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 ?
We have been caught on dampish wickets to start with,''Derrick said,by way of explanation for his side's failure to win any of their opening four games.
On a day when batting was never easy on a dampish wicket they were given a solid platform with openers Neil Humphrey and Hugh Jones putting on 121 runs in 37 overs.
A man in a hat with earflaps approached Hanemann; the untied strings of his hat hung down both sides of his dark, dampish face, and with a lazy, crooked movement he punched Hanemann in the chest with his wool-gloved hand.
Pontypridd elected to bat on a dampish wicket and managed 163-7 with the match reduced to 44 overs after a delayed start.
Now, in her basement studio in one of west Springfield's older neighborhoods - it's an old-ifashioned basement, with block walls and wooden support posts and the traditionally dampish subterranean smell - she's making renewed progress on her larger art pieces.
The dog drifted over the dampish earth like a weaving trail of smoke, pausing here, stopping there, wisping his unobtrusive way through the stand's nooks and crannies.
Scholes had mercilessly asked Paddock to bat on a dampish track, and the metronomic Andy Alsop soon realised that all that was required was to pitch it up straightish and the ineptitude of the home batters would do the rest.