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Improved Performance of Linear Coal Cutting Compared with Rotary Cutting

Description: From abstract: The linear cutting system, developed by the U.S. Bureau of Mines, uses geometric principles developed by Cardan to produce a nearly constant cut depth. The new system has been extensively tested in a synthetic material under laboratory conditions to verify mechanical capability and to identify operational characteristics. This report details the improved performance versus rotary cutting.
Date: 1995
Creator: Roepke, Wallace W.; Hanson, B. D.; Olson, R. C.; Wingquist, C. F. & Myren, T. A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
open access

Effects of Remote Drop and Pumpdown Placement on Cellular Concrete

Description: Abstract: The hazards to the public posed by abandoned mine shafts are well documented. As private development encroaches on previously mined areas, the potential for fatalities and serious injuries from abandoned mine shafts increases. The U.S. Bureau of Mines has conducted research into cellular concrete as a material for sealing these openings. The current work involves testing the characteristics of cellular concrete before and after it had been pumped or dropped from different heights into a simulated mine shaft. Cellular concrete was pumped vertically up to and subsequently dropped from heights of 18 and 37 m into concrete forms. Wet density measurements were made at multiple sampling points in the test circuit. Air content determinations and uniaxial compressive strength testing were conducted. Research results showed significant loss in air content and changes in the characteristics of cellular concrete during pumping or dropping from various heights. Recommendations on effective use of cellular concrete for sealing abandoned mine shafts are made.
Date: 1995
Creator: Boreck, D. L. & Miller, R. E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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Structural Analysis of a Mechanized LHD Trench Undercut Caving System

Description: Abstract: This U. S. Bureau of Mines (USBM) report presents results of stress analyses and field observations to investigate the effects of elevated trench drifts on the structural stability of rock mass zones surrounding a production draw drift in a mine utilizing a mechanized load-haul-dump (LHD) trench undercut panel caving system. A two-dimensional boundary-element mine stress model was developed to predict the locations and extent of damaged rock mass zones surrounding draw drifts where adjacent, parallel trench drifts are either elevated or not elevated above the LHD production draw drift level. A Mohr-Coulomb shear-failure criterion was obtained directly from in situ borehole shear test data. Hoek-Brown shear-failure parameter values were computed from borehole-shear and triaxial test data. A procedure is described to estimate these parameters when a rock mass rating (RMR) value and triaxial data on intact samples exist, and no borehole shear test data exist. Results indicate that trench drifts, elevated to the level equal to the height of the LHD production draw drift, would not minimize material damage nor significantly enhance the stability of rib and crown pillar zones surrounding production draw drifts in the mechanized LHD trench undercut caving panel investigated at this mine.
Date: 1995
Creator: Jude, Charles V.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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High-Temperature Cyanide Leaching of Platinum-Group Metals from Automobile Catalysts--Pilot Plant Study

Description: From abstract: The U.S. Bureau of Mines Reno Research Center investigated, developed, and patented a high temperature cyanide leaching process for recovering platinum-group metals (PGM) from automobile catalysts. A batch pilot plant was constructed at the center and operated to demonstrate this technology to industry.
Date: 1995
Creator: Kuczynski, R. J.; Atkinson, G. B. & Dolinar, W. J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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Ten-Cycle Bench-Scale Study of Simplified Clay-Hydrogen Chloride Process for Alumina Production

Description: From abstract: This U.S. Bureau of Mines (USBM) research simplified an earlier hydrogen chloride (HCl) leachsparge process developed by the USBM to recover reduction-grade alumina from domestic kaolin clay. Improvements were made by decreasing the initial leaching acid concentration from 25 to 20 pct, decreasing the leaching time from 1 to 2 h to 15 to 30 min, eliminating the solvent extraction step for Fe removal, and eliminating the step to recover the Al content of the bleedstream circuit. A 10-cycle bench-scale experiment of the simplified process showed that the ferric chloride (FeC 3) concentration built up to 9.3 g/L in the recycle stream. This did not interfere with any of the unit operations or final alumina product purity because Fe forms stable soluble chloride complexes when sparged with HC and is easily washed from the large aluminum chloride hexahydrate (ACH) crystals. The reduced leaching time and acid concentration did not decrease Al extraction.
Date: 1995
Creator: Shanks, D. E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
open access

