Title page for ETD etd-05102011-171841

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Bowling, John Robert Reid
Author's Email Address john.bowling@vt.edu
URN etd-05102011-171841
Title Design of an Experimental Mine Simulator for the Development of a Procedure for Utilization Multiple Tracer Gases in Underground Mines
Degree Master of Science
Department Mining and Minerals Engineering
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Luxbacher, Kramer Davis Committee Chair
Ragab, Saad A. Committee Member
Westman, Erik Christian Committee Member
  • mine scale model
  • tracer gas
  • mine ventilation
Date of Defense 2011-04-26
Availability unrestricted
An experimental mine simulator was constructed which will be used to conduct

tracer gas experiments in the laboratory. The test apparatus simulates a mine in a tabular

deposit and is modular and simple and can be easily rearranged to represent a variety of

mine geometries. The apparatus is appropriate for the use of tracer gases by being both

airtight and open-circuit (exhausting to the atmosphere) and by maintaining turbulent

flow throughout the model, ensuring the tracer gas is fully dispersed.

The model features ports for injection and sampling of tracer gases, which

represent boreholes present in an actual mine. The model is designed, in part, for the

practice of tracer gas release and sampling methods in the laboratory. Valves on the

apparatus represent ventilation controls, such as stoppings or regulators, or changing

resistances in a mine, such an increase in resistance due to a roof fall or a decrease in

resistance due to stoppings being destroyed. The relative resistances of airways can be

changed by changing the status of the valves to represent different states of the

ventilation controls.

The mine simulator should serve as a tool for identifying and investigating novel

tracer gases, developing a procedure for performing ventilation surveys using multiple

tracer gases, and eventually developing a method for remotely inferring ventilation

changes using tracer gases.

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