1.2 Underground Mining Cutter Drums Rebuilt with Better Materials

1.2 Underground Mining Cutter Drums Rebuilt with Better Materials
Underground mining is a tough environment – dusty, damp, vibrations, falling material and changing temperatures all take their toll on equipment operating at depths.
 
A range of different equipment is used underground but unlike many surface mining operations, stopping for a service, or an unplanned breakdown, can be dangerous and time consuming. Maximising machine uptime and availability is critical to the successful efficient operation of underground mines.

Problem

  • Particles and moisture between steel on steel surfaces can lead to pitting, corrosion and perhaps worst of all, component seizure. If forced apart, the two surfaces can ‘gall’ with material being ripped from each surface.
     
  • Having spare equipment on hand is expensive, and replacing components while underground is far less efficient, very time consuming and often hazardous for the operators.
     
  • Because component and equipment repair is typically completed by major Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), lead times and cost control are essential to the efficient running of an underground operation.

Solution

  • To stop excessive damage occurring on underground mining cutter drums and thereby increase usable life, LaserBond developed an intelligent solution; by redesigning the cladding metallurgy with the right hardness coupled with low surface friction properties to reduce component seizures.
     
  • The repair process involves inital machining to cleanup the surface, inspection of the resulting surface, laser cladding and remachining back to OEM specifications. 
  • LaserBond is able to complete work on gear cutter cases, cutter drums, gear boxes, shearers and a range of other underground mining equipment which may usually be deemed too expensive to replace with new equipment.

Benefits

  • In some cases, such as base frames, we have successfully extended the useful life from 20,000 to over 40,000 hours, resulting in significant performance improvements for the end user.
     
  • We offer tried and tested alternatives to simply replacing expensive equipment, such as laser cladding wear surfaces to significantly extend the usable life of capital equipment.
     
  • When individual underground mining components can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to replace, cost savings by using reclamation can make a significant difference to operating and running costs.
     
  • Higher machine availability is possible with less downtime due to maintenance and associated less exposure to safety risks.
     
  • Better outcome for environment with less waste and low carbon footprint.

Feedback

Intelligent material development by LaserBond offered a surface coating that reduced severe wear issues in underground mining equipment while improving performance and reducing our maintenance and operation costs.

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