July 2019
Volume 71    Issue 7

Evaluation of roof bolter canopy air curtain effects on airflow and dust dispersion in an entry using blowing curtain ventilation

Zheng, Y.; Reed, W.R.; Shahan, W.R.; Rider, J.P.

Full-text paper:
Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration, https://doi.org/10.1007/s42461-019-0070-x

Roof bolter operators may be exposed to high respirable dust concentrations on continuous miner sections with blowing face ventilation when bolting is performed downwind of the continuous miner. One solution to reduce the high respirable dust concentrations is to use a canopy air curtain (CAC) to deliver clean air from a filtered blower fan directly to the bolter operators under the canopies. The influence of CAC installation on the airflow and dust dispersion around the location of the roof bolter operator can be evaluated by using computational fluid dynamics (CFD). 

   This study, performed by the U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), considers two scenarios: (1) a roof bolting machine in the center of the entry for installation of the fifth row of bolts from the face, and (2) a roof bolting machine positioned close to the face for the installation of the last row of bolts. In both scenarios, the bolting machine is placed in an environment which contains 6.0 mg/m3 of respirable dust and is ventilated by a blowing curtain with 1.42 m3/s (3,000 cfm) of air. This environment is used to simulate the roof bolter machine operating downstream of a continuous mining machine. Two operation positions are simulated at the same bolting location: dual drill heads in the inward position for two inside bolts; and dual drill heads in the outward position for two outside bolts. The influence of the CAC on airflows and dust dispersion is evaluated with the CAC operating at 0.12 m3/s (250 cfm). 


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