Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Science in Mining Engineering (MSMIE)

Document Type

Master's Thesis




Mining Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Kyle A. Perry


Following three major mining accidents in 2006, the MINER Act of 2006 was enacted by MSHA and required every underground coal mine to install refuge alternatives to help prevent future fatalities of trapped miners in the event of a disaster. The following research was performed in response to NIOSH’s call for the investigation into new refuge alternatives. A 15 psi safe haven polycarbonate wall for use in underground coal mines was designed and modeled using finite element modeling in ANSYS Explicit Dynamics. The successful design was tested multiple times in both half-scale and small scale using a high explosive shock tube to determine the walls resistance to blast pressure. The safe haven wall design was modeled for an actual underground coal mine environment to determine any responses of the wall within a mine. A full scale design was fabricated and installed in an underground coal mine to determine any construction constraints and as a final step in proof of concept for the safe haven design.