Application of Model-Based Tests for Analysing The Consequences of Mine Fires
One of the most common and most dangerous hazards in underground coal mines is fire hazard. Mine fires can be exogenous or endogenous in nature. In the case of the former, a particular hazard is posed by methane fires that occur in dog headings and longwalls. Endogenous and exogenous fires are large hazard for working crew in mining headings and cause economics losses for mining plants. Mine fires result in emission of harmful chemical products and have a crucial impact on the physical parameters of the airflow. The subject of the article concerns the analysis of the consequences of methane fires in dog headings. These consequences were identified by means of model-based tests. For this purpose, a model was developed and boundary conditions were adopted to reflect the actual layout of the headings and the condition of the atmosphere in the area under analysis. The objective of the test was to determine the effects of methane fires on the chemical composition of the atmosphere and the physical parameters of the gas mixture generated in the process. The results obtained clearly indicate that fires have a significant impact on the above-mentioned values. The paper presents the distributions for the physical parameters of the resulting gas mixture and the concentration of fire gases. Moreover, it shows the distributions of temperature and oxygen concentration levels in the headings under analysis. The methodology developed for the application of model-based tests to analyse fire events in mine headings represents a new approach to the problem of investigating the consequences of such fires. It is also suitable for variant analyses of the processes related to the ventilation of underground mine workings as well as for analyses of emergency states. Model-based tests should support the assessment of the methane hazard levels and, subsequently, lead to an improvement of work safety in mines. (original abstract)
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