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Effectiveness Of Various Concentrations Of An Inert Gas Mixture For Preventing And Suppressing Mining Equipment Cab Fires: Development Of A Dual Cab Fire Inerting System
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    The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH/PRL) con­ducted a series of large-scale experiments to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of various concentrations of an inert gas mixture (CO2,8%;N2, 50%; Ar, 42%) for preventing and sup­pressing cab ?res. Comparison of concentrations effectiveness in yielding safe times has led to the choice of an optimum gas mixture concentration, discharged in the cab through a muf?ed nozzle system, for the development of a dual cab ?re inerting system. Of note is that safety training programs, including the synchronization of performed tasks, need to accompany this technology to enhance operator’s ef?ciency and safety during ?re emergencies within the safe times yielded by the cab ?re inerting system. Cab ?res are caused by the ignition of ?ammable vapors and mists (ball of ?re) that penetrate the cab during prolonged hydraulic ?uid and fuel ?res, and electrical malfunctions involving other cab combustible materials. Often, these ?res force the operator to exit the cab under hazardous conditions during a time needed to perform emergency tasks. Hence, it is important to provide the operator, not only with an engine fire suppression system (dry chemical powder), but also with a cab ?re protection system, effective both in preventing the ignition of ?ammable vapors in the cab, and suppressing cab material ?res.
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