GB2322653A - Ventilation seals and stoppings - Google Patents

Ventilation seals and stoppings Download PDF

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Publication number
GB2322653A
GB2322653A GB9724255A GB9724255A GB2322653A GB 2322653 A GB2322653 A GB 2322653A GB 9724255 A GB9724255 A GB 9724255A GB 9724255 A GB9724255 A GB 9724255A GB 2322653 A GB2322653 A GB 2322653A
Authority
GB
United Kingdom
Prior art keywords
wall
grout
bags
roof
top
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Withdrawn
Application number
GB9724255A
Other versions
GB9724255D0 (en
Inventor
John Joseph Reinmann
Edward Clay Barber
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
Strata Products Ltd
Original Assignee
Strata Products Ltd
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Priority to US75171496A priority Critical
Application filed by Strata Products Ltd filed Critical Strata Products Ltd
Publication of GB9724255D0 publication Critical patent/GB9724255D0/en
Publication of GB2322653A publication Critical patent/GB2322653A/en
Withdrawn legal-status Critical Current

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Classifications

    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E21EARTH DRILLING; MINING
    • E21FSAFETY DEVICES, TRANSPORT, FILLING-UP, RESCUE, VENTILATION, OR DRAINING IN OR OF MINES OR TUNNELS
    • E21F17/00Methods or devices for use in mines or tunnels, not covered elsewhere
    • E21F17/103Dams, e.g. for ventilation
    • E21F17/107Dams, e.g. for ventilation inflatable
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E21EARTH DRILLING; MINING
    • E21DSHAFTS; TUNNELS; GALLERIES; LARGE UNDERGROUND CHAMBERS
    • E21D15/00Props; Chocks, e.g. made of flexible containers filled with backfilling material
    • E21D15/48Chocks or the like
    • E21D15/483Chocks or the like made of flexible containers, e.g. inflatable, with or without reinforcement, e.g. filled with water, backfilling material or the like

Abstract

A ventilation seal (20) for a mine working (10) includes a upright wall (22) where gaps (28) exist between the mine working and the top (26) and sides of the wall. Elongate grout bags (30,38) are positioned in the gaps (28, 40). The grout bags are inflated with a settable grout under pressure so as to fill and seal the gaps and furthermore so as to place the wall and the roof and sidewalls of the mine working under compressive preload.

Description

"VENTILATION SEALS AND STOPPINGS" BACKGROUND TO THE INVENTION THIS invention relates to ventilation seals and stoppings.

Ventilation seals and stoppings are used in underground mines to prevent air from passing from one part of a mine working, such as a roadway, tunnel or the like, to another part of the mine working. Those skilled in the art will recognise that the term "ventilation seal" is usually used to refer to a permanent structure while the term "ventilation stopping" is usually used to refer to a temporary structure. For convenience in this specification, the term "ventilation seal" is used hereafter to refer generically to both ventilation seals and ventilation stoppings in their conventionally used sense.

Traditionally, a ventilation seal is constructed in the form of a wall. The wall in some cases consists of concrete blocks laid in stretcher bond, stacked or other fashion. Depending on the application mortar or grout may or may not be placed between the individual blocks. After the wall has been constructed, a latex-based or similar sealing and bonding material can be applied to the major surfaces of the wall to hold the individual blocks together and to seal any gaps or cracks between them.

In other cases, the wall is formed by constructing spaced apart wall structures of timber and then pumping a settable grout, typically that marketed under the trademark TEKSEAL into the space between the wall structures.

Gaps between the upper edge of the wall and the roof, as well as any gaps between the side edges of the wall and the sides of the mine working are conventionally sealed by locating timber fragments or other filler materials in the gap and securing them there by means of a cementitious concrete and/or polyurethane foam.

