Masters Theses

Keywords and Phrases

Black Powder; Concrete; Impact; Mine Seals; Projectile


"Underground coal mines have several dangers, one of the most hazardous of which is the possibility of an explosion caused by the ignition of methane gas. To reduce ventilation costs, coal mines have the option to close off abandoned areas that are no longer active with structural seals to keep an explosion from propagating into working areas of the mine. Though seals have been designed to resist the overpressure, none have been evaluated for their resistance to the impact of heavy objects. Underground explosions produce high velocity gasses that, traveling through mine openings, may propel objects in the mine at a high velocity causing them to impact and damage the mine seals. Seals damaged in this manner may no longer hold the pressure they were originally rated for and may fail during subsequent explosions or leak explosive gasses into active workings.

To test the effects of impact on mine seals, a projectile generator and two seals have been constructed. The projectile generator is a thick-walled steel pipe with a 4-inch wall, is 8.5 feet in length, and sealed on one end. Projectiles are propelled by a charge of black powder with a wooden wad and are held in place by foam sabots in the bore. This system allows firing of many different potential projectiles that may be found in an underground mine. The velocity of each projectile is measured by an infrared chronometer which can later be used to determine its impact energy. Impact effects on the seals are measured using strain gauges, LIDAR scans before and after impact, high speed cameras, and visual inspection. The focus of this research is on the projectile generator design, initial testing, and analysis of impacts on the mine seals"--Abstract, page iii.


Perry, Kyle A.

Committee Member(s)

Worsey, Gillian M.
Worsey, Paul Nicholas


Mining Engineering

Degree Name

M.S. in Explosives Engineering


Thanks are also due the Alpha Foundation for the project’s funding.


Missouri University of Science and Technology

Publication Date

Spring 2021


xi, 118 pages

Note about bibliography

Includes bibliographic references (pages 115-117).


© 2021 Ethan Allan Steward, All rights reserved.

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

File Type




Thesis Number

T 11856

Electronic OCLC #