Mining Publication: Some Relevant Parameters for Assessing Fire Hazards of Combustible Mine Materials Using Laboratory Scale Experiments

Original creation date: April 2018

Authors: C Litton, I Perera, S Harteis, K Teacoach, M Derosa, R Thomas, A Smith

Peer Reviewed Journal Article - April 2018

NIOSHTIC2 Number: 20051068

Fuel 2018 Apr; 218:306-315

When combustible materials ignite and burn, the potential for fire growth and flame spread represents an obvious hazard, but during these processes of ignition and flaming, other life hazards present themselves and should be included to ensure an effective overall analysis of the relevant fire hazards. In particular, the gases and smoke produced both during the smoldering stages of fires leading to ignition and during the advanced flaming stages of a developing fire serve to contaminate the surrounding atmosphere, potentially producing elevated levels of toxicity and high levels of smoke obscuration that render the environment untenable. In underground mines, these hazards may be exacerbated by the existing forced ventilation that can carry the gases and smoke to locations far-removed from the fire location. Clearly, materials that require high temperatures (above 1400 K) and that exhibit low mass loss during thermal decomposition, or that require high heat fluxes or heat transfer rates to ignite represent less of a hazard than materials that decompose at low temperatures or ignite at low levels of heat flux. In order to define and quantify some possible parameters that can be used to assess these hazards, small-scale laboratory experiments were conducted in a number of configurations to measure: 1) the toxic gases and smoke produced both during non-flaming and flaming combustion; 2) mass loss rates as a function of temperature to determine ease of thermal decomposition; and 3) mass loss rates and times to ignition as a function of incident heat flux. This paper describes the experiments that were conducted, their results, and the development of a set of parameters that could possibly be used to assess the overall fire hazard of combustible materials using small scale laboratory experiments.

Cover image for Some Relevant Parameters for Assessing Fire Hazards of Combustible Mine Materials Using Laboratory Scale Experiments
Peer Reviewed Journal Article - April 2018

NIOSHTIC2 Number: 20051068

Fuel 2018 Apr; 218:306-315


Page last reviewed: 8/30/2018 Page last updated: 8/30/2018