An object of the present invention is to provide a novel system for sealing gaps between the upper edge of the wall and the roof and between side edges of the wall and the sides of the mine working.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION According to the present invention there is provided a ventilation seal for a mine working having a floor, a roof and side walls. The ventilation seal comprises an upright wall having a top and side edges and may be constructed from blocks or bricks. The wall extends from the floor to a position beneath the roof so that a gap is defined between the top of the wall and the roof. One or more elongate grout bags are positioned in the gap and extend along the top of the wall. The grout bag(s) are inflated with a settable grout under pressure so as at least substantially to fill and seal the gap and furthermore so as to place the wall and roof under vertical preload.

In addition, there will typically be further gaps between the side edges or ribs of the upright wall and the side walls of the mine working. The ventilation seal then comprises further elongate grout bags positioned in the further gaps, and the further bags are also inflated with grout under pressure so as at least substantially to fill and seal the further gaps, and also to place the wall of the ventilation seal and the side walls of the mine working under horizontal preload.

At each location where bags are used there can be a series of such bags either in end to end or overlapping relationship.

Any minor gaps left, after inflation of the grout bags, between the top of the wall and the roof and between the side edges of the wall and the side walls of the mine working are preferably sealed with a sealant.

The invention also extends to the method of forming the ventilation seal summarised above.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING The invention will now be described in more detail, by way of example only, with reference to the accompanying drawing which illustrates a ventilation seal according to the invention.

DESCRIPTION OF AN EMBODIMENT The drawing shows a mine working 10, typically a roadway or tunnel, which has a floor 12, a roof 14 and side walls 16 and 18. The numeral 20 indicates a ventilation seal according to the invention. As mentioned previously, the term "ventilation seal" as used herein must be understood as encompassing both permanent and temporary sealing structures, i.e. both ventilation seals and ventilation stoppings as these terms are conventionally used.

A major component of the ventilation seal 20 is a wall 22 formed of cementitious, i.e. concrete, blocks 24 arranged on the floor 12, in this case in a stretcher bond format. The wall extends from the floor 12 to a top or upper edge 26. Given the finite vertical dimensions of the blocks, typically of the order of 16 inches (approximately 406mm), and hence of each layer of blocks, as well as the natural unevenness of the roof in a mine working, there will invariably be an uneven gap, designated 28, created between the top of the wall and the roof. When blocks of 16 inch (406mm) vertical dimension are used, the gap 28 will generally be less than 16 inches (408mm) in vertical extent throughout.

The wall extends from a position as close as possible to one side wall 16 to a position as close as possible to the opposite side wall 18. Once again, given the finite lateral dimensions of the blocks 24 and the natural unevenness of the side walls 16 and 18 of a mine working, there will invariably be gaps between the side edges, or ribs, of the wall and the side walls.

The blocks 24 can merely be stacked dry in the required stretcher bond or other format, with no mortar or grout between the blocks to bond them to one another. In other applications, mortar or grout can be installed between the blocks. In either case, timber wedges (not shown) can be used to plug minor cracks which may exist in the wall structure. After the construction of the wall has been completed, a suitable liquid sealant, typically a latexbased sealant, is applied to the major surfaces of the wall. A suitable sealant is that marketed under the trade mark BLOCKBOND. The sealant is allowed to dry to bond the individual blocks 24 to one another and to provide the wall with an airtight skin to prevent the passage of air.

In other embodiments of the invention, the wall may be a so-called pumpable seal wall. Walls of this type include two wall structures, typically of timber, spaced apart from one another, with a sealing grout pumped into the space between the wall structures. The wall extends close to the side walls and roof of the mine working. A suitable sealing grout for this purpose is that marketed under the trademark TEKSEAL. The wall typically has a thickness of about four feet (1,22m). Instead of timber wall structures, other types of formwork can also be used in the construction of the pumpable seal wall.

After construction of the wall a flexible, elongate, sausage-shaped, inflatable grout bag 30 is laid out horizontally on the top of the wall, beneath the roof.

The grout bag typically has a liquid impervious inner bag of a suitable plastics material and several, typically three, outer bags, which may have closed or open ends, which are arranged one about the other and about the inner bag.

