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SAFETY DEVICES, TRANSPORT, FILLING-UP, RESCUE, VENTILATION, OR DRAINING IN OR OF MINES OR TUNNELS
Definition statement
This subclass covers:

Auxiliary machines and methods specifically adapted for use in underground mines or in tunnels.

References relevant to classification in this subclass
This subclass does not cover:

Machines for cutting, slitting or dislodging

Tunnel excavating machines

Ventilation of mines or tunnels; Distribution of ventilating currents (ventilating rooms or spaces in general F24F)
Definition statement
This group covers:

Ventilation of mines or tunnels.

Distribution of ventilating currents.

References relevant to classification in this group
This group does not cover:

Ventilating rooms or spaces in general

{Ventilation of traffic tunnels (during construction E21F 1/04 to E21F 3/00)}
Definition statement
This subgroup covers:

Specific modes of longitudinal or transversal flow to ensure the renewal of fresh air inside the tunnel:

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Evacuation of fumes caused by a fire:

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References relevant to classification in this group
This subgroup does not cover:

Details of air ducts

Ventilators

Ventilation of traffic tunnels during construction

Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:

Preventing escape of fumes using a central system

Railway tunnels

Railway stations

Means permanently installed along the road for removing or neutralising exhaust gases

Ventilation arrangements in connection with air ducts, e.g. arrangements for mounting ventilators ({E21F 1/003 takes precedence}; ventilators in general F04D)
Definition statement
This subgroup covers:
  • Construction of ventilating ducts when the type of ventilation is determined by the ducts themselves.
  • Mounting of ventilators:

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Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:

Ventilators in general

Special rules of classification within this group

If the ventilation is for traffic tunnels, then the document is classified in E21F 1/003

Air doors ({E21F 1/003 takes precedence; air locks E21F 1/145; dam doors E21F 17/12}; doors in general E06B)
Definition statement
This subgroup covers:

Doors that can impede air circulation into a gallery, and can be opened when air circulation is necessary.

Safety doors for avoiding the extension of a fire or of smoke.

References relevant to classification in this group
This subgroup does not cover:

Air locks

Dam doors

Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:

Doors in general

Special rules of classification within this group

If the ventilation is for traffic tunnels, then the document is classified in E21F 1/003

Air partitions; Air locks ({E21F 1/003 takes precedence}; dams E21F 17/103; air locks for foundations E02D)
Definition statement
This subgroup covers:

Fixed or adjustable constructions to regulate the flow of air into a gallery or among multiple galleries:

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References relevant to classification in this group
This subgroup does not cover:
Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:

Air locks for foundations

Special rules of classification within this group

If the ventilation is for traffic tunnels, then the document is classified in E21F 1/003

Shaft covers
Definition statement
This subgroup covers:

Covers for ventilation shafts.

Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:

Surface sealing of wellbores

Lining of shafts

Cooling or drying of air (air-conditioning rooms or spaces in general F24F)
Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:

Air-conditioning rooms or spaces in general

Means or methods for preventing, binding, depositing, or removing dust {(in combination with mining machines E21C 35/22)}; Preventing explosions or fires (dams E21F 17/103; applying liquids or other fluent materials to surfaces in general B05)
Definition statement
This group covers:

Reduction of dust in a mining atmosphere. Any means that can help prevent a fire from starting or from spreading.

References relevant to classification in this group
This group does not cover:

Fire extinguishing equipment

Fire protection in buildings

Dust control in combination with mining machines

Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:

Applying liquids or other fluent materials to surfaces in general

Dams

Rock dusting of mines; Depositing other protective substances
Definition statement
This subgroup covers:

Prevention of fires caused by ignition of coal dust and gas. A rock dust usually made of crushed limestone is sprayed to keep down the levels of coal dust.

Fluid barriers or rock dusters made to work by, or at the same time as, shots or explosions
Definition statement
This subgroup covers:

Constructions for confining explosions:

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Drawing-off or depositing dust (dust-removing while drilling E21C 7/00; while slitting E21C 35/22)
Definition statement
This subgroup covers:

Removal of dust from a mine atmosphere by using filters, cyclones or similar:

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References relevant to classification in this group
This subgroup does not cover:

Dust-removing while slitting in mining operations

Methods or devices for drawing- off gases with or without subsequent use of the gas for any purpose
Definition statement
This group covers:

Removal of gases for safety purposes

References relevant to classification in this group
This group does not cover:

Production of coalbed methane

Gasification of coal underground

Devices preventing sparking of machines or apparatus (preventing sparking of electric machines or apparatus H01K, H02K)
Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:

Preventing sparking of electric machines or apparatus

Rescue devices or other safety devices, e.g. safety chambers, escape ways (respiratory apparatus A62B 7/00; revival apparatus A62B 33/00; breathing aids for curative purposes A61H 31/00)
Definition statement
This group covers:

Systems and operations for protecting workers in an underground environment in case of accidents, for gaining access to the area of the accident, or for bringing the workers to surface or to a safe environment.

