Improved Shearer-Clearer System for Double-Drum Shearers on Longwall Faces
Description:This report describes recent improvements the Bureau of Mines made in the design of its shearer-clearer water-spray system for dust control on lonwgall shearer faces. The improvements were based on findings from a field survey of six mines and laboratory test results. The report in-cludes information on installation and use of the improved shearer-clearer system and describes a field installation and 3-week underground test of the system. The improved shearer clearer, like its predecessor, reduces dust concentrations in the shearer operator's walkway by splitting the airflow on the upwind side of the shearer and confining the dust cloud to the face side of the shearer. The improved shearer-clearer system utilizes more practical-mounting locations for the water sprays and requires less water consumption. In the underground test, the improved system maintained the clean-air split in the walkway up to 40 ft downstream from the shearer. To further improve dust suppression, cooling-water manifolds were relocated into the loading zone. The laboratory and underground tests showed that the improved shearer-clearer system and the techniques described can significantly reduce the respirable dust exposure of shearer operators from shearer-generated dust.
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