The future of rock dusting

DSI Underground Systems has launched its Mine Foam Rock Dust technology designed specifically for the underground coal mine industry.
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DSI's Mine Foam Rock Dust at work.

Donna Schmidt

Published in the May 2010 Coal USA Magazine

The product was the brainchild of Mine Foam Technologies along with DSI Underground Systems, BASF Construction Chemicals, and Blastcrete Equipment.

The companies pooled their experience and knowledge to develop a product that has no harmful chemicals and does not create respirable dust.

This air entrained rock dust can be applied to the roof, floor and ribs of underground coal mines via a sprayer and does not require special handling.

Specialized spray equipment is used to apply the patented product, which the company noted is easier to install than traditional rock dust.

One of the biggest benefits for mines is that dusting operations can now be performed “on shift”; because no airborne, respirable dust is created, production and other work can continue inby the dusting operations while they are being performed.

“Hazards with respirable dusts and visibility concerns associated with traditional methods are virtually eliminated with this process,” the company said, highlighting that improved visibility during dusting means miners will be working in a safer environment.

Aside from the health and safety advantages, rock dust waste is reduced with the product’s use – less transported materials for crews. Dusting can also be performed at a time convenient for staff, as the job can be performed at any time and not just during off-peak shifts.

Mine Foam Rock Dust can be applied in varying thicknesses, depending on the application, and exhibits improved “lift” of rock dust crucial to coal mine safety as it dries.

The product is now available for commercial sale to all underground coal operations.