Distribution profiles of the air’s alkaline fine particles during dry shotcrete in road tunnel construction

Nemati S1., Sharafi P., Mortazavi M., Ardalan R.B., Joshaghani A and Khakpour S

Shotcrete is now becoming a common area support for ground control in underground construction and tunnels as a stand-alone, or in combination with other support systems such as bolts and screens. Fine dust generated from shotcrete however, involves various risks to the workers’ health and safety. Although dust generation is an inseparable part of shotcrete, long-time exposure and inhalation of dust can lead to serious damaging health effects especially when working in tunnels and mining jobs. This study investigates the distribution of alkaline fine particles in the air, while shotcreting in the underground construction. A series of tests were conducted at different distances from the shotcrete operator (nozzleman) and tunnel openings and in different heights from the surface, in order to measure the pH value of the air in three consecutive days, right after the shotcrete process. Using the data obtained from the tests, a mathematical model is developed to predict the pH value distribution profile while dry shotcrete and up to three days after that.

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