Lightweight compressible mortars, plugs, stopping and walls for underground mines
Vermixmine® is available in a cement or gypsum base. Trace chemical additives and anti-crack fibres are added to achieve a product of the right consistency for a multitude of applications.
Cement based Vermixmine® can be used in all environments with the faster setting gypsum based product recommended for dry locations normally associated with internal applications.
The material has been formulated to provide smoke and fire barriers in underground mine applications to cellulosic and hydrocarbon fire regimes. It is applied to protect mining separating elements on a variety of backgrounds that include steel, concrete, rock-face and timber materials of construction. Vermixmine® is ideally suited for use as a fire proof sealant coating on pack walls or in disturbed strata conditions possessing a high degree of compressibility.
Vermixmine® is cast in 300 x 150 x 150mm blocks at a density of 350-415 kg/m³, the blocks achieve a compressive strength of 9.6 kg/cm² and can compress to 35% of their volume without spalling or deterioration.
Blocks are soft to the touch and can be sawn, or cut with a pick or other similar hand tools.
Vermixmine® remains stable under extreme fire conditions, and will remain adhered to most backgrounds including coal, pack sides, sang-bags, steel supports and lagging, concrete and brickwork as well as expanded metal lath and common forms of mesh.
Vermixmine® does not emit any toxic vapours or gases and is easy to apply manually or mechanically. It sets and hardens in all atmospheric conditions.
Vermixmine® is a lightweight non-combustible cementitious compound specially formulated to provide smoke and fire protection to elements of mining construction. As a lightweight coating it can be applied manually or mechanically to a number of substrates. It is manufactured from inorganic mineral materials, and acrylic fibres may be added to reduce hairline cracking originating from drying shrinkage in dry and hot conditions. Unlike other similar lightweight coatings, Vermixmine® is not affected by humidity levels found in underground ventilation shafts or passageways. The Vermixmine® system can be used to upgrade, up to 240/-/- FRL, beams, columns, angles, hollow sections and plates. When used with Trimesh® it serves as an effective fire barrier to create 4 hour rated fire passages.
Groundwater pressure and oxidation may also reduce stability, and increase fall out into the mine. They can also cause slaking and swelling of the rock mass or degrade weak ‘drilling affected’ areas, causing rock slabbing/degradation. Vermixmine® provides good surface support and protects rock and strata against weathering to improve safety, efficiency and durability of the rock-face of underground walls. Vermixmine® coatings rely on the hydraulic set of cement and plasters to provide expected outcomes. It bonds well to most substrates, including concrete, steel, timber and rock.
In the mining sector, Vermixmine® can be used for:
- improving durability through the stabilisation of friable rock (with Quikmesh® or Trimesh®)
- sealing of substrate and initial slope protection;
- non-permanent in-cycle support;
- protect rock or pack-walls against weathering;
Vermixmine® provides surface stability, fire and smoke containment in strategic areas of the mine where staff, ventilation assets and other equipment are present, improving the inherent safety aspects of any underground facilities. Vermixmine® is rigid but remains compressible. The cementitious membrane is also impermeable to radon and methane gases.
Vermixmine® is manufactured to ISO 9001-2008 / ISO 14001 / OSHAS 18001 Standards. The Trimesh®/Vermixmine® mechanical system has been tested in conjunction with LAF's other products at TestSafe in Londonderry.
Health and Safety
As a blend of gypsum or cement and vermiculite, Vermixmine® contains no asbestos and presents no known health hazard before, during or after application. Normal precautions for gypsum and cement products apply.
Vermixmine® has no long-term environmental effects on air, water or land. Both the product and the bag may be recycled or disposed of as landfill. When used as standalone or combined with Trimesh® to provide fire and smoke containment engineering solutions, Vermixmine® may positively influence any ‘Green’ rating system (i.e. LEEDs) from 36% to 51%.