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Continuous wave laser ignition thresholds of coal dust clouds.
Dubaniewicz TH; Cashdollar KL; Green GM
J Laser Appl 2003 Aug; 15(3):184-191
Laser-based instruments are used in areas where coal dust ignition presents a safety hazard. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health's Pittsburgh Research Laboratory is conducting a study to help determine when an optical beam may be considered a potential ignition source in underground coal mines or coal storage facilities. Researchers conducted experiments to determine threshold igniting powers for Pittsburgh Seam bituminous coal dust clouds using an 803-nm continuous wave laser. For fine-sized coal dust dispersed in air, concentrations ranging from 600 to 2,000 g/m3 were the most easily ignited. A heated layer of coal dust that deposited on the fiber tip during dispersion ignited the dust clouds. Minimum observed igniting powers for laser beams delivered by 200-, 400-, and 800-micrometer core fiber-optic cables and directed into coal dust clouds were 2.0, 3.0, and 5.0 W, respectively. Threshold igniting power was proportional to beam diameter, and threshold igniting power density decreased with larger fiber diameters. Ignition delay times averaged 0.6 sec and did not vary significantly with laser power under initially turbulent test conditions and with flammable targets. Comparisons are made with the results of other researchers.
Lasers; Coal dust; Underground mining; Coal mining; Fire hazards; Explosion; Ignition sources; Author Keywords: laser ignition; coal dust ignition; nonbeam hazard
NIOSH Pittsburgh Research Laboratory, P.O. Box 18070, Pittsburgh, PA 15236
Issue of Publication
Research Tools and Approaches: Control Technology and Personal Protective Equipment
Journal of Laser Applications
Page last reviewed: September 3, 2021
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division