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Simulation of a methane fire event at a coal mine working face with consideration of ventilation curtain damage

Transactions of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration , 2016, Vol. 340, No. 1, pp. 120-126

Haghighat, A.; Luxbacher, K.; Lattimer, B.



?Mine face ignition due to high levels of methane is one of the most common fire incidents in underground coal mines. In continuous miner headings, depending on the magnitude of the ignition or resulting fire, auxiliary ventilation controls may be damaged or dislodged, affecting the ventilation into the area. A computational study was conducted to investigate the effects of different levels of damage to an exhausting ventilation curtain in a continuous miner heading, and the impact on ventilation to the face. The computational fluid dynamics software Fire Dynamics Simulator (FDS) Version 6.0 was used to predict the conditions that develop due to a 200-kW fire in the face following a methane ignition with different levels of assumed ventilation curtain damage. Smoke layer depth, temperature and mass flow inby the last open crosscut were used to evaluate the impact of no damage to the curtain, partially dislodged curtain, and fully removed curtain. As more of the ventilation curtain was damaged, smoke depth and temperature outby the fire increased. With the full removal of the curtain, the smoke accumulated from the last open crosscut to the face, with the ventilation completely bypassing the continuous miner region.