Capital Equipment News

In the latest addition to its Vulco® composite range of mill lining systems, Weir Minerals Africa has introduced a new heavy-duty lifter bar to optimise service life and further contribute to lowering customers’ cost of mill ownership.

Weir pushes composite liner design to improve mill life“The design and strength of this innovation makes us confident it will compete well against steel liners,” says Kevin Sherwen-Slater, Vulco Product Manager at Weir Minerals Africa. “It will also allow us to approach the bigger mills, in the size range of 6,5 m diameter up to even 10 to 11 m diameter.”

He notes that many process plants in the global mining sector are starting to ramp up production in response to higher commodity prices, putting them in a better position to benefit from more advanced liner technologies that offer longer life and less downtime. New mills being built tend to be larger, single-stream units that run at high tonnages for better efficiencies and throughput; as a result, mill uptime and lifespan have become more important factors in mine profitability.

“It is therefore increasingly imperative that mills run continuously, reliably and efficiently,” he says. “These new liner technologies – with stronger compounds and better designs – contribute significantly to mines’ efforts to achieve this.”

Manufactured with the new R67 rubber compound, which boasts higher wearing resistance than compound R63, the heavy-duty lifter also incorporates Hardox 500 steel to resist wear.

Vulco® composite liners have become popular for several reasons, says Sherwen-Slater, including a power consumption saving of 25% to drive the mill compared to steel lined mills, throughput increases of some 27% on grate discharge mills due to minimum blinding of the apertures on the grates and service life improvements of 30% compared to steel lined mills in certain applications.

“There is also a mill noise reduction of about 9 dB due to sound deadening from the rubber material, which is an important consideration for many mines as they work towards lower noise levels as part of improving mine health and safety,” he says.

The reduction of material lockup between the liners and the mill body, due to compression fit on installation, is a great benefit for low grade plant operations and reduces the risk of theft during liner replacement.

The liners – which are only two-thirds of the weight of steel liners - allow for a reduced installation time due to ease of handling, thereby cutting downtime and supporting plant productivity efforts. An added advantage is that the bearing loads applied by the mill itself are substantially less with composite liners.

“Due to the weight difference, a mill’s weight could be increased by 400 tonnes with the addition of steel liners, whereas the equivalent weight with composites would be less than 300 tonnes,” he says. “This represents a notable reduction in the pressure on the bearings, in turn improving their lifespan and reducing maintenance costs.”

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Title: Editor
Name: Munesu Shoko
Email: capnews@crown.co.za
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