Combating mine fires with the aid of inflatable devices.
Conti-RS; Chasko-LL; Pro-RW
Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Fire Research and Engineering, 1997 Aug; :441-449
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Pittsburgh Research Center, conducted full-scale studies in the Lake Lynn Experimental Mine with lightweight inflatable devices that can be used for rapidly isolating underground mine fires. The inflatable feed-tube partition (IFTP) is a lightweight, rectangular inflatable bag that can be used by firefighters to rapidly close large openings (within 15 minutes), such as those in underground mines, and to simultaneously provide a feed- tube for high expansion foam generators. This allows firefighting foam to freely flow to the fire site and control or extinguish the fire. Results showed that a 2,800-L/s diesel-powered, high-expansion foam generator with the IFTP, could push a foam plug 245m through an entry 2.1m high by 5.8m wide with a 4.3 pct rise in elevation, before the foam generator failed to push the foam plug further. A second device, the positive-pressure, inflatable walk-through escape device with its "passthrough" feature, allows extra time for personnel evacuation by isolating a smoke-filled entry from fresh air. This escape device would be strategically placed in a mine entry, and then be either manually or remotely deployed during a mine fire. This device successfully isolated smoke-filled entries from fresh air, and mine personnel effectively passed through the device to fresh air or back into the smoke-filled entries. Both inflatable devices have shown merit in providing a relatively rapid method for isolation of a mine fire and for use with a foam generator for fire suppression, or for personnel escape.
Fire-extinguishing systems; Mine-fires; Fire-fighting-equipment; Escape-systems; Smoke-control; Underground-mining
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Pittsburgh Research Laboratory, Pittsburgh, PA 15236
Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Fire Research and Engineering, (ICFRE2)