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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR data is current as of March 26, 2020

Title 30Chapter ISubchapter BPart 27 → Subpart C


Title 30: Mineral Resources
PART 27—METHANE-MONITORING SYSTEMS


Subpart C—Test Requirements


Contents
§27.30   Inspection.
§27.31   Testing methods.
§27.32   Tests to determine performance of the system.
§27.33   Test to determine explosion-proof construction.
§27.34   Test for intrinsic safety.
§27.35   Tests to determine life of critical components and subassemblies.
§27.36   Test for adequacy of electrical insulation and clearances.
§27.37   Tests to determine adequacy of safety devices for bulbs.
§27.38   Tests to determine adequacy of windows and lenses.
§27.39   Tests to determine resistance to vibration.
§27.40   Test to determine resistance to dust.
§27.41   Test to determine resistance to moisture.

§27.30   Inspection.

A detailed inspection shall be made by MSHA of the equipment and all components and functions related to safety in operation, which shall include:

(a) Examining materials, workmanship, and design to determine conformance with paragraph (a) of §27.20.

(b) Comparing components and subassemblies with the drawings and specifications to verify conformance with the requirements of this part.

§27.31   Testing methods.

A methane-monitoring system shall be tested by MSHA to determine its functional performance, and its explosion-proof and other safety characteristics. Since all possible designs, arrangements, or combinations cannot be foreseen, MSHA reserves the right to make any tests or to place any limitations on equipment, or components or subassemblies thereof, not specifically covered herein, to determine and assure the safety of such equipment with regard to explosion and fire hazards.

§27.32   Tests to determine performance of the system.

(a) Laboratory tests for reliability and durability. Five hundred successful consecutive tests2 for gas detection, alarm action, and power shutoff in natural gas-air mixtures3 shall be conducted to demonstrate acceptable performance as to reliability and durability of a methane-monitoring system. The tests shall be conducted as follows:

2Normal replacements and adjustments shall not constitute a failure.

3Investigation has shown that, for practical purposes, natural gas (containing a high percentage of methane) is a satisfactory substitute for pure methane in these tests.

(1) The methane detector component shall be placed in a test gallery into which natural gas shall be made to enter at various rates with sufficient turbulence for proper mixing with the air in the gallery. To comply with the requirements of this test, the detector shall provide an impulse to actuate an alarm at a predetermined percentage of gas and also provide an impulse to actuate a power shutoff at a second predetermined percentage of gas. (See §§27.21, 27.22, 27.23, and 27.24.)4

4At the option of MSHA, these tests will be conducted with dust or moisture added to the atmosphere within the gallery.

(b) Field tests. MSHA reserves the right to conduct tests, similar to those stated in paragraph (a) of this section, in underground workings to verify reliability and durability of a methane-monitoring system installed in connection with a piece of mining equipment.

§27.33   Test to determine explosion-proof construction.

Any assembly, subassembly, or component which, in the opinion of MSHA, requires explosion-proof construction shall be tested in accordance with the procedures stated in Part 18 of this subchapter.

§27.34   Test for intrinsic safety.

Assemblies, subassemblies, or components that are designed for intrinsic safety shall be tested by introducing into the circuit(s) thereof a circuit-interrupting device which produces an electric spark from the current in the circuit. The circuit-interrupting device shall be placed in a gallery containing various flammable natural gas-air mixtures. To meet the requirements of this test, the spark shall not ignite the flammable mixture. For this test the circuit-interrupting device shall be operated not less than 100 times at 125 percent of the normal operating voltage of the particular circuit.

§27.35   Tests to determine life of critical components and subassemblies.

Replaceable components may be subjected to appropriate life tests at the discretion of MSHA.

§27.36   Test for adequacy of electrical insulation and clearances.

MSHA shall examine, and test in a manner it deems suitable, electrical insulation and clearances between electrical conductors to determine adequacy for the intended service.

§27.37   Tests to determine adequacy of safety devices for bulbs.

The glass envelope of bulbs with the filament incandescent at normal operating voltage shall be broken in flammable methane-air or natural gas-air mixtures in a gallery to determine that the safety device will prevent ignition of the flammable mixtures.

§27.38   Tests to determine adequacy of windows and lenses.

Impact tests. A 4-pound cylindrical weight with a one-inch diameter hemispherical striking surface will be dropped (free fall) to strike the window or lens in its mounting or the equivalent thereof at or near the center. At least three out of four samples shall withstand the impact according to the following table:

Overall lens diameter (inches)Height of fall (inches)
Less than 46
4 to 59
5 to 615
Greater than 624

Lenses or windows of smaller diameter than 1 inch may be tested by alternate methods at the discretion of MSHA.

§27.39   Tests to determine resistance to vibration.

(a) Laboratory tests for reliability and durability. Components, subassemblies, or assemblies that are to be mounted on permissible and approved equipment shall be subjected to two separate vibration tests, each of one-hour duration. The first test shall be conducted at a frequency of 30 cycles per second with a total movement per cycle of 116 -inch. The second test shall be conducted at a frequency of 15 cycles per second with a total movement per cycle of 18 -inch. Components, subassemblies, and assemblies shall be secured to the vibration testing equipment in their normal operating positions (with shock mounts, if regularly provided with shock mounts). Each component, subassembly and assembly shall function normally during and after each vibration test.

Note: The vibrating equipment is designed to impart a circular motion in a plane inclined 45° to the vertical or horizontal.

(b) Field tests. MSHA reserves the right to conduct tests to determine resistance to vibration in underground workings to verify the reliability and durability of a methane-monitoring system or component(s) thereof where installed in connection with a piece of mining equipment.

§27.40   Test to determine resistance to dust.

Components, subassemblies, or assemblies, the normal functioning of which might be affected by dust, such as coal or rock dust, shall be tested in an atmosphere containing an average concentration (50 million minus 40 micron particles per cubic foot) of such dust(s) for a continuous period of 4 hours. The component, subassembly, or assembly shall function normally after being subjected to this test.

Note: Dust measurements, when necessary, shall be made by impinger sampling and light-field counting technique.

§27.41   Test to determine resistance to moisture.

Components, subassemblies, or assemblies, the normal functioning of which might be affected by moisture, shall be tested in atmospheres of high relative humidity (80 percent or more at 65°-75 °F.) for continuous operating and idle periods of 4 hours each. The component or subassembly or assembly shall function normally after being subjected to those tests.

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