Maine Patent of the Month – May 2021

Many mining processes produce bulk granular material like sand or rock. This bulk product has a high water content that needs to be removed prior to shipping. For instance, water is used to control dust during coal mining, but the coal then needs to be dried out before it can be transported. Typical drying methods use a drainage system and a final heater. R.T.D. Enterprises have designed a portable drainage system to try and enhance this system and speed up the transition from production to transportation.

 The drainage system uses a 2-3 degree graded slope with a perforated pipe at the downside. The system uses interconnected rigid boxes with slots along the btoom that house the bulk material off the ground. The boxes also have site specific drainage fabric which prevent the bulk material from passing but allows water through. Across the bottom of the system is an impermeable liner and a flexible, strong mat runs across the top. These mats allow heavy equipment to drive across the drainage system without damaging it. An air inlet pipe runs through the bottom, between the boxes and the liner, allowing air to run through the cross slots. The air flow and downhill slope helps to move water downhill to collect in a header pipe and move away from the system to a drainage pond. The boxes and mats are easily assembled and disassembled to be set up in any location. The connecting components also make it possible to modify the size of the drainage system as needed. Overall, the portable system provides a modifiable drainage system that doesn’t take up space at the site. 

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