Electromagnetic wire-rope testing --- disparate LMA results, an ongoing problem

CIM Edmonton 2004
Lorant B. Geller, Frank Kitzinger, Eric Leung,
Abstract Electromagnetic wire rope testing is the only practical non-destructive method to evaluate the current condition of wire ropes in general, and in the mining industry in particular. The method has been successfully used worldwide for decades. In mining it has considerably improved the safety of operations. Yet, problems persist. In particular both the Loss-of-Metallic-Area (LMA) readings, as well as the Local Fault (LF) readings, as obtained by different instrument operators, were found to be unacceptably diverse.

Consequently, large sums have been spent internationally, as well as in Canada, comparing a whole range of these instruments in an effort to rate their performance. The published results clearly confirmed operational experience, namely that the LMA and LF readings were, indeed, unacceptably diverse. Excellent pertinent conclusions were also published.

In Canada the authors’ conclusion was that while the divergence in the LF signal based results could, possibly, be attributed to both hardware and human-error related factors, the LMA signal related quantitative uncertainties were human-error related. Consequently, much attention was paid in Canada to developing novel control methods, namely computerized ones to replace the more error-prone analogue ones. In addition new sensor-heads were developed, both for portable as well as for permanent installation with remote control operations. While these efforts were of considerable benefit, the situation must again be carefully reviewed with very special reference to deep-level mining, now of immediate concern in Canada as well.

In this paper the authors supply an overview of the results obtained by three of the four major international projects referred to previously. Relevant conclusions/comments are also restated. Moreover, specific recommendations are put forward as to how current problems might best be remedied.
Keywords: Loss-of-Metallic-Area, PermaScan, Magnograph, Wire -rope, Rotesco AC, Electromagnetic, Non-destructive, Local Fault
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