Loose rock detection with infrared thermography

CIM Bulletin, Vol. 83, No. 937, 1990

T.R. Yu, J.G. Henning, and J.E. Croxall, Kidd Creek Division, Falconbridge Ltd.

Test work was carried out to investigate the thermal response of loose and solid rock under varying environmental conditions. The primary interest was to develop a technique that could be used to increase the thermal variation between loose and solid rock for better detectability of loose rock underground with a thermal imaging infrared scanner. A variety of thermal enhancement methods were evaluated both in the laboratory and in the mine environment. A ir temperature variation created by the exhaust from diesel driven, mobile mining machinery was studied in detail. When sufficient hot exhaust was supplied to the air, unsteady thermal conditions became more pronounced on the rock surf ace. This allowed a greater percentage of loose rock to be detected by a high-resolution infrared scanner within minutes. The degree of thermal enhancement of loose rock was found to be dependent directly on the thermal conductivity of rock, looseness, air temperature change, and inversely on the size of loose, airflow rate and distance downwind from the heat source.
Keywords: Underground mining, Infrared thermography, Thermal imaging.