Underground Live Testing Leads The Way To Engineering Certification Of VCD’s

The importance and complexity of the ventilation systems in many underground coalmines necessitates the calculation and determination of appropriate resistance values to be used for individual ventilation control devices (VCDs).

Whilst there is a clear need to determine the required product strength and thickness of a VCD to meet individual site specifications, such data has previously been difficult to obtain.

With more than 15 years experience in developing and manufacturing ventilation control solutions for the Australian underground mining sector, Aquacrete has partnered with registered and internationally-recognised structural engineers, Parsons Brinckerhoff (PB), to provide mine operators with a means of determining individual installation requirements.

“Using an engineering model developed specifically for Aquacrete products, PB provides precise product application specifications to comply with the required over-pressure ratings, nominated factor of safety or head of water for each installation, says John Whitfield, Managing Director of Aquacrete.

Following receipt of a detailed briefing on the project as well as the dimensions and complexities of the site, PB is able to provide Aquacrete clients with recommendations regarding product selection, product thickness and required strength. The company can issue a certificate to confirm that adherence to the recommendations equate to the industry standard compliance.

Commenting on the company’s well-earned reputation for research and innovative solutions in the Australian underground mining sector, Mr Whitfield says, ”Our technical services team has subjected our products to stringent product testing protocols over the years. In addition to live blast testing by a National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA) certified laboratory, our products have undergone tests to determine product strength, over-pressure ratings, fire resistance, diffusivity properties and water permeability ratings. They have exceeded the required standards in all tests and are widely specified by underground coal and metalliferous mines throughout Australia.”

The company’s flagship products, Aquacrete OPR2 and Aquacrete WetRepel, can be shot-blasted to any desired thickness in a single application without product slumping. The products do not need specialist installation, have a low toxicity level and reach a compressive strength of 13Mpa in as little as 48 hours.

With further product and testing solutions in the pipeline, Aquacrete is set to remain at the forefront of ventilation control innovations.