Conveyor systems work with a wide range of raw materials. And these are often not very easy to handle. They are hard, abrasive and move at high velocities causing wear and tear. At the very least, this wear and tear can become a source of constant maintenance. In the worst-case scenario, it can cause a complete failure of the conveyor system and lead to massive amounts of spillage.
The nature and properties of the raw material can be changed to a certain extent to make the interaction between the aggregate and the system more harmonious. For instance, we can ensure a smaller lump size. However, it is just not enough in high-tonnage, high-speed systems. Crushers, buckets, hoppers, transfer points, chutes, screens and feeders have critical points that are vulnerable to abrasion and impact damage in such situations. An effective strategy to prevent such damage and increase component lifespan is to make the system more wear-resistant. This is where wear plates play a key role.
What is a wear plate?
Wear plates are sacrificial plates that function as an intermediary between the raw materials and conveyor system components. They are fixed onto components such as chutes to guard them against the abrasive nature of raw materials. The entire area where the raw materials interact with the system at high relative speeds is covered with these wear plates.
The wear damage now occurs on these wear plates instead of on the expensive component. Over time, these plates erode and are replaced with new ones. Using wear plates is a very effective method of minimizing permanent wear damage to conveyor system components.
What is a wear plate made of?
Over the years, engineers have experimented with a variety of materials to create wear plates for various aggressive bulk powders and aggregates. These include.
- Low cost solution, not suitable in heavy duty environments
- Ultra-high-molecular-weight (UHMW) Polyethylene
- A dependable material for uninterrupted raw material flow. Low heat resistance (unless treated), surface hardness, rigidity and creep resistance are common issues associated with polyethylene.
- Lightweight and easy to install, but low impact absorption
- Abrasion-resistant steel
- Popular solution for mining and high-wear applications. Poor performance in terms of abrasive resistance
- White iron
- Ideal in wear resistance and abrasion resistance applications. Its hardness can be a limiting factor
The introduction of composite wear plates
Composite wear plates consist of two different materials in a matrix, each of which retains its properties. Many composite wear plates are available in the market to choose from. These materials typically outperform single material wear plates. An example of such a wear plate is when hardened steel is embedded in a rubber matrix. Composite materials combine the best properties of the two constituent materials.
A brilliant example of composite wear products outperforming conventional alternatives is that of ROXDUR products from Roxon. Roxon performed several comparative studies at different locations to verify the effectiveness of ROXDUR products. We will take a look at the results of these studies, but before that let us learn about the material used in the production of ROXDUR wear products.
Composite wear plates from ROXDUR
ROXDUR wear products are made from a composite material consisting of cemented carbide in an iron matrix. It has excellent wear and impact resistance properties that enable it to last up to 20 times longer than conventional wear plates for mining.
Under testing, it outperformed different grades of carbon steel, abrasion-resistant steel, manganese alloys, ceramics and even white iron by a huge margin. This degree of resistance contributes to its long life, significantly increasing the interval between plate replacements. This, in turn, reduces downtime and maintenance costs for medium, heavy and light duty applications.
ROXDUR wear products outperform traditional wear plates at multiple client locations
Roxon’s engineers were able to evaluate the quality of ROXDUR wear products in operation through three distinct case studies. These studies were carried out at client sites where ROXDUR products had recently been installed. The testing focused on various parameters that are of great significance in any mining operation These parameters are:
- Harsh working environment
- Service life
Harsh working environment
The first case study took place at an iron ore mining facility in Sweden. The facility had a capacity of 5000 t/hr and lump size of 300 mm.
ROXDUR skirt liners were installed to improve ore containment on the first conveyor right after the primary crusher. The setup was observed for 183 days. During the duration of the study, the weather conditions were between 0°C and 25°C.
When the study concluded in October 2021, it showed that ROXDUR skirt liners lasted six times longer than the white iron wear plates before them. The liners are still in operation as of April 2022.
One of the most significant benefits of ROXDUR wear products is their unrivaled service life. For the second case study, the engineers selected a copper ore mining facility in Peru. The capacity of the system was 6000 t/hr and the material size was between 250 and 350 mm.
In this system, ROXDUR skirt liners were installed on a belt feeder after the primary crusher. Critical points on the feeder that were most vulnerable to heavy wear damage were fitted with these liners. Prior to this, white iron plates were in use at these locations and they lasted only one month.
The performance of ROXDUR liners was evaluated for 160 days until the study concluded in September 2021. However, at the end of three months itself, the client was happy with ROXDUR performance and decided to continue with them. The liners have been running for seven months by now showing an improvement of at least a six times longer service life.
The third case study took place at another iron ore facility based in Sweden. This facility had a capacity of 1000 t/hr with a material size of 200 mm. ROXDUR chute liners were installed at a critical chute after the primary crusher. With the previous wear plate, a replacement would be in order after every 500 ktons.
ROXDUR chute liners, however, have so far lasted 4000 ktons and are still going strong. Even if we consider 4000 ktons as the provided tonnage, that is eight times as much tonnage as the previous wear material making it a very beneficial investment.
Every mining operation is different. Every raw material has its own characteristics. But there are certain qualities expected of wear-resistant materials that are invariable for an efficient mining operation. These include qualities such as low friction, noise damping, high abrasion and impact resistance, easy installation and replacement and a long service life. ROXDUR products have all of these qualities and more.
If your plant is experiencing wear-related problems at bunkers, transfer points, chutes, hoppers screens and feeders, reach out to us today for a reliable solution. At Roxon, we undertake chute manufacturing and installation as well. First-time customers who invest in a ROXDUR installation can also be supported with a performance guarantee.
To find our more about ROXDUR visit www.roxon.com/roxdur