Teleoperation of a Compact Loader-Trammer

Description: Abstract: The U.S. Bureau of Mines has developed a portable, inexpensive teleoperation system for mobile hard-rock mining equipment. The system was tested on a compact loader-trammer in a simulated stope. The teleoperation system includes radio remote control and computer-assisted navigation. A recent enhancement includes video cameras mounted on the machine to provide visual information to the operator. This system allows the operator to remain in a safe location while operating the machine from a distance, thus increasing both operator safety and mining productivity.
Date: 1995
Creator: Ruff, T. M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
open access

Well-Point Containment of Impoundment Leakage

Description: Research was conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of a well-point dewatering system in conjunction with a french drain to intercept waste impoundment leakage while reducing the volume of waste water requiring treatment. A well-point dewatering system composed of 585 production wells was installed around the perimeter of a leaking impoundment that previously used only a french-drain system for leakage control. The placement of the well-point system was designed to intercept and remove the leakage from the groundwater before the contaminant reached the french drain. Groundwater monitoring at this site revealed that after a period of approximately 40 days the well-point dewatering system had stabilized and effectively prevented the further spread of contamination to the french drain.
Date: 1995
Creator: Smith, C. W.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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Bending Fatigue Tests on Flattened Strand Wire Rope at High Working Loads

Description: Abstract: The U.S. Bureau of Mines established a wire rope research laboratory to examine the factors that affect the safety and the useful life of wire rope. In the most recent work, two 32-mm 6x27H flattened strand ropes were degraded on a bending fatigue machine. The two tests were run at constant loads of 285 and 347 kN or safety factors of 2.5 and 2. Nondestructive and tensile strength tests were performed on samples of the ropes to determine the relationship between rope deterioration and rope breaking strength. Neither the area loss nor the number of broken wires measured from nondestructive tests could be used as clear indicators of the loss of strength. However, it was found from the tensile tests for both rope specimens that the strength loss was associated with the reduction of breaking strain. This suggests that measuring the strain of many short sections of a rope in the elastic region may locate the high stress sections and thus determine the condition of the rope.
Date: 1995
Creator: Wang, Richard C. & Shapiro, David E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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Characterization of Dredged River Sediments in 10 Upland Disposal Sites of Alabama

Description: Abstract: The U.S. Bureau of Mines, Tuscaloosa Research Center, in cooperation with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers under interagency Agreement No. 14-09-0078-1510, conducted a comprehensive sampling program of 10 upland disposal sites along the Alabama, Black Warrior, and Tombigbee River systems in Alabama. Samples from each site were characterized according to particle size, chemical analysis, mineralogical content, and potential end use. Additionally, samples were subjected to the Toxic Characteristic Leachate Procedure to determine the presence of potentially harmful heavy metals. Based on the results of these studies, each sample was determined to have properties amenable for use as aggregate in general-purpose portland cement concretes and certain asphalt concrete applications.
Date: 1995
Creator: Smith, C. W.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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Field Demonstration of Two Pneumatic Backfilling Technologies

Description: Abstract: This U.S. Bureau of Mines (USBM) report summarizes a field demonstration of pneumatic backfiling technologies conducted at the abandoned Hillside Coal and Iron Slope in Vandling, PA. Researchers demonstrated tro pneumatic backfilling technologies recently developed under the USBM's Abandoned Mine Reclamation Research Program, the Pneumatic Pipefeeder and the High-Efficiency Ejector. Both systems had previously been evaluated at the USBM's subsidence abatement investigation laboratory near Fairchance, PA. The objective of the demonstration was to fill 100% of the abandoned tunnel with backfill stone to prevent further subsidence. The Pneumatic Pipefeeder was used for 21 days, at a rate of 63 to 124 t/d (69 to 136 st/d), to fill 88% of the tunnel. The High-Efficiency Ejector was used for 2 days, at a rate of 125 to 132 t/d (138 to 146 st/d) to fill the remaining 12% of the tunnel. The backfill placed by both systems was tightly compacted. The major problem encountered was wear on the polyethylene pipeline from the abrasion of the high-velocity backfill. The use of heavier steel pipe minimized the problem. A cost analysis for the entire project is given.
Date: 1995
Creator: Dyni, Robert C.; Burnett, Mackenzie & Philbin, David
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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Development of Coal Combustion Sensitivity Tests for Smoke Detectors

