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Stone Dust Laboratory

Stone dust / Coal dust Incombustibility

1. Colorimetric Comparison of Stone dust / Coal dust Qualitative SOP01 / HECSLAB – based on Guideline:
Code of Practice for the Prevention of Flammable Gas and Coal Dust Explosions in Collieries Annex 1 Ref: DME 16/3/2/1 – A1, August 2002.

2. Test for the Moisture, Ash and Incombustibility of Stone dust/Coal dust Thermal Gravimetric SOP02 / HECSLAB - based on Guideline:
Code of Practice for the Prevention of Flammable Gas and Coal Dust Explosions in Collieries Annex 1.

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The department is responsible for preparing client qualitative standard samples in order to compare submitted samples for compliance. This test is qualitative and based on colour differences’, which in turn will indicate the need for additional physical analysis to be conducted.

Physical analysis entails the determination of moisture and ash content of a sample. This is done using muffle furnaces and moisture ovens. The laboratory has recently accredited an automated process whereby physical analysis is done using an automated thermal-gravimetric analyser. It is important to determine the combustibility / incombustibility of coal dust / stone dust samples to prevent the occurrence of coal dust explosions in underground coal mines. Formal reports are issued based on compliance for stone dust / coal dust combustibility and incombustibility.

Airborne Pollutant Laboratory

Particulate Respirable (PNOC/Coal Dust)

Test for Respirable personal particulate matter limited to gravimetric activities SOP04 / HECSLAB based on NIOSH 600 and SAMOHP July 2002.

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Respirable particulate cassette and cyclone assembly as well as the gravimetric testing of respirable particulate filters are conducted through this department. The analyst determines the mass concentration of respirable coal dust and particulates not otherwise classified (PNOC). Particulate mass is determined by using high precision balances. Reports containing al seven steps of SAMOHP calculations are prepared as per client request. Clients are requested to supply relevant information regarding sampling.

Particulate Respirable (Continuous Miner Dust)

Test for Respirable conditional particulate matter limited to gravimetric activities SOP06 / HECSLAB based on NIOSH 600 and SAMOHP July 2002

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Continuous miner cassette and cyclone assembly as well as the gravimetric testing of continuous miner filters are conducted through this department. The analyst measures the mass concentration of respirable dust. Dust mass is determined by using high precision balances. Reports containing al seven steps of SAMOHP calculations are prepared as per client request. Clients are requested to supply relevant information regarding sampling.

Crystalline Silica

The analysis of Crystalline Silica (Alpha Quartz – FTIR KBr Pellet) SOP05 / HECSLAB based on NIOSH 7602

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HECS Laboratory services make use of the latest FTIR technology in analysing Crystalline Silica (Alpha quartz). Wafer preparation is done on site. Samples are quantified using the KBr wafer method only.

Ambient Dust Laboratory

Settleable Particulate Matter (Total Fallout Dust)

Methods used: SOP07 / HECSLAB based on ASTM D1739-98.

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This laboratory department applies a practical method of conducting environmental dust analysis to help environmental departments monitor dust fall-out. The use of fast filtering equipment and advanced technological bench top equipment, promotes greater sample output and increased accuracy. Special water preparation for total fallout dust buckets is done by dosing and measuring total dissolved solids, before leaving the laboratory for onsite monitoring. Analysis is based on the ASTM D1739-98 method where both soluble and in-soluble fractions of total fall-out dust are determined. The water evaporation method from ASTM 1739-98 has been successfully validated to the TDS measurement method and has been successfully accredited by SANAS, cutting costs and improving capacity.

Service Water

1. Measurement of pH SOP08 / HECSLAB based on ISO 10523: Limited application.

2. Measurement of Turbidity SOP09 / HECSLAB based on ISO 7027 Paragraph 6: Limited application.

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Service waters of clients are tested for pH and Turbidity.

Sample Collection And Reception

Samples are delivered and checked at the laboratory reception area. From here it is distributed to the relative laboratory department for analysis.

The laboratory also has a sample collection service, should the client require it. This service is available at an additional cost.