The outer bags are typically of woven polypropylene construction and they serve both to contain the inner bag and to provide it with external reinforcement and protection. The bag 30 may, for instance, have a structure similar to that of known PROPSETTER (trade mark) and PACKSETTER (trade mark) bags but will differ from the known bags in that it is considerably longer than the known bags.

As an alternative to the use of relatively expensive polypropylene in the bag 30, the outer bags or other outer coverings for the impervious inner bag may be made of cellulose paper of suitable tensile strength and tear resistance.

The bag 30 is fitted with a filler nozzle 32, which may once again be of the type used in known PROPSETTER (trade mark) and PACKSETTER (trade mark) bags. Whereas the filler nozzle in the known PROP SETTER and PACKSETTER bags is generally provided at one end and on the bottom face of the bag, the nozzle 32 is located in a side of the bag 30. The nozzle extends through the assembly of inner and outer bags and is fitted with a non-return valve, typically a flap valve of the type used in the known PROP SETTER (trade mark) and PACKSETTER (trade mark) construction.

In general, the bag 30 can have a length corresponding to the length of the gap between the top of the wall and the roof. The bag 30 may, for instance, have a length in the range 2 ft to 10 ft (0,6m to approximately 3m), but in each case the length is chosen to suit the specific application. Where the gap has a length greater than the grout bags, two or more bags 30 can be laid out end to end or in overlapping relationship on the top of the wall.

Further, similar bags 38 are installed at an upright attitude in the gaps 40 between the side edges or ribs of the wall 22 and the side walls 16 and 18 of the mine working. The bags 38 have filler nozzles 42 corresponding to the nozzle 32 described previously. Also as described above, the further bags may have lengths selected to suit the vertical extent of the gaps 40, or two or more bags may be installed in the gaps in end to end or overlapping relationship.

Once the bags 30 and 38 are in position, they are inflated by a settable cementitious grout under pressure. The grout which is used is typically the same as that used in known PROP SETTER (trade mark) and PACKSETTER (trade mark) applications. The fully inflated transverse dimensions of the bags will generally be greater than the maximum vertical dimension of the gap 28 or the horizontal dimensions of the gaps 38 so that, when inflated, the bags can substantially fully occupy the gaps.

In order to inflate the bags a suitable pump 34, typically a pneumatically or manually powered pump of the type used in currently available PROPSETTER (trade mark) and PACKSETTER (trade mark) systems, is connected up to the nozzles 32 and 42 via hoses 36, and is used to pump the grout into the bags.

In a normal application where the wall is, as described above, formed of concrete blocks, the pump will pressurize the grout to a pressure of about 20 to 40 psi (about 138 to 276 kPa). In the case of a pumpable seal wall, the pressure will typically be in the range 20 to 60 psi (about 138 to 414 kPa).

As grout is pumped into the bags they expand into contact with the roof 14 and the side walls 16 and 18. Once the desired pressure has been attained, the hose 36 is disconnected from the nozzle 32 and the non-return valves in the nozzles 32 and 42 prevent the grout from escaping. The grout is then allowed to set.

It will be appreciated that the flexibility of the bags enables them to assume shapes which conform to the profiles of the top and side edges or ribs of the wall as well as the profiles of the roof 14 and side walls 16 and 18. Thus the inflated bag establishes a generally reliable seal between the roof and the top of the wall and between the side walls 16 and 18 and the side edges of the wall.

At some locations, there may not be absolute conformity between the bag and the relevant surfaces so that small gaps, such as those designated 44, may still remain. As a final stage in the construction of the ventilation seal, whatever minor gaps may still exist are sealed up. This is conveniently achieved using a conventional sealant, such as the two component polyurethane foam sealant marketed under the trade mark FOAMPAK which is sprayed into place using a proprietary FOAMPAK dispensing system. As another alternative, the previously mentioned BLOCKBOND sealant may be used in this application. In either case, timber fragments may also be incorporated in the sealant.

The result is a ventilation seal 20 which effectively seals the mine working 10 and prevents ventilation air from flowing along the mine working past the seal.

