Methane explosions are among the greatest hazards in the Polish coal mining industry and unfortunately continue to cause many catastrophes. The constant growth of the depth of coal exploitation in the conditions of the high concentration of mining causes the increase of absolute methane content and methane seam pressure from the mined seams. This situation directly affects the increase in the level of methane hazard in the underground work environment. It is therefore obvious to undertake intensive research that will allow for the development of appropriate solutions that help to exclude the risk of mining catastrophes resulting from the ignition and/or methane explosion. In addition to the development of methane hazard prevention methods, an indispensable element of this approach is a very accurate identification of the mechanisms of the combustion and explosion of this gas. The article presents the method of investigation and examples of results of methane explosions carried out in the 400 m experimental gallery of the Experimental Mine “Barbara” of the Central Mining Institute – the only large scale underground experimental facility in Europe. A n analysis has been performed of the influence of the methane release into mining workings on the distribution of the gas concentration and on the course of its explosion or combustion. The data collected characterizes thermodynamic phenomena that form the basis for determining the level of the explosion hazard. Large scale studies have also allowed to assess the risk of conditions that are sufficient for the development of a coal dust explosion initiated by methane explosions. The large scale of the experiments and the system of continuous recording of the course of the experiments allowed the specific characteristics of the methane explosion and burning in underground mining workings to be identified and isolated. For the first time, the course of experiments was recorded via a camera system deployed along the gallery.
Waterproof lime dust used in coal mines is an important element in the system of protection against explosions. This is one of the oldest methods used to prevent coal dust explosions and, according to an expert’s opinion, it will remain so for a long time. T he work is a summary of research on the development of a new method of producing waterproof limestone dust to use it as an anti-explosive powder in coal mines. The typical method of hydrophobic dust production (milling limestone with stearic acid) is no longer profitable due to the restructuring of the mining industry. The main research was conducted on raw materials traditionally used during the production of anti-explosion powder, namely limestone meal with a grain size diameter equal to 80 μm (Czatkowice Limestone Quarry) and stearic acid as a modifier. Silicone preparation and bituminous preparation (Bitumenovoranstrich) were used as additional modifiers. The hydrophobization process was conducted with the use of different techniques: from stearic acid ether solution, from stearic acid vapor, from methyl silicone resin or bituminous preparation solutions. A series of research on modified powders to determine hydrophobization and flow properties was conducted. Depending on method of hydrophobization, the test of “floating on water”, the extraction of stearic acid was carried out, water contact angles on compacted material were determined, the thermal decomposition of powder was made. The increase in moisture after wet storage was indicated. The flow properties of powders were measured with the use of the Powder Characteristics Tester. The evaluation of the suitability of each hydrophobization methods in achieving the intended purpose was valued.
Gas bubbles in the ocean are produced by breaking waves, rainfall, methane seeps, exsolution, and a range of biological processes including decomposition, photosynthesis, respiration and digestion. However one biological process that produces particularly dense clouds of large bubbles, is bubble netting. This is practiced by several species of cetacean. Given their propensity to use acoustics, and the powerful acoustical attenuation and scattering that bubbles can cause, the relationship between sound and bub-ble nets is intriguing. It has been postulated that humpback whales produce ‘walls of sound’ at audio frequencies in their bubble nets, trapping prey. Dolphins, on the other hand, use high frequency acous-tics for echolocation. This begs the question of whether, in producing bubble nets, they are generating echolocation clutter that potentially helps prey avoid detection (as their bubble nets would do with man-made sonar), or whether they have developed sonar techniques to detect prey within such bubble nets and distinguish it from clutter. Possible sonar schemes that could detect targets in bubble clouds are proposed, and shown to work both in the laboratory and at sea. Following this, similar radar schemes are proposed for the detection of buried explosives and catastrophe victims, and successful laboratory tests are undertaken.
Detection of explosives vapors is an extremely difficult task. The sensitivity of currently constructed detectors is often insufficient. The paper presents a description of an explosive vapors concentrator that improves the detection limit of some explosives detectors. These detectors have been developed at the Institute of Optoelectronics. The concentrator is especially dedicated to operate with nitrogen oxide detectors. Preliminary measurements show that using the concentrator, the recorded amount of nitrogen dioxide released from a 0.5 ng sample of TNT increases by a factor of approx. 20. In the concentrator an induction heater is applied. Thanks to this and because of the miniaturization of the container with an adsorbing material (approx. 1 cm3), an extremely high rate of temperature growth is achieved (up to 500 °C within approx. 25 s). The concentration process is controlled by a microcontroller. Compact construction and battery power supply provide a possibility of using the concentrator as a portable device.
