damp

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damp,

in mining, any mixture of gases in an underground mine, especially oxygen-deficient or noxious gases. The term damp probably is derived from the German dampf, meaning fog or vapor. Several distinct types of damp are recognized. Firedamp is methanemethane
, CH4, colorless, odorless, gaseous saturated hydrocarbon; the simplest alkane. It is less dense than air, melts at −184°C;, and boils at −161.4°C;. It is combustible and can form explosive mixtures with air.
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 and other flammable gases, often mixed with air; it results from the decomposition of coal or other carbonaceous materials. Explosive mixtures of firedamp with air usually contain from 1% to 14% methane. The mixture of gases that remains after a firedamp explosion is called afterdamp; it consists chiefly of carbon dioxide and nitrogen. Chokedamp is any mixture of oxygen-deficient mine gases that causes suffocation. (In England, carbon dioxide is called chokedamp.) Several methods are used for detection of damps. The Davy safety lampsafety lamp,
oil lamp designed for safe use in mines and other places where flammable gases such as firedamp (see damp) may be present. Its invention (c.1816) is usually attributed to Sir Humphry Davy.
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 is one of the earliest detection devices. The color and height of the lamp flame indicate the amount of firedamp present; if the flame is extinguished, chokedamp is present. Canaries were formerly kept in mines; the birds are overcome by relatively small quantities of noxious gases, and their death warned the miners of the presence of damps. Special colorimetric detectors are now used. The methanometer is a special portable instrument used to detect firedamp.

damp

[damp]
(engineering)
To reduce the fire in a boiler or a furnace by putting a layer of damp coals or ashes on the fire bed.
(mining engineering)
A poisonous gas in a coal mine.
(physics)
To gradually diminish the amplitude of a vibration or oscillation.
References in periodicals archive ?
Green netting is also useful, but there is no substitute for damping down.
Firefighters asked power engineers to isolate the electricity supply before they could complete damping down operations at the scene.
51am the next morning but firefighters were in attendance damping down until 4.
Firefighters finish damping down the fire that destroyed a tyre fitting business on Willenhall Road, Wolverhampton.
A North Wales Fire and Rescue Service spokeswoman said: "Firefighters were at a farm on Wrexham Road, Wrexham throughout the night damping down yesterday afternoon's barn fire.
Huddersfield crews spent around 90 minutes at the scene tackling the fire and then damping down.
Firefighters left the scene at 1pm yesterday after damping down the area.
Firefighters remained on site damping down and cooling cylinders as a precaution but no exclusion zone was set up.
Firefighters were last night still damping down the inferno at Camden Market in London 24 hours after it began.
Fire crews spent much of yesterday damping down at the site of a major fire at a Black Country industrial estate.
It was brought under control soon after 5pm but two crews remained at the scene damping down and assisting officers to carry out an investigation to pinpoint the cause of the blaze.
We are going to be there thought the night, damping down.