Transactions of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration, Inc.
Transactions home

  SME FaceBook SME Twitter SME LinkedIn RSS Feed

Investigation of the influence of a large steel plate on the magnetic field distribution of a magnetic proximity detection system

Mining Engineering , 2018, Vol. 70, No. 6, pp. 51-56

Li, J.; DuCarme, J.; Reyes, M.; Smith, A.



A magnetic proximity detection system is mounted on a mobile mining machine to prevent underground workers from being pinned or struck by machine motion. The system generates magnetic fields around the machine to determine safe working distances. The miner-worn component measures the magnetic field in order to approximate location. Large masses of steel, such as those from mining equipment, can alter the magnetic field distribution. This affects the locational accuracy of the system, thus adversely impacting worker safety. To examine this problem, U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health researchers developed a method and test system to study the influence of a steel mass on the magnetic field distribution. The results show that a steel plate can strengthen the magnetic field perpendicular to the generator by up to 40 percent. Furthermore, they show that the degree of the influence on the field distribution is a function of distance. The results from this study can be used to further develop and improve the performance and reliability of electromagnetic proximity detection systems used in underground mining applications.