NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search

Fire hazard of conveyor belts.

Mitchell-DW; Murphy-EM; Smith-AF; Polack-SP
Pittsburgh, PA: U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Mines, RI 7053, 1967 Dec; :1-14
The fire hazard of neoprene, polyvinyl chloride, and rubber conveyor belts was studied at the Federal Bureau of Mines Experimental Coal Mine. The effects of intensity of ignition source, velocity of the ventilating air, and type of belt were investigated at three levels in small-scale gallery experiments. Studies were made in the mine on the effects on ignition and flame propagation of belt-entry dimensions, belt widths, and belt configuration. Methods for extinguishing belt fires were also investigated under simulated mining conditions, and during these trials coal dust and grease were placed on the belt. The research showed that conveyor belts will burn. Neoprene, polyvinyl chloride, and rubber belts, with and without carcass, ignited and propagated flame. The highest rate of flame propagation was obtained on rubber belt. The fire hazard increased with increase in intensity of ignition source and air velocity. Flame propagated only when air was forced through the test zone; propagation was not obtained when forced ventilation was not used, as would exist in a neutral entry in a mine. Automatic water sprays and high-expansion foam effectively arrested flame propagation; direct application of water and bicarbonate dusts was ineffective.
Mining-industry; Underground-mining; Coal-mining; Mining-equipment; Mine-fires; Mine-disasters; Ventilation; Fire-extinguishing-agents; Fire-extinguishing-systems; Fire-fighting; Fire-prevention; Fire-retardants
Publication Date
Document Type
Report of Investigations
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
NIOSH Division
Source Name
Pittsburgh, PA: U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Mines, RI 7053
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division