From all the detonation parameters of explosives, “strength” – the capability to perform work is the most important for the user. The detonation of explosives in the blast hole is a quick and complicated process: first there is a detonation pressure causing the crushing of the rock in the vicinity of the explosive, then the pressure of the detonation products causes the cracking of the rock. The article presents the methods of determining the capability to perform work by explosives for civil use (dynamite and ANFO) used in the accredited Laboratory of Explosives and Electric Detonators Testing of the Experimental Mine “Barbara” of the Central Mining Institute – the lead block (Trauzl) method and the ballistic pendulum method. The aim of the research was to determine the relationship between the values of the capability to perform the work received in a ballistic pendulum method and a lead block method. As a result of the performed tests and the analysis of the results, the α-Pb coefficient was determined, which can be used to convert the value of the capability to perform work on the ballistic pendulum to the corresponding value of the capability to perform work in the lead block. At present, the Central Mining Institute is the only Notified Body of the European Union in the scope of Directive 2014/28 /EU, which has a station for smelting lead blocks and equipment and for determining the capability to perform work by explosives in lead blocks – this method was abandoned in other research units for testing with a ballistic pendulum and/or underwater test.
The vapour pressure of most explosives is very low. Therefore, the explosive trace detection is very difficult. To overcome the problem, concentration units can be applied. At the Institute of Optoelectronics MUT, an explosive vapour concentration and decomposition unit to operate with an optoelectronic sensor of nitrogen dioxide has been developed. This unit provides an adsorption of explosive vapours from the analysed air and then their thermal decomposition. The thermal decomposition is mainly a chemical reaction, which consists in breaking up compounds into two or more simple compounds or elements. During the heating process most explosive particles, based on nitro aromatics and alkyl nitrate, release NO2 molecules and other products of pyrolysis. In this paper, the most common methods for the NO2 detection were presented. Also, an application of the concentration and decomposition unit in the NO2 optoelectronic sensor has been discussed.
To investigate the effect of different proximate index on minimum ignition temperature(MIT) of coal dust cloud, 30 types of coal specimens with different characteristics were chosen. A two-furnace automatic coal proximate analyzer was employed to determine the indexes for moisture content, ash content, volatile matter, fixed carbon and MIT of different types of coal specimens. As the calculated results showed that these indexes exhibited high correlation, a principal component analysis (PCA) was adopted to extract principal components for multiple factors affecting MIT of coal dust, and then, the effect of the indexes for each type of coal on MIT of coal dust was analyzed. Based on experimental data, support vector machine (SVM) regression model was constructed to predicate the MIT of coal dust, having a predicating error below 10%. This method can be applied in the predication of the MIT for coal dust, which is beneficial to the assessment of the risk induced by coal dust explosion (CDE).
Multilayered composites based on light metals are promising materials in many applications. In the present work the 15-layered clad, composed of alternately stacked of Ti(Gr.1) and AA1050-H24 alloy sheets of 1 mm thick has been investigated with respect to determination of the kinetic of the Al3Ti phase growth. The defect-free multilayered composite was successfully formed by explosive welding technology. Then EXW samples were modified via annealing at the temperature of 600oC in closed die under pressure of 44 MPa for various times ranged between 1 and 10 h. Transmission and Scanning Electron Microscopy examinations were conducted in order to study the kinetic of the elements migration across the interfaces between the layers of the Al/Ti composite. The macro-scale observations of samples after EXW revealed that wavy interfaces were always formed in layers near the explosive charge. The increase of the distance from the top surface leads to flattening of the interface with very thin reaction layer between Al and Ti sheets. During annealing the kinetic of the Al3Ti phase growth is similar near all interfaces and coincides with data from other works. It was found that despite the loading after 10 h of annealing still only small part of Al-sheets undergoes dissolution and the width of the reaction layer does not exceed 5-8 µm.