Testing of fire-resistant conveyor belting

CIM Bulletin, Vol. 75, No. 844, 1982

FRANK J. PERZAK, Research Chemist, ELLSWORTH R. SPENCER, Physical Scientist, and MICHAEL J. SAPKO, Research Chemical Engineer, U.S. Bureau of Mines, Pittsburgh Research Center, Pittsburgh, PA

The fire resistance of several mine conveyor belts is evaluated using a new belt-flammability apparatus developed by the U.S. Bureau of Mines. The test apparatus, experimental details and a calculated flammability index (FI) are described.The FI values are useful for ranking the fire resistance of mine conveyor belts. Values are determined using parameters readily measured with thermocouples, high-temperature flow probes and a methane-oxygen torch, all of which are components of the Bureau's new test apparatus. The FI varies directly with the flame-spread rate and the rate of heat release during burning and varies inversely with the critical (minimum) ignitor energy output.The fire-resistance ranking of nine different belt types using this moderately scaled apparatus is compared with available full-scale data on belt fires. This comparison shows that the ranking based on the FI is consistent with the full-scale data.
Keywords: Conveyor belts, Belt conveyors, Fire resistance, Flammability index, Ignitors, Flame spread.