Engineering & Mining Journal

FEB 2018

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Page 35 of 59

WEAR PROTECTION 34 E&MJ • FEBRUARY 2018 In the endless campaign that mine op- erators wage against abrasion of critical wear parts, it might be safe to say that metal wins the battles, but abrasion wins the war. After all, metal components are made strong enough to cut, crack, crush or grind even the toughest ore — but eventually these components wear down to the point of inefficiency or failure. The presence of water anywhere in the process brings another set of problems to the ta- ble, and often can shorten the service life of wear components by changing the na- ture of the abrasive action or by corrosion. There's good reason why water engineers are fond of saying "water always wins." Full ceramic wear materials offer an alternative to metal, with excellent abra- sion resistance and no threat of corrosion, but they can't be formed or cut like metal can, and also can be challenging to in- stall correctly. Likewise, elastomers offer unique characteristics that make them very effective in many applications, but selecting an elastomeric product with op- timum abrasion resistance for site-specif- ic applications can be tricky. However, even though abrasion may always be the eventual winner against any of these materials, there are many options available to mineral producers to prolong the life of wear components, reduce the cost of these consumable items, and soft- en the overall impact of abrasive wear on production volume and cost. One strategy employs a three-pronged approach: • Buy the best • Plan before you buy • Plan after you buy Buy the Best "Buying the best" doesn't necessari- ly mean buying the most expensive or well-known wear components, it means buying the product that best fits specific operational needs, budget and available resources. In some cases, this could en- tail buying a more expensive, longer-last- ing item for installation in critical areas where failure or excessive maintenance demands could impact production; or a less-expensive product when quick chan- geout and avoidance of unscheduled downtime aren't principal factors. It pays to keep abreast of new product introductions and upgrades in the wear materials market. Suppliers are constant- ly improving the physical characteristics of their wear products, which often ex- pands their horizons for applicability. Last year, for example, SSAB intro- duced its new Hardox 500 Tuf, touting the attractiveness of its strength, hard- ness and toughness combined in one type of wear plate. According to SSAB, it offers the best properties of Hardox 450 and Hardox 500, making it tough enough to perform as a structural ma- terial in heavy-duty dump bodies and buckets. Offering performance proven in cold climates and freezing conditions, its superior wear and dent resistance allow for increased service life and the ability to withstand heavy impact, said SSAB. Specific characteristics include: • 85-100% longer estimated service life compared to Hardox 400; • Guaranteed impact energy of 20 ft-lb at -4°F (27 J at -20°C); • Narrow Brinell hardness window of 475–505 HBW; and • Highly dent and crack resistant when hit by sharp and heavy objects. However, not all applications will re- quire Hardox 500 Tuf. SSAB noted that XCMG, one of China's biggest construction machinery manufacturers, recently built what it claims is the biggest wheel loader bucket in China, with a capacity of 17 m 3 . Use of Hardox plate and Strenx structural steel increased overall bucket lifetime by 70%, according to the manufacturer. The first of these buckets is being used with a large electric-wheel loader in the Eastern open-pit mine in Shuozhou, Shanxi, which is the biggest coal produc- ing area of China. "The original bucket had worn out and the end-user needed a reliable replacement. We have been Strategizing to Cut Wear Costs and Problems Check out these new products, systems and tips to handle critical anti-wear applications By Russell A. Carter, Contributing Editor Advances in the physical characteristics of new wear products often expand their scope of applicability, such as SSAB's Hardox 500 Tuf steel, which the company says combines the best properties of its Hardox 450 and 500 products to provide superior wear and dent resistance along with high structural strength.

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