References relevant to classification in this group
This group does not cover:

Alarm devices

Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:

Respiratory apparatus

Revival apparatus

Breathing aids for curative purposes

Transport specially adapted to underground conditions (mine cars B61D; transport in general, loading {unless specially adapted to underground conditions}B65G)
Definition statement
This group covers:

Transport of staff, equipment or extracted rocks or minerals in underground operations. The transport can be vertical, inclined or horizontal. It can be continuous by conveyors or discontinuous by shuttle cars.

This main groups and its subgroups also includes the constructive details of scraper chain conveyors for collecting the coal as it is cut in longwall operations.

References relevant to classification in this group
This group does not cover:

Removal and transport of material extracted during tunnel excavation

Transport in general, loading unless specially adapted to underground conditions

Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:

Mine cars

Glossary of terms
In this group, the following terms (or expressions) are used with the meaning indicated:

Highwall mining

Method of mining by which a train typically formed by a continuous miner and multiple conveyers acting as pushbeams is propelled into a coal seam from the outside

{Crushing devices specifically for conveying in mines}
Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:

Crushing

{Equipment transport systems}
References relevant to classification in this group
This subgroup does not cover:

Transport of machines for slitting or completely freeing the mineral

{Transport of mined mineral} in galleries
Definition statement
This subgroup covers:

Means for transporting mined material to the surface or to some other point in the mine along one or more galleries:

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References relevant to classification in this group
This subgroup does not cover:

Gathering at the working face

Shifting conveyers or other transport devices from one location at the working face to another (guiding mining machines along conveyers for the cut mineral E21C 35/12; in combination with mine roof supports for step-by-step movement E21D 23/00)
Definition statement
This subgroup covers:

Apparatuses for moving conveyers along a gallery as the working faces advances. Self-propelled conveyers are also included:

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References relevant to classification in this group
This subgroup does not cover:

Guiding mining machines along conveyers for the cut mineral

Shifting conveyers in combination with mine roof supports for step-by-step movement

Methods or devices for placing filling-up materials in underground workings (dams E21F 17/103; {chocks made of flexible containers filled with backfilling material E21D 15/483})
Definition statement
This group covers:

Materials for filling up mine galleries and cavities. Machines for transporting and for placing the materials. Machines such as mixing bunkers for producing the filling-up materials that are adapted for use in an underground environment.

References relevant to classification in this group
This group does not cover:

Chocks made of flexible containers filled with backfilling material

Dams

Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:

Hydraulic cements

{characterised by the kind or composition of the backfilling material}
References relevant to classification in this group
This subgroup does not cover:

A method or apparatus specific for use in mines must be disclosed in combination with the composition

Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:

Compositions of mortars, concrete or artificail stone

Supporting means, e.g. shuttering, for filling-up materials
Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:

Reinforcing elements for concrete cast in-situ for lining tunnels or galleries

Filling-up hydraulically or pneumatically (hydraulic or pneumatic transport devices B65G; pipes, pipe couplings F16L)
References relevant to classification in this group
This subgroup does not cover:

Hydraulic or pneumatic transport devices

Pipes, pipe couplings

Special rules of classification within this group

This group includes mixing bunkers

Drainage (keeping dry foundation sites or other areas in the ground E02D 19/00)
Definition statement
This group covers:

Gathering of water surrounding a subterranean formation. Extraction of water to the outside:

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References relevant to classification in this group
This group does not cover:

Keeping dry foundation sites or other areas in the ground

Waterproofing of tunnels

Methods or devices for use in mines or tunnels, not covered elsewhere (mine lighting F21, H05B)
Definition statement
This group covers:

Methods or devices for use in mines or tunnels, not covered elsewhere

Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:

Mine lighting

Navigational instruments

Tracing profiles of cavities or tunnels

Control of position of vehicles

Radar systems

Suspension devices for tubes or the like, e.g. for ventilating ducts (supporting pipes, cables or protective tubing in general F16L 3/00 to F16L 7/00)
Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:

Supporting pipes, cables or protective tubing in general

Installation of cables in walls, ceilings or floors

Dams, e.g. for ventilation
Definition statement
This subgroup covers:

Constructions for sealing off underground volumes, such as inactive galleries.

Modification of mine passages or chambers for storage purposes, especially for liquids or gases (storing fluids in natural or artificial cavities or chambers in the earth B65G 5/00)
References relevant to classification in this group
This subgroup does not cover:

Storing fluids in natural or artificial cavities or chambers in the earth

Excavation of large underground chambers

This page is owned by Office of Patent Classification.
Last Modified: 10/11/2013