water to twice the expected dynamic design load. The hydrostatic chamber test offers a means of validating seal designs, establishing appropriate resistance functions and determining the ultimate strength of seals through testing to failure. This article contrasts the full-scale explosion and hydrostatic testing of mine seals using a simple dynamic system model and principles.