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Evaluation of a novel fire-blocking gel to prevent and suppress mine fires

Transactions of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration , 2011, Vol. 330, No. 1, pp. 350-357

Smith, A.C.; Fredley, D.C.; Lauriski, D.; Thimons, E.D.


The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and Northwest Barricade LLC (NWB) conducted a study to evaluate the effectiveness of a novel fire blocking gel for use in underground coal mines to extinguish or retard the growth of a coal fire. The gel agent was subjected to controlled laboratory testing to assess its ability to delay coal ignition. It was then evaluated to determine if manual fire hose application could be used to apply the agent to mine roofs and ribs to provide a safe egress for mine rescue teams from a fire area. The gel agent was also evaluated in a water sprinkler system to determine its potential for use in conveyor belt fire suppression systems. The agent was then tested in live-fire exercises to examine its effectiveness in retarding and extinguishing a deep-seated coal fire and wood fire. Lastly, the ability of a mine rescue team to quickly and safely apply the gel agent to a mine entry during a simulated mine fire exercise was determined.