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Evaluation of the Use of Foam for Dust Control on Face Drills and Crushers.

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The increasing concern for dust control in metal and nonmetal mining prompted the Bureau of Mines to investigate the dust suppression technique of applying foam to face drilling and crushing operations in a gypsum mine. Previous attempts to achieve effective dust control on face drills using other techniques, such as dry collection and boom-mounted external water sprays, have not been successful. The largest problem encountered when using these techniques has been the lack of sustained effective dust capture at the face. Results for two faces studied show that injection of the foam through the drill steel provided an average dust reduction of 95 pct. However, the use of foam on the crusher provided no dust reduction at the operator's position (because of good local ventilation) and a 27-pct average dust reduction for two feeders at a location midway between the operator's position and the crusher. The conclusions obtained from this study are that (1) foam can be an extremely effective dust control technique when used on localized dust sources such as dust generated within a blasthole during drilling, and (2) foam is only marginally effective as a dust control technique when used on nonlocalized dust sources such as dust generated during the feeder-and-crusher operation.
Publication Date
Document Type
IH; Report of Investigations
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
RI 8595
NIOSH Division
Source Name
Page last reviewed: October 29, 2021
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division