Dust Suppression system for mining vehicles
Publication Date: 2003-Aug-18
The IP.com Prior Art Database
Jonathan Whittaker: ATTORNEY [+4]
The invention provides for a dust suppression system comprising:
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
THIS invention relates to dust suppression, and more specifically to a dust suppression system for underground mines.
Various systems for controlling dust emissions in underground mines exist. Generally, these systems include filters for filtering dust laden air directed through a scrubbing mechanism. Dry dust removers of the type described above are disclosed, for example, in US 5,597,393 and US 5,673,974. Wet scrubbers are also known. These scrubbers employ water sprays to assist in the scrubbing process and are known, for example, from US 4,380,353, US 4,531,784, US 5,145,236 and US 5,518,299. A disadvantage associated with conventional wet or dry scrubbing in underground mines is that turbulence created by clean air travelling towards the rock face adjacent a scrubber system often causes dust laden air to bypass the scrubber.
In an attempt to contain the dust laden air, dust curtains have been used to form a barrier adjacent the scrubber system. Conventional dust curtains include a rigid, steel frame which often is damaged when suppressed against the top of the scrubber system, in use. Furthermore, the known types of dust curtains tend to be relatively difficult and/or expensive to maintain, repair or replace.
Another known system includes a water curtain which consists of water sprays arranged on top of a continuous miner to prevent the flow of dust laden air over a scrubber on the miner. A problem associated with these curtains is that the water from the curtain can damage the continuous miner and/or affect the quality of coal extracted by the miner.
It is an object of the present invention to provide a dust suppression system which addresses the abovementioned problems.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
According to the invention there is provided a dust suppression system comprising:
a scrubber which includes:
at least one duct,
means for drawing air through the at least one duct,
a filter for filtering dust laden air, and
an outlet; and
an inflatable curtain which is connected or connectable to the scrubber so as to be inflated by air from the scrubber, in use, thereby to form a barrier adjacent the scrubber for preventing dust laden air from bypassing the scrubber.
In a preferred embodiment of the invention, the dust suppression system forms part of a continuous miner, typically a continuous coal miner.
In a particularly preferred arrangement, the curtain is inflated by air exiting a scrubber mounted on the continuous miner.
Conveniently, the inflatable curtain is arranged to extend between the scrubber and a hanging wall in a mine working, and the upper region of the curtain is reinforced to protect the curtain from the hanging wall.
The inflatable curtain may...