The product, which will be officially launched at the annual SME meeting in Denver, US, later this month, is designed to help mining companies reduce production downtime.
Current practice for wear protection in chutes and hoppers usually involves wear liners or panels which are bolted or welded onto the equipment. Different liners are applied depending on factors such as type of ore, drop height, material lump-size distribution, and angle of impact. Common types include hard-metal liners, heavy-duty rubber or rubber/ceramic composite liners, each with their own strength and weakness.
Frequent replacement of wear liners requires downtime and safety is also an issue as liners can weigh 20-40kg apiece.
FerroCer Impact has a composite structure combining both steel and ceramic components for superior abrasion resistance in medium- to high-impact applications.
FLSmidth said it has been shown to increase wear resistance by a factor of up to 15 times compared with traditional wear solutions, depending on the ore type and application. This allows minerals processing plants to achieve a total cost of ownership less than half that of other liners.
FerroCer Impact panels are lighter and less bulky than traditional metallic liners. Each panel comprises a number of ceramic inserts enclosed within a matrix of cast metal. The matrix protects the more vulnerable side faces of the inserts and ensures that only the wear face of the ceramic is exposed to material impact.
The tapered geometry of the ceramic inserts and corresponding holes within the matrix act to wedge the inserts within the matrix and prevent material particles and fluids from causing them to be ejected from the matrix.
This design also enables the remaining wear life of the ceramic inserts to be visually assessed; as the exposed surface of the insert is progressively worn away, its area and face width increase.
The panels’ low weight (approximately 5kg) and compact shape make them quick and easy to install using nothing more than standard hand tools. FerroCer Impact can be installed in chutes, hoppers, bins, guides, deflector plates or any place where bulk material is conveyed in a mine or minerals processing plant.
FLSmidth said that in one nickel processing plant, FerroCer Impact panels were installed in a conveyor discharge chute downline from the primary crusher unit where the material drops 6m from one conveyor belt down to another. The hardness of the nickel ore is approximately 5Mohs scale. After installation, the plant operated for 319 days (and is still running), at full production of 900t/h with lump sizes of up to 250mm in diameter. This was a big step up from the previous liner, which had lasted less than three weeks on average.