Foam Rock Dusting
Foam Rock Dusting is not slurry dusting, but a patented procedure of combining standard rock dust, a small amount of water and a specialty foaming agent. A foam generator increases the volume of the liquid tenfold, creating lightweight foam to carry the dust. Dry rock dust continues to be supplied by the existing supplier.
Compared to traditional methods of applying rock dust, foam rock dusting offers several advantages that help create a safer, healthier environment while allowing mines to stay productive and efficient.
Foam Rock Dusting creates a much more worker-friendly environment. The dust-free application does not reduce visibility, allowing operators to see clearly while working. The lack of particulates in the air does not place workers at the increased risk of silicosis normally associated with dry rock dusting.
Additionally, the lighter-than-air application gives workers a greater reach and reduces the need to use ladders or other equipment to cover hard-to-reach areas. With its light-colored, reflected surface, FoamDust provides significantly better illumination than dry rock dusting.
A standard coat of FoamDust can provide up to six times the amount of rock dust as standard rock dusting. FoamDust stays where it is sprayed, not falling to the floor like traditional products and providing a consistent application on roofs and ribbing. Because roofs and ribbing stay covered, the applied rock dust is able to disperse better than if it had dropped to the floor.
While dry rock dusting often requires regular repeated treatment, areas treated with foam rock dusting only need to be retreated a few times per year. FoamDust is longer lasting, and its greater concentration of rock dust and adhesive qualities reduce the need for repeat applications.
Most importantly, foam rock dusting does not hinder visibility, allowing mining operations to continue without interruption and without compromising worker safety.
When there is no longer a need to halt production, mine operators are more likely to maintain an around-the-clock rock-dusting regimen.
Strata’s internal tests, independent analyses, and MSHA inspections show that foam rock dusting can outperform traditional dry rock dusting and offer a better solution for mine operators to meet MSHA’s current rock dusting requirements.
Testing has proven FoamDust’s ability to meet MSHA regulation 30 CFR 75.2 where pulverized limestone must pass a sieve analysis. Because FoamDust uses the operator’s original dust source, if that dust meets the standard, FoamDust meets the standard.
MSHA regulation 75.403 now requires mine operators to increase the total incombustible content of combined coal dust, rock dust and other dust to at least 80 percent in all underground areas of bituminous coal mines.
Tests have shown that foam rock dusting can meet and exceed the 80 percent requirement with more efficient use of manpower and without having to halt production.