Test Report On The Machine-Mounted Continuous Respirable Dust Monitor
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Test Report On The Machine-Mounted Continuous Respirable Dust Monitor
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    Proceedings of the Seventh International Mine Ventilation Congress, June 17-22, 2001, Crakow, Poland. S Wasilewski, ed., Crakow, Poland: Research & Development Center for Electrical Engineering and Automation in Mining (EMAG), 2001 Jun; :253-260
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    The machine-mounted continuous respirable dust monitor (MMCRDM) is a fixed-location area sampling device developed for possible use at the working face of an underground coal mine. This device, based on proprietary technology known as the tapered element oscillating microbalance, has evolved over the past eight years through a cooperative effort of the former Bureau of Mines, MSHA, and the Rupprecht & Patashnick Company in Albany, NY. The capability to measure respirable coal mine dust levels on a continuous basis, rather than depending solely on periodic samples obtained from the traditional coal mine dust samplers, has been a goal in the mining industry for nearly two decades. Recently, an extensive series of laboratory and underground tests was conducted by NIOSH with the cooperation of MSHA and coal operators to test the performance of the MMCRDM In preliminary laboratory testing, the MMCRDM seemed to work well. However, in every underground test, when compared to reference samplers placed close to the inlet, the MMCRDM failed to meet the 25% accuracy criterion specified in the contract under which it was developed. Two reasons explain this failure: First, in most tests the bias (the relative discrepancy between the average MMCRDM concentration and the average reference sampler concentration) was too great. Second, the variability of the samplers used for reference comparison was too large. Finally, the underground testing of the MMCRDMs showed that they are quite unreliable at this stage of development. In the majority of mine tests, no more than 10 shifts of data were taken before the MMCRDM failed to function properly. Major breakdowns, requiring the return of the MMCRDM to the factory for repairs, occurred on average every 28 days. To be considered mine-worthy, MMCRDM reliability must be substantially improved. KEYWORDS Dust, coal dust, dust instrumentation, dust sampling, dust monitoring, black lung, pneumoconiosis
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