Explosion Pressure Design Criteria for New Seals in U.S. Coal Mines

March 2007
NIOSH Docket Number 100

Seals are dam-like structures constructed in underground coal mines throughout the U.S. to isolate abandoned mining panels or groups of panels from the active workings. Historically, mining regulations required seals to withstand a 140 kPa (20 psi) explosion pressure; however, the 2006 MINER Act requires MSHA to increase this design standard by the end of 2007. This report provides a sound scientific and engineering justification to recommend a three-tiered explosion pressure design criteria for new seals in coal mines in response to the MINER Act. Much of the information contained in this report also applies to existing seals.

Materials Under Evaluation

Draft NIOSH document, “Explosion Pressure Design Criteria for New Seals in U.S. Coal Mines” by R. Karl Zipf, PhD, Michael J. Sapko, M.Sc., and Jürgen F. Brune, PhDpdf icon [PDF – 24,880 KB]

Notice of public input opportunity; 72 FR 10765; 03/09/07pdf icon [PDF – 509 KB]

Submissions from the Public in Order of Receipt

Submission to Zipf (NIOSH) from Baer (Sandia National Laboratories) – 2/1/07pdf icon [PDF – 44 KB]

Submission to Zipf (NIOSH) from Kuhl (Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory) –2/1/07pdf icon [PDF – 656 KB]

Submission to Zipf (NIOSH) from Arguello (Sandia National Laboratories) – 2/2/07pdf icon [PDF – 42 KB]

Submission to Zipf (NIOSH) from Hermuelheim (Deutsche Steinkohle) – 2/13/07pdf icon [PDF – 951 KB]

Submission to Zipf (NIOSH) from Denning (MSHA Coal Mine Safety and Health District 9) – 2/13/07pdf icon [PDF – 23 KB]

Submission to Zipf (NIOSH) from Tasillo (MSHA Technical Support) – 2/13/07pdf icon [PDF – 1,030 KB]

Submission to Zipf (NIOSH) from Wala (University of Kentucky) – 2/15/07pdf icon [PDF – 675 KB]

Submission to Zipf (NIOSH) from McNider (Jim Walter Resources) – 2/16/07pdf icon [PDF – 1,240 KB]

Submission to NIOSH Docket Office from Worthington (Sick Maihak) – 2/22/07pdf icon [PDF – 3,430 KB]

Submission to Zipf (NIOSH) from Hansen (GexCon AS) – 2/27/07pdf icon [PDF – 1,040 KB]

Submission to Zipf (NIOSH) from Heuze (Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory – 2/28/07pdf icon [PDF – 314 KB]

Submission to Zipf (NIOSH) from Sherer (MSHA Coal Mine Safety and Health – 2/28/07pdf icon [PDF – 50,310 KB]

Submission to NIOSH Docket Office from Campoli (Minova USA, Inc.) – 03/06/07pdf icon [PDF – 47 KB]

Submission to Zipf (NIOSH) from Schiefelbein (AngloCoal) – 03/06/07pdf icon [PDF – 414 KB]

Submission to Zipf (NIOSH) from Lyne (Queensland Mines Inspectorate, Australia) – 03/08/07pdf icon [PDF – 2,380 KB]

Submission to NIOSH Docket Office from Lusk (University of Kentucky) – 03/08/07pdf icon [PDF – 200 KB]

Submission to Zipf (NIOSH) from Harvey (AngloCoal) – 03/09/07pdf icon [PDF – 973 KB]

Submission to Zipf (NIOSH) from Conaway (Arch Coal, Inc.) – 03/10/07pdf icon [PDF – 59 KB]

Submission to Zipf (NIOSH) from Grayson (University of Missouri) – 3/11/07pdf icon [PDF – 2,660 KB]

Submission to Zipf (NIOSH) from Dyduch (Central Mining Research Institute) – 03/12/07pdf icon [PDF – 1,340 KB]

Submission to Zipf (NIOSH) from Bessinger (San Juan Coal Company) – 03/12/07pdf icon [PDF – 142 KB]

Submission to Zipf (NIOSH) from Gillies (The Mineserve Group) – 03/13/07pdf icon [PDF – 2,910 KB]

Submission to Zipf (NIOSH) from Beerbower (Peabody Energy Co.) – 03/13/07pdf icon [PDF – 4,810 KB]

Submission to Guturnca (NIOSH) from Skiles (MSHA Technical Support) – 03/13/07pdf icon [PDF – 9,120 KB]

Submission to Zipf (NIOSH) from Spearing (Excel Mining Systems, Inc.) – 03/14/07pdf icon [PDF – 1,080 KB]

Submission to NIOSH Docket Office from Watzman (National Mining Association) – 03/14/07pdf icon [PDF – 26,230 KB]

Submission to Zipf (NIOSH) from Esterhuizen (NIOSH/PRL) – 03/16/07pdf icon [PDF – 3,810 KB]

Submission to Zipf (NIOSH) from Barbee (International Union of Operating Engineers) – 03/26/07pdf icon [PDF – 1,270 KB]

Submission to NIOSH Docket Office from Baker (United Mine Workers of America) – 04/18/07pdf icon [PDF – 2,310 KB]

Submission to ZIpf (NIOSH) from Wieland (Uncertainty Ink) – 04/24/07pdf icon [PDF – 743 KB]

Compilation of reviews and responses to the reviews from Karl Zipf (NIOSH) – 05/01/07pdf icon [PDF – 5,190 KB]

Final NIOSH document, “Explosion Pressure Design Criteria for New Seals in U.S. Coal Mines” by R. Karl Zipf, PhD, Michael J. Sapko, M.Sc., and Jürgen F. Brune, PhD; 05/25/07pdf icon [PDF – 8,415 KB]

Page last reviewed: July 6, 2010