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.
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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.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Pontypridd elected to bat on a dampish wicket and managed 163-7 with the match reduced to 44 overs after a delayed start.
The town of cheese, chuckles and Tommy Cooper is best summed up by this song (to the tune of Chicago): Caerphilly, Caerphilly, that wonderful town Caerphilly, Caerphilly let's show you around We've got a super-duper castle, a sight to see In Caerphilly, Caerphilly A leaning tower that Cromwell couldn't knock down Our weather is dampish and makes us all sneeze But we beat the freezes with our cheese Caerphilly, Caerphilly our home town.
Hussain and Taylor fought doggedly and both made 42, Younis bashed 19 at the end and once again Alsop was in his element on a dampish late season strip, barely sending down a loose ball and extracting extravagant movement at times.
Hamburg and its dampish clay seems tailormade for Acasuso, who looks to have few stumbling blocks before a possible clash with Nadal in the semis.
It enjoys a dampish soil and shelter from cold winds.
But with the dampish wickets and all that, he hasn't really had a good run to start with."
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.
The wild daffodil is found more to the south and west of Britain, preferring dampish woodlands, meadows and hedge banks.