Mining Publication: Experimental and Modeling Investigation of the Effect of Ventilation on Smoke Rollback in a Mine Entry
Diesel fuel fire experiments were conducted in NIOSH's Pittsburgh Research Laboratory's (PRL) Safety Research Coal Mine (SRCM) to determine the critical air velocity for preventing smoke rollback. Such information is necessary for the preplanning and implementation of ventilation changes during mine fire fighting and rescue operations. The fire intensity varied from 50kW to 300kW depending upon the fuel tray area. Airflow in the 2 m high and 2.9 m wide coal mine entry was regulated during the course of each experiment; measured upwind from the fire as an average over the entry cross-section with an ultrasonic airflow sensor; and recorded dynamically with a mine monitoring system. The extent of smoke reversal was monitored with light obscuration monitors, ionization smoke sensors, and visual observations. Experimental results for the critical air velocity for smoke reversal as a function of fire intensity compared very well with model predictions based upon a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) fire dynamics simulator.