Maintenance of plastic ventilation tubing: repair methods and effectiveness


Myriam Francoeur, G+ Plastics; Alex Côté-Gagné, Wesdome Gold Mines Ltd

Plastic duct is now regularly used in Canadian underground mines for auxiliary ventilation. Its smooth walls, airtight connections, and high-impact resistance make it a well-suited tubing for extensive and long-lasting duct-fan systems. Yet, alike other vent tubing technologies, plastic tubing is subject to damage, either bumps, holes or duct uncoupling, that decreases its effectiveness. The resulting performance reduction, which translates into pressure and airflow losses, can interfere with production targets unless addressing the issue of damage. In this presentation, the authors investigate the effects of rehabilitating the performances of a damaged high-molecular-weight (HMW) polyethylene vent line installed in the exploration ramp of Wesdome’s Kiena mine. Pre- and post-repairs Pitot-traverse surveys were conducted to assess the effectiveness of the repairs by determining the pressure and airflow gains within the system. Different plastic duct repair methods are also presented.