Water-Swellable Polymeric Sealant Protects Salt in Potash Shafts

CIM Bulletin, 1971

S. A. PEN.CE, Senior Research Chemist, Dowell Division of The Dow Chemical Company, Tulsa, Oklahoma A. I. McCALLUM, Sales Manager, Dowell of Canada, Calgary, Alberta V. de KOROMPAY, Research Engineer, Sylvite of Canada Division, Hudson Bay Mining and Smelting Company, Ltd., Rocanville, Saskatchewan

Special salt protection rings containing a water-swell able, polymeric sealant are in successful operation in Canadian potash shafts. Installed above the Prairie Eva porite salt formation at a depth of 3,000 feet, the sealant is preventing formation water migration into the salt and pressure build-up on the concrete lining of both production and service shafts. The salt protection rings are not under the hydrostatic pressure of the formation water. The chemical sealant in use has the unique property of imbibing water and swelling. Therefore, any water at tempting to flow by the seal ring actually produces a tighter seal. The purpose of this paper is to discuss the sealant and its properties and uses. Installation of the material and its operation in two Canadian mine shafts is described.
Keywords: Canada, Hudson Bay Mining and Smelting, Prairie Evaporite, sealant, sylvite, Chemicals, formation, Installation, Pressure, Salt, Salts, Sealants, Shafts, Water, Waters