In order to achieve a more efficient way to accurately detect the position of the fire source of spontaneous combustion underground mine, a simple fire source locating method, based on infrared scanning system which can determine the point where the highest temperature on the surface of igniting ores occurs, was proposed. First, the differential equations that describe heat flow in ore body were presented and the relationship between the surface temperature distribution and the depth and intensity of inner fire source was established with a relatively simple heat transfer model. With the solution of equation, the expression of the relationship between the surface temperature distribution and the inner fire source was deduced and the mathematical-physical model of heat transfer process was set up. Then, with the model, visualization of fire source on the basis of MATLAB simulation platform was realized. The results show that: 1) within 10 m, when the detecting depth is less than 2 m, the temperature perturbation on ores surface can change rapidly, and then slowly; after 4 m, in contrast, it changes very little, and is even close to zero at 10 m; 2) When it is close to self-ignition duration and the detective depths are 2, 5 and 10 m, respectively, the maximum temperature differences are correspondingly 0.5, 0.04 and 0.005 A degrees C in the scope of 1 mx1 m; under the same condition, the maximum temperature differences are 1.391, 0.136 and 0.018 A degrees C, respectively, in the scope of 2 mx2 m. Therefore, this system can be used to measure the temperature differences on the surface of ore body and determine the highest temperature point directly. Also, it is possible to determine the depth of fire source and its intensity by locating method of fire source indirectly.
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