Mining Publication: Designs for Rapid In-Situ Sealing
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), Pittsburgh Research Laboratory (PRL), in collaboration with the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), the mining industry, and seal manufacturers recently conducted a series of full-scale experiments within the underground experimental mine at PRL's Lake Lynn Laboratory. The purpose of the experiments was to evaluate the explosion-resistant characteristics of several new seal designs for rapid deployment during mine emergencies. These seals can be deployed in 6 to 10 hr and are capable of withstanding explosion overpressures in excess of 140 kPa (20 psi). These novel seal designs use available mine materials, do not require conventional rib hitching, and, most importantly, can substantially reduce exposure time for coal miners during sealing and mine recovery operations.