Evaluation of smoke and gas sensor responses for fires of common mine combustibles.
Perera IE; Litton CD
2012 SME Annual Meeting, February 19-22, Seattle, Washington, preprint 12-026. Englewood, CO: Society of Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration, Inc., 2012 Feb; :134-140
Experiments were conducted to evaluate the response characteristics of commercially available gas, smoke, and flame sensors to fires of common combustible mine materials. The experiments were conducted in the large-scale Fire gallery located at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Lake Lynn Laboratory (LLL) in Fairchance, Pennsylvania, using Ponderosa Pine, Red Oak, Douglas-fir, high and low volatile coals, PVC and SBR conveyor belt, No. 2 diesel fuel, and diesel exhaust. All the experiments (except those using No. 2 diesel fuel and the diesel exhaust tests) were conducted in a similar manner, with combustible materials heated rapidly by electrical strip heaters producing smoldering fires that quickly transitioned into flaming fires. The sensors included a diffusion-type carbon monoxide (CO) sensor, photoelectric- and ionization-type smoke sensors, a video smoke/flame detector, and an optical flame detector. Simultaneous measurements were obtained for average gas concentrations, smoke mass concentrations, and smoke optical densities in order to quantify the levels of combustion products at the alert and alarm times of the sensors. Because the required sensor alarm levels are 10 ppm and 0.044 m-1optical density for CO and smoke sensors, respectively, the different sensor alarms are compared to the time at which the CO and smoke reached these alarm levels (1). In addition, the potential impact of using smoke sensors that have met the performance standards from accredited testing laboratories is also evaluated using the response of an Underwriters' Laboratory (UL)-approved combination photoelectric/ionization smoke detector. The results are discussed relative to fire sensor needs that can have a positive impact on mine fire safety.
Mining-industry; Underground-mining; Mine-fires; Mine-gases; Warning-devices; Warning-signals; Gas-detectors; Gas-indicators; Gases; Coal-gas; Combustibility; Combustible-gases; Combustible-materials; Combustion-gases; Combustion-products; Fire-hazards; Fire-prevention; Fire-safety; Flammable-gases; Laboratory-testing; Diesel-emissions; Diesel-exhausts; Fuels; Materials-testing; Testing-equipment; Detectors; Electronic-devices; Reaction-rates; Equipment-reliability; Standards; Chemical-reactions
2012 SME Annual Meeting, February 19-22, Seattle, Washington, preprint 12-026