Active Explosion Barrier Systems for North American Underground Coal Mines


Arend Spaeth, ExploSpot Systems Pty Ltd; Jhon Silva, The University of Kentucky Department of Mining Engineering; Laura Steeves , University of Kentucky; Inoka Eranda Perera, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)

This paper review the main concepts ruling the design, implementation and performance of active explosion barrier systems for underground coal mines in the USA. The document examines the parameters needed for the design of this type of systems, such as overpressure and flame speed, suppressant deployment speed and duration time of the active barrier. The document also discusses the available solutions for gassy mines and the concepts behind the selection of machined mounted and roadway active explosion barrier systems. The paper includes a review of active explosion barrier systems developed in the USA, and other countries, specifically South Africa. The paper provides an overview of the current status of this technology in the underground coal mining industry in the USA, and the possible implementation of such systems. The paper concludes with the identification of the future work needed for the successful implementation of the systems in several conditions to enhance the safety of underground coal mine operations and to provide more tools to the miners for their safety.