Mining Publication: Studying Longwall Ventilation with Physical Modeling
Original creation date: July 2018
Authors: V Gangrade, S Harteis, J Addis
Ventilation is the primary method for controlling gas and dust during longwall mining. It is not only important for controlling dust particulates, but also for maintaining permissible levels of methane. Historically, most methane-related mining disasters occurred or originated at or near the active production or development faces.
More recently, methane ignitions and explosions have occurred in mines using the longwall mining method. Therefore, designing and maintaining an efficient ventilation system for a longwall mine is of utmost importance for mine operators. However, the complex and dynamic nature of coal mine ventilation systems makes it difficult to conduct accurate and detailed field assessments.
To study longwall ventilation in a controlled environment, researchers from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) built a unique physical model called the Longwall Instrumented Aerodynamic Model (LIAM) in a laboratory on the Pittsburgh Mining Research Division (PMRD) campus.
In addition to its research applications, LIAM also serves as a dynamic tool for demonstrating longwall ventilation to mining industry stakeholders and the research community. This article discusses the development, applications and findings from LIAM.
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