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Detecting Tyre Explosion Risk in Mining

During my time with Otraco, I became acutely aware of the risk associated with tyre pyrolysis explosions. The industry has seen multiple fatalities and many more near- misses stemming from pyrolysis triggered by the electrification of rubber tyred equipment on mine sites. Electrification primarily occurs due to lightning strike or contact with high voltage cables. And explosions can occur from almost instantly to many hours later. Of course, it is often obvious that electrification has occurred, but many times it is not.

At Flicq we use advanced sensing systems to detect anomalies and alert to failure. We tasked our engineers with the challenge of coming up with a system that would alert relevant site personnel the instant that an electrification event had taken place. The idea being to detect whether there was a risk associated with approaching or being near to a parked up vehicle - and if so instigating isolation and evacuation procedures.

The challenge was accepted and Flicq has now developed a system that monitors for electrification and issues both an alert to site personnel and triggers a visible and audible alarm when an event takes place. The system is low cost, easy to install, maintain and allows for the introduction of an engineering control where previously the industry has relied on administrative controls.