A FIELD ASSESSMENT OF THE SIUC INNOVATIVE SPRAY SYSTEM FOR CONTINUOUS MINERS

World Mining Congress
Beginning in 2010, a scientifically-founded water spray system for continuous miners (CMs) has been in development at Southern Illinois University that significantly reduces respirable dust exposure for workers in the face area (patent pending). It includes engineered sprays around the cutting drum, outer bitring sprays, chassis sprays and side cutter boom sprays. About 3.6–4.5 m behind these sprays are additional sprays that cover the area between the CM chassis and the mine roof and ribs. The innovative spray system uses approximately the same volume of water as spray systems currently used on CMs and with similar operating pressures. The innovative spray system design also takes into consideration coal dust wettability. An Illinois mine decided to implement these concepts on a CM during the rebuild stage. Dust control performance of the rebuilt CM was evaluated using gravimetric dust sampling and real-time monitoring with multiple personal dust monitors. The average results based on gravimetric sampling of about 105 cuts show about 30 and 20% reduction in dust exposure for the miner operator and the haulage unit operator, respectively. Visibility in the mining areas was also significantly improved. Since the initial demonstration, the coal company has implemented the system on all of their operating CMs.
Keywords: Dust; Systems; Dust concentrations; Air; Sampling; Haulage; Data; Mine;
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