Masters Theses

Keywords and Phrases

Bag Barrier; Coal Dust Explosion; Coal Mining; Explosion Barrier; Explosion Mitigation; Explosion Prevention


"The most significant and powerful hazard that exists in an underground coal mine is a coal dust explosion. A coal dust explosion has the potential to propagate throughout a mine resulting in massive damage to the mine and equipment, as well as tragic loss of life. An assessment of current global regulations and practices uncovered four main control methods utilized to prevent coal dust explosions in coal mines world-wide. The United States is one of the few countries that does not regulate or employ all four of these safety practices. Additionally, a review of past research into coal dust explosions and their prevention and mitigation uncovered scientific need for the use of explosion barriers as an additional line of defense against deadly coal dust explosions since the early 1900s. This research project was developed to investigate the possibility of implementing the fourth prevention strategy in the United States, the use of explosion activated barriers as the last line of defense against the propagation of a coal dust explosion.

The goal of this thesis was twofold. The first component was to demonstrate that explosion impulse, as opposed to explosion pressure, is the primary factor in the complete operation of the bag barrier system; meaning the rupturing of the bag, the release of the contained stone dust, and the dispersal of the released dust. The second component was to demonstrate that the bag barrier system can be effectively implemented into American underground coal mines. This goal was achieved through the careful examination and analysis of historical mine explosions and mine explosion prevention research, explosive testing of the bag barrier system, and trial bag barrier installations in operating coal mines"--Abstract, page iii.


Johnson, Catherine E.

Committee Member(s)

Lusk, Braden
Perry, Kyle A.


Mining Engineering

Degree Name

M.S. in Explosives Engineering


Alpha Foundation for the Improvement of Mine Safety and Health, Inc.


Missouri University of Science and Technology

Publication Date

Spring 2018


xv, 160 pages

Note about bibliography

Includes bibliographical references (pages 155-159).


© 2018 Jay Robert Schafler, All rights reserved.

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

File Type




Thesis Number

T 11316

Electronic OCLC #