Interactions and limitations of primary dust controls for continuous miners
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Interactions and limitations of primary dust controls for continuous miners

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    Laboratory tests were conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Mines to determine respirable dust reduction effectiveness of and interaction between face airflow and water sprays for a continuous miner. Increases in exhausting face ventilation from 3,000 to 9,000 cfm, in waterflow from 15 to 35 gpm, and in water nozzle operating pressure from 80 to 200 psi were evaluated. Results indicated that airflow had the greatest individual impact on reducing dust levels, with concentrations at return and operator sampling locations reduced by as much as 57% and 99%, respectively. Regression modeling was utilized to predict dust concentrations over the range of values tested for the control parameters. Interactions between the control parameters were significant and often defined an optimum level where further increases in that parameter failed to produce additional dust reductions. Increasing airflow to 8,400 cfm, waterflow to 25 gpm, and water pressure to 140 psi typically reduced dust concentrations at operator and return locations. Application of a control parameter above these levels can provide additional dust reductions if used in conjunction with appropriate levels of the other two control parameters. Otherwise, higher operator dust levels may result and can be attributed to increased rollback and/or airflow turbulence.
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