Description: Standard smoldering and flaming combustion tests using small coal samples have been developed by the U.S. Bureau of Mines as a method to evaluate the response of a smoke detector. The tests are conducted using a standard smoke box designed and constructed according to Underwriters Laboratories. The tests provide a standard, easily reproducible smoke characteristic for smoldering and flaming coal combustion, based upon a comparison of the smoke optical density and the response of a standard ionization chamber to the smoke. With these standard tests, the range of threshold limits for the response of a smoke detector and the detector's reliability can be evaluated for nearly identical smoke visibility and smoke physical characteristics. The detector's threshold response limits and reliability need to be well defined prior to the instrument's use as part of a mine fire warning system for improved mine safety.
Date: 1995
Creator: Edwards, John C. & Morrow, Gerald S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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Improved Grindability of Taconite Ores by Microwave Heating

Description: The 11.S. Bureau of Mines has conducted studies to utilize rapid microwave heating to stress fracture ore samples. Iron ores containing hematite, magnetite, and goethite were subjected to microwave energy in batch operations at 3 kW and heated to average maximum temperatures between 840 and 940 *C. Standard Bond grindability tests showed that microwave heating reduced the work index of iron ores by 10 to 24 pct. In a microwave chamber designed to simulate a continuous throughput operation at 3 kW, the grindability of a tacon-te ore was improved by 13 pct at a bulk temperature of 197 *C. Because stress cracking occurred at a lower temperature, less energy was consumed. To further improve the economics of microwave fracturing, higher powers up to 16 kW were used to rapidly heat samples to relatively low temperatures in a continuous, belt-fed applicator. A significant improvement of grindability was obtained with a larger rod mill feed size in comparison to a minus 6-mesh Bond feed.
Date: 1995
Creator: Walkiewicz, John W.; Lindroth, David P. & Clark, Andrea E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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Petrographic and Geochemical Analyses of Leach Samples from Artillery Peak, Mohave County, Arizona

Description: Abstract: The first step in determining whether Mn can be recovered by in situ leaching is to develop and test a selective lixiviant. Two column leach tests and one core leach test were conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Mines on Mn oxide ore using aqueous sulfur dioxide (SO2) as the lixiviant. The column tests showed that aqueous SO2 could selectively dissolve available Mn oxides from calcite-rich ore in a heap leach system. However, the core test showed that calcite gangue side reactions can have pronounced negative effects on the likelihood of successful in situ leaching of a calcite-rich ore with aqueous SO2. Petrographic and geochemical analyses showed that both Mn (IV, II) oxides and calcite were dissolved. The abundance of dissolved Ca caused precipitation of gypsum. Acid consumption by calcite dissolution caused a rise in pH that caused the S02/S species to shift to SO32- (sulfite), which hindered reductive dissolution of Mn oxide. Gypsum precipitation did not affect complete leaching of the rock fragments in the column tests; however, it plugged the natural permeability in the core. Manganese recoveries were high for the column tests and low for the core test.
Date: 1995
Creator: Brink, Susan E.; Blake, Rolland & Marozas, Dianne
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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Detection and Control of Spontaneous Heating in Coal Mine Pillars--a Case Study

