The results of a laboratory investigation of coal cutting mechanics and noise are presented. These experiments were performed using a linear cutting apparatus that operates over a broad cutting speed range. The influence of several coal cutting parameters on the noise, force, productivity, and specific energy associated with linear cuts was ascertained. Some basic theoretical aspects of coal cutting mechanics and noise generation are discussed, and the results of the laboratory experiments are used to formulate analytical models of the coal cutting forces and noise. The analytical model for coal cutting noise is then generalized to account for the more important effects of rotary cutting. Based on the generalized model, an estimate of the sound pressure level at an operator’s position is made for a typical continuous mining machine. It is concluded that by employing linear rather than rotary cuts, using deeper depths of cut, slower cutting speeds, and more efficient cutting tools, it is possible to reduce the level of coal cutting noise, as well as provide benefits to other important areas of health and safety in underground mining.

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