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.


Drill and Blast Chamber – Virtual Tour

Drill and Blast Chamber – Front View

The ‘face’ of the TunnelSAFE Narrow Design 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.

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.

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 36hrs, 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.

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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