Minova’s R&D Team Cures Delay in Seal Set Time

GEORGETOWN, KY —  Minova Americas, a leading supplier of underground mine consumables and technology in the U.S., Canada and Latin America, today announced expansion of its family of ventilation seals to include a new material that can be placed and obtain the required 120-psi strength in just three days.

"This new product will be a significant advantage for our customers," said Steve Tadolini, PhD, Director of Research & Development for Minova Americas.  "It is common for mines to experience rapid build-up of dangerous gasses behind sealed-off areas. To overcome potential safety hazards associated with these build-ups, and to enable work to continue more quickly around newly sealed areas, our R&D team has developed a Tekseal® that cures in only three days."

Ventilation has always been a concern in underground mines.  For many years, there was very little understanding of how ventilation could be used to remove harmful contaminants from the air, or how to control airflow and isolate worked-out areas.

As early as the 14th century, miners recognized that lack of air was a major impediment to the expansion of mines.  The common solution then was to abandon a mine and simply start a new one nearby.  When it was realized that mines didn't have to be abandoned but rather could be ventilated, a variety of solutions were developed and employed, including those in use in modern operations.

Today, ventilation schemes typically consist of a complex network of open and sealed areas that provide fresh air to working faces while pushing dusty and gaseous air out of the mine. But even in the most controlled environments, mined-out areas continue to generate dangerous methane gases.  Continuous ventilation of these areas can strain fan systems and is not practical for continuously monitoring mines in operation for 30 years or more.

In addition to the new 3-day cure for Tekseal®, Minova also unveiled new packaging that allows bulk handling of its standard-setting Tekseal® products. "This will make it easier and faster to transport materials and minimize the physical requirements of seal construction," Dr. Tadolini explained.

The new Minova bulk bags, constructed of a reinforced nylon material with a heavy-duty plastic liner, are tear- and water-resistant. The bulk bags can be placed above the placer unit to provide material previously contained in individual 45-lb bags. "Handling thousands of 45-lb bags for large seals in a confined space can cause slipping and stumbling accidents as well as serious back injuries," Dr. Tadolini noted. A Minova bulk bag contains the equivalent of a full pallet of individual bags and requires no manual handling.  An added safety feature is the significant reduction in airborne dust and waste material handling. The Minova bulk system also reduces the time and labor required to install a seal and helps to ensure a consistent mix.

The company has developed comprehensive documentation for the 3-day cure for Tekseal® and new bulk packaging systems. Call 800.520.6621 or visit www.minovaamericas.com for details.