Improved Canopy Air Curtain Dust Protection Using a Novel Design Combining the Impinging Jet and a Two-Level Manifold


Prolonged exposure to high concentrations of respirable coal mine dust causes coal workers' pneumoconiosis and silicosis. Underground coal mine roof bolter operators are more prone to elevated exposure to coal and silica dust. The canopy air curtain (CAC) was developed by NIOSH to protect roof bolter operators from the exposure. The CAC supplies filtered air over the breathing zone of the operator. This dilutes the high coal dust concentrations and provides for an impenetrable air curtain. Many studies have been carried out to improve CAC efficiency. However, field test has shown variable dust control efficiencies indicating rooms to further improve due to the nonuniform airflow distribution across the plenum and ineffective perimeter flow. This study therefore redesigns the CAC with optimized flow distribution that effectively protects roof bolters from coal dust exposures. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations are used to optimize the uniformity of airflow distribution across the plenum to achieve the best possible uniformity. A lab experiment validates the CFD model and confirms the ability of this design to reduce floor dust pickup, prevent external wind infiltration, and offer an improved protection efficiency.


Materials Science and Engineering

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Article - Conference proceedings

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Publication Date

01 Jan 2022

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