Engineering & Mining Journal

OCT 2018

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80 E&MJ • OCTOBER 2018 www.e-mj.com PROCESSING SOLUTIONS Martin Engineering recently announced a new technology that allows specially trained technicians to mount air can- nons on furnaces, preheaters and in other high-temperature locations while produc- tion continues uninterrupted. The company said it developed the patent-pending Martin Core Gate system to reduce expensive downtime associat- ed with traditional installation methods, which require high-heat processes to be halted to allow core drilling and mounting of the cannons. Martin said it has proven the technology in dozens of installations to date, helping bulk handlers maintain effective material fl ow and minimize shutdowns, improving effi ciency while re- ducing lost production time. The new system has been paired with Martin's Smart Nozzle Series, a family of air cannon nozzle designs that can be ser- viced or replaced during production with- out removing the cannons themselves. With all installation and service performed from outside the vessel or process, the Core Gate system also contributes to a saf- er workplace by minimizing the diffi culty and hazards of installation and mainte- nance, according to the company. "Both of these innovations repre- sent signifi cant technical breakthroughs in the industry," said Global Flow Aids Manager Brad Pronschinske. "In the past, when material accumulation prob- lems became an issue, processors would have to either limp along until the next scheduled shutdown or endure expen- sive downtime to install an air cannon network. That could cost a company hundreds of thousands of dollars per day in lost production," he said. "Our initial advancement was engi- neering a nozzle design that could be safely replaced with no production stop- page," Pronschinske continued. "Now this new technology allows us to add air cannons and nozzles to an operation while it's in full swing, without disrupting the process." To install air cannons in a running process, Martin technicians fi rst conduct an assessment of the accumulation pat- terns and blockages to identify the proper air cannon locations, then drill through the outer wall and weld the Core Gate in place. The core drill is mounted, checked for alignment and started, with progress monitored as it works its way through the refractory. As soon as the drill cuts through the refractory, the drill is backed out and an isolation shield is slid into place to protect workers from the severe environment. The Smart Nozzle assembly is mounted next using an eight-bolt pat- tern, followed by the nozzle itself. Replacing a conventional fan nozzle on existing equipment typically requires the removal of refractory material from around the nozzle opening, usually with a pneumatic hammer from inside the vessel. Martin said that process invari- ably weakens the surrounding refrac- tory and renders it more susceptible to spider-webbing and subsequent crack- ing. In contrast, Martin said its re- placement system leaves the refractory undisturbed during service, and one worker can safely perform installations or maintenance from outside the vessel. The design features a smaller footprint than typical fan jet nozzles, delivering a larger blast pattern than pipe nozzles or standard fan jet designs. "Now, as soon as a material accumu- lation issue is identifi ed, we can inspect the problem, design an air cannon layout and install the units quickly," Pronschin- ske said. "As long as the blockage isn't so severe that it completely obstructs the process fl ow, we can generally keep production moving while we mount the equipment for the solution." Sustainable Solutions for Managing Brine From Tailings Working with SRK Consulting colleagues in Vancouver, Canada, SRK Consulting's offi ce in Cape Town, South Africa, has conducted preliminary groundwater mod- eling to assist a mining client in South America to fi nd an environmentally sus- tainable solution for managing brine em- anating from mine tailings. According to Sheila Imrie, SRK princi- pal hydrogeologist and specialist ground- water numerical modeler, the management of waste brines is a common challenge for mines worldwide, and the client is investi- gating the options for disposing of sodium chloride (NaCl) brine over a 23-year mine life and potentially after closure. "A number of brine management op- tions were evaluated for the project to consider at prefeasibility stage," said Im- rie, "all of which had to take into account the relevant environmental regulations in conjunction with the geological setting and other conditions in the mining area." New System Installs Air Cannons Without Process Shutdown The Core Gate system can be installed entirely from the outside of a vessel, allowing processes to continue and providing safer working conditions for the installers. The system employs a core drill and isolation shield to preserve the integrity of the interior refractory material and protect workers from the severe interior environment.

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