Description: This U.S. Bureau of Mines study examined spontaneous heating episodes in coal mine pillars in an active underground coal mine. The information obtained from these incidents was then analyzed to learn which sampling methods provided the earliest indication of pillar heating. The objective of this study was to discover if the location of future events of pillar spontaneous heating could be inferred from the available information. The spontaneous heating-prone area in this evaluation involved pillars located just in by the mine portals. Several detection methods were used to determine gas levels outside as well as inside the affected pillars. It was hoped that, by incorporating external and internal sampling methods into an organized program, locations undergoing spontaneous heating could be determined more readily. This study found that by drilling small-diameter boreholes into the pillars, then obtaining gas samples from the affected pillars, the ability to locate early spontaneous heating episodes was improved. However, the ability to accurately predict future spontaneous heating events remains in question.
Date: 1995
Creator: Timko, Robert J. & Derick, R. Lincoln
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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Dust Sources and Controls for Multiple-Machine Longwall Faces

Description: Abstract: Longwall mining in lower seam heights may necessitate the use of single-drum shearers to overcome size constraints associated with standard double-drum shearers. To avoid the operational problem of clearance in the tailgate entry with one single-drum shearer, two single-drum machines can be operated on the same face, with each shearer responsible for mining a predefined portion of the face. However, utilization of two shearers on the same face necessitates the positioning of one shearer operator and a jacksetter in the return air of the upwind shearer, thus complicating respirable dust control on the longwall. In an effort to evaluate the unique dust control problems associated with this type of mining, the U.S. Bureau of Mines conducted dust surveys on two multiple-machine longwall operations. Sampling was done to quantify major sources of respirable dust and to identify potential solutions to problem areas. Sampling results indicate that the cutting sequences utilized on multiple-machine faces may have to be designed to minimize dust exposure, as opposed to optimizing productivity or facilitating operational requirements. Also, state-of-the-art dust control techniques typically found on double-drum shearer longwalls must be employed to help minimize the exposure of all face personnel to traditional dust sources.
Date: 1995
Creator: Colinet, Jay F. & Spencer, Ellsworth R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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Timing and Duration of Subsidence Due to Longwall Mining

Description: Subsidence data gathered by the U.S. Bureau of Mines over a series of longwall panels in the Pittsburgh Coalbed were studied to obtain insight as to the role of time in the subsidence process. It was found that subsidence began essentially with undermining and was completed within 1 year. The progress of the subsidence was dependent upon location above the panel. Subsidence in the central area of the subsidence trough, where subsidence is the greatest, was about 90 pct complete by the time the face had progressed a distance equal to one overburden thickness beyond a particular surface point. For a point over the rib of the longwall panel, the subsidence was only about 60 pct complete at this time. Data from three other sites in the northern Appalachian Coal Basin were analyzed to determine if an anomaly or the true characteristics of the subsidence process had been observed. All sites behaved similarly in the central portion of the subsidence trough. However, the subsidence of points over and adjacent to the ribs of the longwall panels was site specific. The fact that movement across the width of the panel was not uniform should be taken into account in assessing damages or the potential for damages resulting from mining-induced subsidence.
Date: 1995
Creator: Jeran, Paul W. & Trevits, Michael A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
open access

An Adaptive System for Process Control

Description: Abstract: Researchers at the U.S. Bureau of Mines (USBM) have developed adaptive process control systems in which genetic algorithms (GA's) are used to augment fuzzy logic controllers (FLC's). GA's are search algorithms that rapidly locate near-optimum solutions to a wide spectrum of problems by loosely modeling the search procedures of natural genetics. FLC's are rule-based systems that efficiently manipulate a problem environment by modeling the "rule-of-thumb" strategy used in human decisionmaking. Together, GA's and FLC's include all of the capabilities necessary to produce powerful, efficient, and robust adaptive control systems. To perform efficiently, such control systems require a cont element to manipulate the problem environment, an analysis element to recognize changes in the problem environment, and an adaptive element to adjust to the changes in the problem environment. The control system also employs a computer simulation of the problem environment. Details of an overall adaptive control system are discussed. A specific laboratory acid-base pH system is used to demonstrate the ideas presented; all results are from the physical laboratory system and not from a computer simulation.
Date: 1995
Creator: Karr, Charles L.; Gentry, E. J. & Stanley, D. A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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Rapid Separation of Heavy Rare-Earth Elements

