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Recovery of inflatable forms after placing cellular concrete in steeply dipping mine openings.

Miller-RE; Wright-WE
Abstract Book, U.S. Department of the Interior Conference on the Environment and Safety, April 24-28, 1995. Washington, DC: U.S. Bureau of Mines, 1995 Apr; :35
The U.S. Bureau of Mines is developing technology to reduce the hazards and costs associated with sealing abandoned mine shafts. Shafts utilizing concrete fill for a competent plug often require forms that are dangerous and expensive to install. Construction of forms within a shaft exposes workers to several dangers, including collapse of unstable ground, falls within the shaft, and possible explosive or toxic gases. Initial economic analyses revealed that the cost benefits associated with reusable inflatable forms are significantly higher than those for conventional forms. This research focuses on tasks that include: (I) placement of an inflatable form within a shaft; (2) inflation of the form; (3) the use of lightweight cellular concrete; and (4) retrieval of the inflatable for use in sealing additional mine shafts. In fiscal year 1994, half-scale laboratory testing using 1.3-m diameter inflatable forms was completed. The inflatables, acting as forms for the cellular concrete, were recovered intact through a 0.3-m diameter retrieval tube in the center of the seal. A 3.3-m diameter by 4.8-m long inflatable has been 'fabricated for a full scale seal planned for the Spring of 1995. The location selected for demonstrating this technology is an abandoned coal mine shaft near Seattle, Washington.
Concretes; Mining-industry; Mine-seals; Occupational-hazards; Mine-shafts; Occupational-exposure; Mine-disasters; Work-environment; Laboratory-testing
Publication Date
Document Type
Conference/Symposia Proceedings; Abstract
Fiscal Year
NIOSH Division
Source Name
U.S. Bureau of Mines
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division