Drill and Blast Chamber – TunnelSAFE Narrow Design

The TunnelSAFE Narrow Design Refuge Chamber is designed for drill and blast tunnelling operations. This portable refuge chamber has been engineered to feature a narrow shell, and can be easily positioned and repositioned; providing an ongoing, adaptable safe refuge solution for the life of the tunnelling project.

The TunnelSAFE Narrow Design (ND) Refuge Chamber offers an ideal solution for projects involving feeder tunnels and single-entry development headings, including sub-surface railway stations, hydro-power stations and other complex tunnel networks.

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Drill and Blast Chamber – Front View

The ‘face’ of the refuge chamber is designed primarily for easy identification and quick access during an emergency.

The strobe lighting, warning siren and reflective signage alert passers-by to the chamber’s location, whilst the rotating door handles provide simple, straight forward access to the safety of the interior.

112 dBA motion activated siren to allow for easy location of the refuge chamber in an emergency.

Extra low voltage green and red LED lighting to allow for easy identification of the refuge chamber in an emergency.

12mm porthole viewing window, compliant with Australian Standard 2208. Blast shield protection available upon request.
12mm porthole viewing window, compliant with Australian Standard 2208. Blast shield protection available upon request.
Fire extinguisher for external use only. Optional for non-Australian orders (supplied separately as Dangerous Goods). Fire blanket with BSI certification (AS/NZ S 3504) located inside chamber.

Outward opening door, featuring double locking rotating handles. The vacuum tested seal maintains a positive internal pressure.

The skid base provides ease of mavoeuvrability, featuring 250 x 100mm forklift slots, front and rear mounted tow points and front mounted 25mm steel plate push blocks.

Safety and operational signage in reflective stickering for high visibility underground. Translation into a second language available.

High durability white paint for underground visibility. Sand blasted to 2.5 grit.

Drill and Blast Chamber - Interior View

Inside a TunnelSAFE Narrow Design Refuge Chamber, a number of vital life-support systems combine to create a safe, ongoing environment for occupants. Systems include; primary and secondary air (oxygen) supplies, air conditioning systems, positive pressure systems, electrical systems, gas detection and a chemical scrubbing system.

The TunnelSAFE Narrow Design uses active chemicals and MineARC’s ELV (extra-low-voltage) Scrubbing System to ‘scrub’ the build up of harmful CO2 (carbon dioxide) and CO (carbon monoxide) from the air inside the refuge chamber.

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Air conditioning is vital to combat the potentially fatal effects of heat stress, caused by the occupant’s metabolic activity, as well as any ambient heat.

Operating procedures are located on the wall of the refuge chamber, as well as within hardcopy manuals. Operating procedures can be translated into a second language.

MineARC’s MARCISORB CO2 and MARCISORB CO cartridges provide superior scrubbing capacity, are easy to load, safe to handle, and can store for long periods.

The MineARC Compressed Air Management System (CAMS) is a dedicated air management unit designed specifically for MineARC Refuge Chambers.

Real-time gas monitoring with live analysis and voice prompting. Monitor up to 11 gases at any one time.

The TunnelSAFE uses active chemicals and MineARC’s extra-low-voltage scrubbing system to ‘scrub’ the build up of harmful CO2 and CO from the chamber.

The digital controller interface is the operational hub of the refuge chamber. From here, all power, lighting & scrubbing systems can be managed with the push of a button.

MineARC seating is ergonomically designed to provide suitable comfort during entrapment. Made from durable, hard wearing fabric, the seating provides 500mm of space per person.

Drill and Blast Chamber - Rear View

A secure cabinet at the rear of the TunnelSAFE Narrow Design houses the refuge chamber’s UPS battery back up (Uninterruptible Power Supply). The UPS is a fail-safe system that can power the refuge chamber’s internal life support systems for a minimum of 24hrs, should mine power become cut-off.

Also at the rear of the chamber is the Compressed Air Management System (CAMS), which allows regulated compressed air into the refuge chamber when the pressure inside drops below 200Pa. This process optimises mine air usage and guarantees against over-pressurisation of the refuge chamber. CAMS’ gas toxicity monitor automatically diverts compressed air if oxygen levels in the airline fall below a set level (18% oxygen in free air), signifying air contamination. Additionally, the incorporated flood protection valve automatically shuts down compressed air to avoid catastrophic and costly chamber damage in the event of water ingress.

The MineARC Compressed Air Management System (CAMS) is a dedicated air management unit designed specifically for MineARC Refuge Chambers.

Communications box for internal communications port via wall mounted ‘J’ box. External antenna is fitted to front of chamber.
Air conditioning is vital to combat the potentially fatal effects of heat stress, caused by the occupant’s metabolic activity, as well as any ambient heat.
36 hour emergency backup power supply, with further options available for up to 96 hours (POA).

Comparison Table

Name Capacity * ITA/BS EN Compliance ** Aura-FX Gas monitoring CAMS Gantry Mobile Portable 24hrs Battery Backup
TunnelSAFE Standard Design 8-20
TunnelSAFE Crescent Design 10-24
TunnelSAFE MSV Design 10-24
TunnelSAFE Gantry Design 10-24
TunnelSAFE Narrow Design 12-24
TunnelSAFE Rail Design 10-24
TunnelSAFE Slim Line 12-24
  • * Capacity Every refuge chamber is built with a certain rated occupancy in mind. The life support systems are designed to safely house this number of people for the designated duration.
  • ** ITA/BS EN Compliance MineARC’s TunnelSAFE Refuge Chambers can be built to comply with British Standard (BS EN 16191:2014) Safety Requirements for Tunnelling Machinery and the ITA’s “Guidelines for the Provision of Refuge Chambers Under Construction.

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