Respirable Dust Sources and Controls on Continuous Auger Mining Sections
Description:The U.S. Bureau of Mines identified respirable dust sources and controls on four continuous auger mining sections, two with relatively low dust levels and two with high levels. Factors adversely affecting dust levels included auger equipment design, continuous haulage, and low seam height. Dust controls included ventilation practices and spray systems. Maximizing airflow seemed to reduce dust levels most. Air leakage and shock loss can be reduced by constructing stoppings with brushed-on mortar containing fiberglass and by keeping areas between curtains and ribs free from obstructions and storing equipment not essential for face activities in outby crosscuts. Curtain configuration, setback distance, and installation can also affect dust levels. Use of both blowing and exhausting curtains is the most effective configuration. Setbacks from the face should not exceed 15 ft. Installing brattice curtains at least 5.5 ft from ribs, when entries are 26 ft wide, minimizes velocity head. Installing curtains tightly against the mine roof and floor helps maintain a forward airflow movement in the center of the mine heading; curtain overlap can create a tighter seal. The wet-auger spray system also effectively controls dust, provided the mine is already exercising good ventilation practices.
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