Portable Fresh Air Bay Chambers

The Portable Fresh Air Bay is a completely powerless, inflatable refuge chamber that deploys rapidly to provide 96 hours of breathable air to miners trapped underground. High pressure compressed air cylinders inflate and fill the Bay with fresh air and compressed oxygen cylinders and a CO2 scrubber maintain breathable air inside the chamber.
Miner inflating the Portable Fresh Air Bay Chamber
Inflated Portable Fresh Air Bay Chamber
Inflated Portable Fresh Air Bay Chamber
Fully Inflatable

The Portable Fresh Air Bay is folded and stored in an explosion resistant steel container called the Strata Fresh Air Bay Skid. In an emergency, miners locate the Skid and activate air flow using the master control valves. A hinged door on the end of the Skid is opened and the folded Fresh Air Bay is manually rolled out. Inflation is initiated by pulling on an activation cable inside the tent access door. Compressed air flows into air-tight structural beams to hold the tent erect out of the Skid and into the main compartment to maintain a positive pressure and fill it with breathable air.

Miners Inside Portable Fresh Air Bay Chamber
Miners Inside Portable Fresh Air Bay Chamber
Technical Advancements

Technical advancements of the Portable Fresh Air Bay include:

  • Fresh, Breathable Air Supply System - Provides up to 96 hour air supply from compressed oxygen and air cylinders.
  • CO2 Scrubber System -  Patent-pending Active CO2 Scrubber powered by compressed air removes carbon dioxide using soda lime chemicals.
  • Explosion Resistant Fresh Air Bay Skid - Explosion resistant, steel container used to house and protect entire system. Constructed on a skid base for easier mobility. Highly visible with bright yellow paint and reflective decals.
  • Air-Lock Entry - Air-lock entry is a separate compartment used to minimize contaminants entering the main chamber. If the mine atmosphere is not safe for breathing, miners enter the Air-Lock entry and, using pure air, flush out air contaminants before entering the main chamber. When the Bay is already occupied, the Air-Lock entry allows additional miners to enter without deflating or jeopardizing the quality of the air in the main chamber.
  • Robust Construction - Constructed from durable, flame retardant material that is MSHA approved. Edges are welded to be air tight and the high-quality construction is intended for long term use. Double-layered floor for increased strength.
  • Standard & Custom Sizes - Portable Fresh Air Bays are available in standard & custom sizes to meet individual customer needs. This includes custom length and heights of the structure. Standard sizes: 10-Man, 16-Man, 20-Man, 25-Man, 30-Man & 36-Man.
  • Air-Tight Design - Air-tight chamber design provides immediate supply of breathable air upon entry.
  • Drinking Water & Food - Includes food & drinking water in storage compartments.
  • Powerless Cooling Option - Powerless cooling systems are also available if necessary to control the temperatures inside the Bay.
  • MSHA Approved Gas Detector - MSHA approved gas detector used to monitor air quality inside the chamber. A sampling pump can be used to test air outside the chamber. (CO2 levels can be easily calculated by subtracted O2 levels from 100). Optional CO2 detecting monitors also available.
  • MSHA Approved Flashlights - MSHA approved flashlights for internal use.
  • Highly Reflective Signage - Highly reflective signage and an MSHA approved flashing light assist in locating the chamber.
  • Easy Handling - Built-in fork lift guides, lifting facility and skid base assist with moving & relocating the refuge chamber. Optional wheel & hitch.
  • Environmental Toilet - Toilet & waste bags in a private compartment with external waste disposal.
  • Cushioned Seating & Storage Areas - Cushioned seating for all occupants & storage areas for additional supplies/equipment.

Strata Chambers meet the MSHA Breathable Air, Harmful Gas Removal and Air Monitoring Component requirements as specified in CFR 30 Part 7

Miner Underground working on the Portable Fresh Air Bay Chamber with
Wheel and Hitch Package

Strata Safety Products has engineered a robust wheel and hitch package to be added during construction or retrofitted at a later date. These additions will greatly assist in the moving of the units into and around the mines and will significantly reduce wear and tear.

Each Skid is fitted with a double axle and four 21” x 8” x 15” smooth rubber tires. Standard ground clearance is 3”. Custom set up to increase or decrease ground clearance is available.

The removable steel hitch plate may be attached to either end of the Skid by way of welded clevis plates and pins. This facilitates the pulling or pushing of the unit.