CALGARY, Alberta Roller life is critical for underground mines that have conveyors continuously transferring material. If a roller fails, not only is it costly to replace the equipment itself, but there is also the major factor of conveyor downtime. In response, manufacturers look to innovative materials and designs to improve bearing protection and the strength of the roller.
LUFF INDUSTRIES recently patented a sealing arrangement that incorporates a pressed polymer endcap rather than the traditional welded steel endcap. Polymer is durable, lightweight and withstands corrosion. The non-welded manufacturing process also allows the metal to be dipped in paint, which gives lasting corrosion protection inside and out.
IMC GLOBAL, which mines potash near Esterhazy, Sask., has installed rollers with Luff's new endcaps and is pleased with the results. It used to be that at a particular angular change on the return side of the 60-inch-wide belt, the traditional rollers were consistently failing after six to eight months of operation.
"Due to the high stresses incurred from the angular deflection and the exposure to fine potash material, the traditional 6-inch-diameter CEMA C rollers were not lasting and were causing downtime," said Alfred Friday, maintenance engineer/co-ordinator of the K2 mine. "We replaced our 6-inch rollers with Luff's 5-inch CEMA D. It has been a year and we have still not had to replace the Luff return rollers even thought the size difference translates to a 20% increase in revolutions."
Friday added that he is looking forward to putting them to the test in other areas of the mine.
For more information, visit www.luffindustries.com.