Materials for controlling wear in surface mining
It has been estimated conservatively that the costs of wear damage and friction in the Canadian mining and mineral processing industry amount to over one billion dollars per year. These are mainly incurred through the repair or replacement of worn parts and production losses from related equipment downtime. The selection and application of the most appropriate wear protection components and systems, can thus have a very significant influence on productivity, profitability and global competitiveness.
Details are presented of the wide diversity of materials used to counteract the varied and often complex wear attack mechanisms that occur in surface mining. The majority are various forms of steels and irons with generally very high hardness. However, they also include relatively soft elastomers and polymeric products. The main characteristics and applications of the different classes are reviewed. Case studies record significant performance improvements achieved through more judicious selections. Finally, some new developments which reduce maintenance charges by substantially increasing wear component life, are described.