Polyurethane in mines: where is it used and what is its role?
The mineral extraction stage or extraction process is evidently the first step in the mining exploration process. This step involves hauling the mineral to the surface so that it can undergo several processing stages.
For the most part, steel cable pulleys and cone bits are used to bring the mineral to the surface. Wear and tear of pulleys and steel cables is a major issue in this type of operation.
Polyurethane used to coat a cone bit
Polyurethane allows for the manufacture of very precise tailor-made parts that protect this kind of equipment. Adding urethane overlay to cone bits increases the lifespan of the cone bits. The lifespan of the steel cables is also increased because the urethane reduces steel on steel friction.
The use of polyurethane facilitates a proactive approach to managing the maintenance of mining extraction equipment.
The crushing stage is followed by the milling stage. The crushing stage involves breaking up the rock or mineral. During this stage, a dust extractor reduces the level of dust emissions in the air.
The lifespan of dust extractor pipes is also a major issue in mining. In certain cases, pipes must be resealed several times.
Polyurethane used to coat the interior of a dust extractor pipe
When the dust is sticky and has a tendency to cling to the walls of the steel pipes it travels through, a polyurethane coating can prevent the need to reseal the pipes and greatly increase the lifespan of the pipes.
There are considerable savings when it comes to time and overall costs are reduced.
Are you familiar with the principle of mineral floatation? During the mining process, different solids are separated from each other due to the differences in their surface properties. Naturally, liquids must be transported to the floatation machine using pumps and pipes.
Mines use a pump from an original equipment manufacturer (or OEM) and have no choice but to replace pump housings on a regular basis due to premature wear.
As you can imagine, the cost of maintaining this equipment is very high.
Polyurethane used to coat the interior of a pump
Coating the interior of a pump is a long-term solution to an issue that several mines are faced with, including some mines in the Nord-du-Québec region. Polyurethane characteristics include abrasion and erosion resistance, which makes it an ideal product for use in the transportation of liquids.
Using a polyurethane solution to coat the interior of a pump is 3 times cheaper than installing a new pump. Polyurethane also increases the lifespan of the original equipment by at least three times!
What about the transportation of liquids? In mining exploration plants and plants in other sectors, pipes that are used to transport various materials can perforate.
When this happens and no material for sealing the pipe is available, shutting down plant operations is the only option.
Polyurethane used to seal pipes
In order to avoid shutdowns, a piece of polyurethane can temporarily seal pipes before the next planned shutdown. This step is very useful and does not affect plant productivity.
For this kind of solution, ceramic is incorporated into the polyurethane to provide better resistance against abrasion and retaining straps are glued to the top for easy installation.
Polyurethane is a very useful product in the mining industry. It is a solution that significantly reduces issues such as abrasion, wear and tear, shock, and rust. We can help you pinpoint THE solution that is best suited to your issue. Contact us!