Service Communautaire d'Information sur la Recherche et le Développement - CORDIS

Control of dust from coal production machines

A series of frictional ignition incidents which occurred at one coalface in the UK prompted a review by British Coal of the rules governing the prevention of ignitions on longwall shearers. The new rules governing ignition prevention required specific spray arrangements to be fitted to all drums (precluding the use of vane sprays) and for the water supplies to these systems to be interlocked to guarantee correct operation where required. In addition, the new rules required the minimum operating pressures of all Extraction Drums to be raised from 65 to 103 bar to optimize their cutting zone ventilation capability. Coincidentally, such a change also doubles the dust capture efficiency of the Extraction Drum.

The project concerned: giving advise on the formulation of the new 'Codes and Rules on the Control of Frictional Ignitions on Shearers', drawing on the extensive research knowledge base built up during relevant previous research projects; further evaluation of an airflow monitoring system for extraction drums, such a system being desirable for interlock purposes. Further development work had been carried out on this system by an equipment manufacturer following previous failures during evaluation. The focus of the project was the integrated control of both dust and frictional ignitions. The work on dust control in room and pillar workings was extended to include the development of systems for dust and ignition control on new types of bolter/miner machines and work on an improved duct handling system for long, single road drivages.