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Modified shearer clearer system for dust and methane control.

Cecala AB; Jayaraman NI
Longwall USA International Exhibition and Conference, June 8-10, 1993, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Aurora, CO: Maclean Hunter Presentations, Inc., 1993 Jun; :251-265
The shearer clearer system was designed, tested, and proven to be effective at lowering shearer operator dust exposures during the mid-80's by the U.S. Bureau of Mines. This technique uses a series of water sprays positioned on the shearer body and splitter-arms. These water sprays not only knock down a portion of the dust cloud generated during cutting but also act as small fans that move a substantial amount of air and keep the dust cloud from dispersing over the shearer body and contaminating the operators. At a number of operations, shearer operator respirable dust exposure levels have been lowered approximately 50 to 60 pct using this technique. Because of the air moving capabilities of this technique, the Bureau of Mines believed that a modified version could also be effective to lower methane levels around the shearer, thus reducing the likelihood of a shearer-generated methane ignition. Two additional spray blocks were added to the system to provide for improved air movement around both cutting drums. A laboratory study performed with the modified version in a full-scale longwall gallery resulted in a 73 pct reduction in methane concentrations at the shearer machine for both cut directions. There have been a number of longwalls that have implemented modified shearer clearer systems over the past few years. Although there has been no detailed field analysis on these systems to statistically provide a percent reduction in methane levels on the machine using the technique, all indications are that the system is effective for both dust and methane control. The air moving capabilities of the system provide more turbulence at the cutting drums and reduce methane levels. The intent of this report is to provide a detailed description of the modified shearer clearer system. Engineering drawings are provided for all major components of this system to assist operators who may be interested in installing it at their operation.
Mining; Mining industry; Underground mines; Underground mining; Engineering controls; Dust control; Dust control equipment; Mining equipment
Publication Date
Document Type
Conference/Symposia Proceedings
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
OP 145-93
NIOSH Division
Source Name
Longwall USA International Exhibition and Conference, June 8-10, 1993, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Page last reviewed: October 1, 2021
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division