A major advantage of the ventilation seal 20 described above is the convenience of forming seals between the top of the wall 22 and the roof, and between the side edges of the wall and the side walls 16 and 18, using inflatable grout bags 30, 38. The placement of the bags and the subsequent inflation thereof is a quick, simple and hence economic procedure, particularly when compared with the conventional sealing system described previously. From a structural point of view, the described ventilation seal 20 also has the major advantage in that the wall 22 and the roof, floor and side walls of the mine working are placed under compressive preload forces by the inflated bags. This can improve the integrity of the wall structure as well as the surrounding roof, floor and side walls of the mine working, as well as providing an immediate and effective support for the roof and side walls.

On the contrary, in conventional sealing systems in which a timber fragments and weak grout or mortar is packed loosely into the various gaps, there is no preload applied to the wall and hence no support of any significance for the roof or side walls of the mine working.

In preferred embodiments of the invention, the PACKSETTER (trade mark), PROPSETTER (trade mark) or other grout which is used to inflate at least the grout bags 30 is capable of yielding under the compressive loads applied by the roof should downward movement of the roof take place. With this feature, downward movement of the roof can be accommodated with undue stresses being placed the wall 22 itself.

Current US mine safety regulations specify that the ribs of a ventilation seal should be keyed or "hitched" to the side walls of the mine working to ensure that the ventilation seal is properly anchored in position. Where the wall is made of concrete blocks or bricks, hitching requires that cavities be formed horizontally into the side walls of the mine working and that blocks or bricks of the wall structure are keyed into those cavities. It is believed that the installation of the grout bags 38 can in many cases obviate the need for hitching. This is firstly because the bags will conform to the rough profile of the side walls and thereby effectively form a keyed connection to those side walls, and secondly because the horizontal preload force which is generated will generate substantial frictional resistance to movement of the wall. It is also possible for the grout bags 38 to be used in conjunction with hitching, in which case they will provide further anchorage for the wall. In either event, the use of the grout bags 38 is accordingly considered to be another important advantage of the invention.

Although a single grout pump 34 is used in the illustrated embodiment to inflate all the grout bags 30, 38 simultaneously, it is within the scope of the invention for a separate pump to be used for each bag or for the bags to be inflated sequentially from the same pump.

Claims (13)

CLAIMS:
1.
A ventilation seal for a mine working having a floor, a roof and side walls, the ventilation seal comprising an upright wall having a top and side edges, the wall extending from the floor to a position beneath the roof so that a gap is defined between the top of the wall and the roof, and at least one elongate grout bag positioned in the gap and extending along the top of the wall, the grout bag or bags being inflated with a settable grout under pressure so as at least substantially to fill and seal the gap and furthermore so as to place the wall and roof under vertical preload.
2.
A ventilation seal according to claim 1 wherein further gaps are defined between the side edges of the upright wall and the side walls of the mine working, the ventilation seal comprising further elongate grout bags positioned in the further gaps, and the further bags also being inflated with grout under pressure so as at least substantially to fill and seal the further gaps and to place the upright wall and the side walls of the mine working under horizontal preload.
3.
A ventilation seal according to claim 1 comprising a plurality of elongate grout bags positioned in the gap in end to end or overlapping relationship.
4.
A ventilation seal according to claim 2 comprising a plurality of further elongate grout bags positioned in each of the further gaps, in end to end or overlapping relationship.
5.
A ventilation seal according to claim 2 wherein any minor gaps left, after inflation of the grout bags, between the top of the wall and the roof and between the side edges of the wall and the side walls of the mine working are sealed with a sealant.
6.
A ventilation seal according to any one of the preceding claims wherein each grout bag comprises a liquid impervious inner bag and a plurality of outer coverings which cover and strengthen the inner bag.
7.
A ventilation seal according to any one of the preceding claims wherein the grout bag or bags are inflated with a settable grout which is capable, after setting, of yielding under vertical loads applied thereto by downward movement of the roof.
8.
A method of sealing a mine working having a floor, a roof and side walls, the method comprising the steps of constructing an upright wall on the floor of the mine working, the wall having a top and side edges and extending from the floor to a position beneath the roof so that a gap is defined between the top of the wall and the roof, laying at least one elongate, inflatable grout bag in the gap between the top of the wall and the roof so that the grout bag extends along the top of the wall, inflating the, or each, grout bag with a settable grout under pressure so that the inflated bag or bags at least substantially fill and seal the gap and furthermore so as to place the wall under a vertical compressive preload force, and allowing the grout to set.
9.
A method according to claim 8 wherein further elongate grout bags are positioned in further gaps existing between the side edges of the wall and the side walls of the mine working, and wherein the further bags are also inflated with grout under pressure so as at least substantially to fill and seal the further gaps.
10.
A method according to claim 8 comprising laying a plurality of elongate, inflatable grout bags in end to end or overlapping relationship in the gap between the top of the wall and the roof.
11.
A method according to claim 9 comprising laying a plurality of elongate, inflatable grout bags in end to end or overlapping relationship in each gap existing between the side edges of the wall and the side walls of the mine working.
12.
A method according to claim 9 wherein any minor gaps left, after inflation of the grout bags, between the top of the wall and the roof and between the side edges of the wall and the side walls of the mine working are sealed with a sealant.
13.
A method according to any one of claims 8 to 12 wherein the grout bag or bags are inflated with a settable grout which is capable, after setting, of yielding under vertical loads applied thereto by the roof.
GB9724255A 1996-11-18 1997-11-17 Ventilation seals and stoppings Withdrawn GB2322653A (en)

