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Spontaneous combustion testing services

Simtars helps coal mine operators understand and manage the potential risks associated with the spontaneous combustion of coal during mining, transportation and storage.

Our research and testing services will build your awareness of the potential risks, including recognising the gases produced and probable temperature of coal during heating.

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We have more than 20 years of experience helping the coal industry understand how best to control coal behaviour to secure the safety of staff and equipment and reduce stock losses and revenue.

Our testing services

Proximate and ultimate analysis

Proximate and ultimate analysis provides invaluable information about the coal’s chemical composition. Proximate analysis includes sulphur, moisture, volatile matter, ash and fixed carbon.

Ultimate analysis includes testing for the various elements present in a coal sample, such as carbon, hydrogen, sulphur, oxygen and nitrogen.

Adiabatic self-heating (R70)

The R70 test is an adiabatic/non-isothermal heating test designed to provide a measure of the intrinsic reactivity of coal to oxygen. The R70 value is determined as the average self-heating rate from 40-70°C, expressed in °C/h and provides a measure of intrinsic coal reactivity. The lower the value of R70, the lower the propensity of the coal to self-heat.

Crossing point temperature (CPT)

The point at which the temperature of a coal sample ‘crosses’ the temperature of the test vessel is nominated as the ignition temperature. The CPT is sometimes used as an indication of the propensity of coal within a mine to spontaneously combust. The lower the value of the ignition temperature, the higher the propensity of the coal to self-heat.

Gas evolution test

Gas evolution in response to increasing coal temperature can be used for the early detection of a self-heating event, vital in defining and supporting the alarm limits set in the trigger action response plans (TARPs).

Samples are analysed for concentrations of oxygen, nitrogen, methane, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, hydrogen, ethane and ethylene.

Why choose Simtars’ spontaneous combustion testing services?

Highly-trained laboratory staff

Our highly trained and professional laboratory staff deliver quality services to clients across government, universities and the commercial sector within the mining, resources and allied industries in Australia and overseas.

Quality-driven analytical services

Our spontaneous combustion laboratory uses a variety of techniques to provide quality-driven results through expert analysis. Our laboratory procedures are based on methods established over 50 years of research into spontaneous combustion of coal.

State-of-the-art test equipment

Our laboratory uses specialised test equipment including:

  • adiabatic R70 oven
  • hot storage oven (electrically heated, thermostatically controlled oven).

Last updated: 11 May 2022