The results of a series of laboratory and field experiments which investigated the performance of mechanical screens when used in conjunction with water sprays to suppress coal dust are reported. The laboratory study compared the pressure drop and the coal dust suppression characteristics of six different materials when sprayed with a fine mist of water. These results are compared with those of the corresponding materials when dry. The influence of the number and configuration of these sprays is discussed. Encouraging results from field tests where one particular spray configuration and material type was tested in a mine roadway of a New South Wales Colliery are also presented. © 1989 Elsevier Science Publishers B.V.