Mining Contract: Evaluation and Testing of Pressure Relief Valves (PRVs) for Refuge Alternatives Subjected to Explosive Forces

This page is archived for historical purposes and is no longer being maintained or updated.
Contract # 75D30118C01230
Start Date 9/9/2018
End Date 9/5/2020
Research Concept

This research will offer insight into the survivability and reliability of pressure relief valves on refuge alternatives when subjected to explosive forces.

Contract Status & Impact

This contract is complete. To receive a copy of the final report, send a request to

Research to date by NIOSH suggests that the design and the implementation of refuge alternatives (RA) pressure relief valves (PRVs) have not yet had sufficient performance analysis. No testing has been performed on PRVs to study their behavior when subjected to 103 kPa (15 psi) impulse overpressure. Also, PRV survivability and valve design reliability have not been addressed. The proposed project is focusing on RA PRV survivability evaluation and analysis through physical testing and numerical modeling of different valve designs under explosive conditions.

This contract with the University of Kentucky will research the survivability of PRVs commonly used in Built-In-Place (BIP) and self-contained mobile unit RAs through physical testing and numerical modeling. The research will also explore the use of other commercially available valves such as blast valves (used in reinforced underground shelters) and its applicability to RAs when subject to overpressure waveforms typical of methane/coal dust explosions.

Page last reviewed: December 17, 2021
Page last updated: December 17, 2021