Silva Receives Research Grant

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Jhon Jairo Silva-Castro

Jhon Silva, assistant professor in the Department of Mining Engineering, has received a $428,903 research grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/ National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. The project is titled, “Evaluation, Scale Testing, and Testing Design of Active Explosion Barrier Systems for U.S. Underground Coal Mines.”

From Silva’s abstract: “Underground coal mine explosions can be addressed using two perspectives: a) Prevention and b) Mitigation. The U.S. mining industry practices have emphasized on preventing explosions in underground coal mines, with little being done in mitigating the explosion once it occurs. Despite successful practices for the prevention of underground coal mine explosions in the U.S., the threat of an explosion does still exist. Other mining countries have been working towards developing mitigation techniques such as active explosion barriers. In the late 1990s the United State Bureau of Mines carried out comprehensive research in the use of active explosion barrier systems in the US; however, currently their use is not popular, and research in this matter is required. The proposed work will explore in a practical way through scale and full-scale testing different active explosion barrier systems to be adapted and modified for their use in the U.S. coal mining industry.”

“The results of this project will enhance the safety of the miners, with the implementation of active explosion barrier systems for the specific geological and technological conditions in the underground coal mines in the U.S.,” says Silva. “The use of active barrier systems will mitigate and reduce the extension of the area affected by an accidental explosion in underground coal mines.”

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