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Application of particle flow code to evaluate a concept for detecting hazardous voids in surge piles using profile scanning.
Larson MK; Iverson SR
Rock mechanics in the national interest: proceedings of the 38th U.S. Rock Mechanics Symposium, DC Rocks 2001, July 7-10, 2001, Washington, D. C. Elsworth D, Tinucci JP, Heasley KA, eds. Vol. I, Lisse, Netherlands: A. A. Balkema, 2001 Jul; 1:459-465
Researchers from the Spokane Research Laboratory of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health have used the particle flow code (PFC2D) computer program to determine whether detecting large voids in surge piles is feasible. The method is to determine profile volume - the volume calculated by determining the volume of the top surface - of the pile near a drawpoint, monitor the volume drawn, and compare the two volumes in real time to detect the formation of voids. If void formation could be detected early, a warning could alert workers of hazardous conditions. Six numerical experiments were run to simulate various conditions. Results show that when no material was added to the pile, voids could be detected by comparing real-time curves of volume scanned and volume drawn. Slopes and differences of the curves were used to detect a void. When material flowed into the area from a stacker tube, void detection was difficult. Prior knowledge of flow curve slopes and an additional indicator of flow from a stacker tube may be necessary to detect voids. An indicator of the presence of a bulldozer in the area is necessary to help identify material added to the pile.
Computer models; Monitoring systems; Monitors; Hazards; Occupational hazards; Workplace monitoring; Work environment; Mining industry; Coal mining; Simulation methods; Computer software
Elsworth D; Tinucci JP; Heasley KA
Rock mechanics in the national interest: proceedings of the 38th U.S. Rock Mechanics Symposium, DC Rocks 2001, July 7-10, 2001, Washington, D. C.
Page last reviewed: July 9, 2021
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division