Mining Project: Improving Underground Coal Mine Sealing Strategies
To eliminate disasters from gas explosions within sealed areas of coal mines through improved engineering of the complete sealing process and better education of the mining workforce.
This project addressed specific research goals to assist the mining community in meeting the seal requirements of the new MSHA Final Rule for sealing of abandoned areas. NIOSH researchers identified the following research aims:
- Understanding of explosive mixture accumulation and explosion pressures in sealed areas.
- Engineering procedures for sealing abandoned areas.
- Systems to monitor and control methane accumulation within sealed areas.
To reach these aims, project researchers produced two related outputs during the course of this research project:
- "Comprehensive Engineering Manual for Sealing Abandoned Areas of Coal Mines"
- a stream of conference papers and peer-reviewed journal articles.
This project fulfilled a mandate of the MINER Act of 2006 to increase the design standard for coal mine seals. The completion of this project has provided the coal industry with better engineering tools to meet the new seal standards.
- Compendium of Structural Testing Data for 20-psi Coal Mine Seals
- Designs for Rapid in Situ Sealing
- Designs for Rapid In-Situ Sealing
- Evaluation of Explosion-Resistant Seals, Stoppings, and Overcast for Ventilation Control in Underground Coal Mining
- Experimental Mine and Laboratory Dust Explosion Research at NIOSH
- Explosion Pressure Design Criteria for New Seals in U.S. Coal Mines
- Passive Mine Blast Attenuators Constructed of Rock Rubble for Protecting Ventilation Seals
- Progress Toward Improved Engineering of Seals and Sealed Areas of Coal Mines
- Structural Analysis and Design of Seals for Coal Mine Safety
- Use of Ground Penetrating Radar and Schmidt Hammer Tests to Determine the Structural Integrity of a Mine Seal