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Use of Plastic Metal in Underground Coal Mines for Minor Repair on Flameproof Equipment

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Published: May 17Project Number: C23005

Get ReportAuthor: Bipin Parmar, David Turner and David Soady | Simtars

The potential for a gas or dust explosion arising from hot work and welding repair of certified flameproof equipment in underground coal mines is fairly high.  In order to reduce the need for such hot work, underground coal mine operators initiated a request to study the behaviour of plastic metals to temporarily repair flamepaths of certified flameproof enclosures used in underground coal mines.

Simtars proposed to study the potential use of plastic metal as a repair medium on flamepaths of certified flameproof equipment.  If the study can demonstrate that the material has no detrimental effect on the flameproof protection concept, it will offer an alternative or eliminate the need to repair flamepaths by welding underground and minimise downtime.

 

An extension to the ACARP project was granted as a result of feedback from the industry and the end users.  The initial findings were presented at the Mines Electrical Safety Association (MESA) conference and at the Queensland Mining Industry Health and Safety Conference (QMIHS).  The conference attracts regulators, inspectorate, as well as both coal mine electrical engineering managers and hazardous area equipment manufacturers.

 

The study was also mentioned at the standards committee to the members involved in the maintenance of AS/NZS 3800 and AS/NZS 2290.1.

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