Description: The U.S. Bureau of Mines investigated the separation of heavy rare-earth elements (REE) in an ion-exchange process. An ion-exchange column consisting of two sections, a loading section and a separation section, provides high levels of REE loading and good REE separation with an expected processing cycle of less than a month, while current ion-exchange technology requires more than 5 months. A different resin is used in each section: sulfonic resin in the loading section and iminodiacetic resin in the separation section. The separation section is further divided into two segments: the first conditioned with NH4 and the second with acid. Erbium is loaded onto both segments of the separation column as a retaining ion. Bands of mixed REE eluting between separated bands of pure REE were recycled directly to the column. Without mixed-band recycle, over 80% of the REE eluted from the column was separated into fractions with 99% purity of each element; with such recycle, the percentage of separated elements can be increased to around 90%.
Date: 1995
Creator: Moore, B. W.; Froisland, L. J. & Petersen, A. E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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Influence of Environmental Factors on Spark Ignition Probability

Description: Abstract: In past years, the U.S. Bureau of Mines has been involved in safety research that could ultimately relate the conditions of spark testing and actual use by estimating the simple ignition probability of a circuit in question. A major problem in estimating this probability is that results show a significant variability, even though gas mixtures and electrical parameters may be closely controlled. Some researchers have suggested that the ambient environmental conditions of the testing may influence the results. A series of tests were conducted using a spark test apparatus to simulate a failing electrical circuit. By independently adjusting the temperature, pressure, or relative humidity of the combustible gas mixture, multiple test environments were examined. At each ignition, a computer recorded the temperature, pressure, and relative humidity of the gas immediately prior to the explosion. These data were then used to establish the effect of the test environment on the ignition probability and to create a mathematical model of the test environment's synergistic effects. The analysis indicated that these effects were not as significant as previously expected. No general algorithm was found that could be used to predict these effects across the range of circuits tested.
Date: 1995
Creator: Peterson, Jeffrey Shawn
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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Human Factors Analysis of Roof Bolting Hazards in Underground Coal Mines

Description: Abstract: The U.S. Bureau of Mines conducted a human factors analysis of hazards associated with roof bolting activities in underground coal mines. Emphasis was placed on hazards related to the movement of the drill-head boom or mast of a roof bolting machine. The objective was to identify hazards and recommend solutions. The data-collection effort consisted of analysis of U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration accident data; visits to underground mines and interviews with experienced roof bolting machine operators; discussions with roof bolting machine manufacturers; interviews with workers injured while performing roof bolting tasks; and reviews of research on roof bolting safety. A set of recommendations to increase the safety of roof bolting operations was developed. In particular, the following list of recommendations was presented in ranking order: (1) use an interlock device to cut off power to controls when an operator is out of position,,(2) place fixed barriers at pinch points, (3) provide appropriate control guarding, (4) reduce fast-feed speed, (5) use automatic cutoff switches at pinch points, (6) redesign control bank to conform to accepted ergonomic principles, and (7) use resin insertion tools and resin cartridge retainers.
Date: 1995
Creator: Turin, Fred C.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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Investigation of Optimum Thrust, Cutting Speed, and Water Pressure for Tungsten Carbide and Polycrystalline Diamond Compact Roof-Bolt Drill Bits

Description: Abstract: Laboratory tests were conducted at the U.S. Bureau of Mines to determine the effects of roof-bolt drilling parameters on penetration rate in sandstone using tungsten carbide alloy (WC-Co) and polycrystalline diamond compact (PDC) drill bits. During the tests, water pressure of 552 kPa was found to be adequate for removing the cuttings from the tops of drill holes. Test results show that for both types of bits, penetration rate increased when thrust was raised from 227 to 1,588 kg. When water pressure rose from 554 120 to 1,344 350 kPa, the effect on penetration rate was not significantly different. Conventional WC-Co bits became dull when one or two holes were drilled, after which the penetration rate dropped dramatically. Microscopic examination shows that the cutting edges of PDC bits also become somewhat dull, but at a much lesser rate than WC-Co tips. Microscopic examination also reveals that the wear mechanism of WC-Co and PDC bits is quite different, which may explain the longer life of the PDC bits.
Date: 1995
Creator: Sundae, Laxman S.; Smelser, Thomas W. & Howie, Wayne L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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