Remote monitoring of bulk explosive storage facilities
By T Cousins, TLC Engineering Solutions
Electricity+Control, December 2015 (pages 26 – 29)
Enquiries: Terry Cousins. Tel. 011 463 3860 or email email@example.com
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Historically a number of miners have been killed or injured by explosives and blasting agents. Most explosives-related injuries and fatalities in surface mines occur when workers are struck by rock, either because they were too close to the blast or rock was thrown much farther than expected. The second leading cause was blasts that shoot prematurely. In underground mines, most explosive-related fatalities were caused by miners being too close to the blast, followed by explosive fumes poisoning, misfires, and premature blasts. Misfires lead to injuries and fatalities as miners try to shoot explosives that failed to detonate in the original blast. Premature blasts occur without warning while blasters are near the explosive-loaded boreholes; the explosive may be initiated by lightning, the impact of explosives being dropped down a dry borehole, or careless handling of the initiating system (blasting caps).
The application of electronic monitoring and control equipment provides for the safe storage and transfer of material in bulk explosives silos. A novel application of load cells has the potential to further reduce the existing hazard of sensor contact inside the ammonium nitrate environment by the application of non-contacting level measurement. The use of load cells can also reduce the hazards of installation and repair compared with the traditional ultrasonic sensors.
- Explosives are commonly used in mining applications.
- Storage and safe handling of explosives can be improved by the use of measurement and monitoring systems.
- Electronic systems have been designed to incorporate various technologies to ensure optimal safety.