Priority Applications (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US75171496A true 1996-11-18 1996-11-18

Publications (2)

Publication Number Publication Date
GB9724255D0 GB9724255D0 (en) 1998-01-14
GB2322653A true GB2322653A (en) 1998-09-02

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GB9724255A Withdrawn GB2322653A (en) 1996-11-18 1997-11-17 Ventilation seals and stoppings

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AU (1) AU4526497A (en)
GB (1) GB2322653A (en)
PL (1) PL323211A1 (en)
ZA (1) ZA9710337B (en)

Cited By (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
CN103485822A (en) * 2013-09-18 2014-01-01 东北大学 Combined quick blocking and wall retaining device
CN104329119A (en) * 2014-08-29 2015-02-04 中煤科工集团西安研究院有限公司 Control method for aggregate outflow through mine dynamic water sealing
CN106703885A (en) * 2017-03-14 2017-05-24 山东科技大学 Underground coal mine airtight wall with self-repairing function and construction method thereof

Citations (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US4102138A (en) * 1974-06-12 1978-07-25 Bergwerksverband Gmbh Method for closing off a mine gallery especially for use to prevent spreading of underground explosions
US4820081A (en) * 1988-01-19 1989-04-11 Kennedy John M Head seal for a mine stopping
US5615979A (en) * 1995-08-14 1997-04-01 Lin; Fen-Fen Mine support bag

Patent Citations (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US4102138A (en) * 1974-06-12 1978-07-25 Bergwerksverband Gmbh Method for closing off a mine gallery especially for use to prevent spreading of underground explosions
US4820081A (en) * 1988-01-19 1989-04-11 Kennedy John M Head seal for a mine stopping
US5615979A (en) * 1995-08-14 1997-04-01 Lin; Fen-Fen Mine support bag

Cited By (4)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
CN103485822A (en) * 2013-09-18 2014-01-01 东北大学 Combined quick blocking and wall retaining device
CN104329119A (en) * 2014-08-29 2015-02-04 中煤科工集团西安研究院有限公司 Control method for aggregate outflow through mine dynamic water sealing
CN106703885A (en) * 2017-03-14 2017-05-24 山东科技大学 Underground coal mine airtight wall with self-repairing function and construction method thereof
CN106703885B (en) * 2017-03-14 2019-01-08 山东科技大学 A kind of underground coal mine fire dam and its construction method with self-repair function

Also Published As

Publication number Publication date
AU4526497A (en) 1998-05-21
PL323211A1 (en) 1998-05-25
ZA9710337B (en) 1998-06-10
GB9724255D0 (en) 1998-01-14

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