Coal Age

SEP 2017

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Page 33 of 51

32 September 2017 wear protection continued Among the more commonly used Loc- tite formulations are: • Putties—thick pastes applied using a trowel or by hand on surfaces within arm's reach. Various sized bead fillers incorporated into different putty for- mulations give them distinct strength and hardness characteristics to resist wear based on the fluids or solids handled by the parts. • Brush-on coatings—self-leveling, low- viscosity materials that can be applied with brushes or rollers, or simply poured onto a substrate and allowed to coat the desired area. • Sprayable coatings—low viscosity ma- terials similar to brush-on materials that achieve just 0.020-in. (0.5-mm) thick- ness. Because these coatings are so thin and the ceramic powders used in them are so fine, they should not be exposed to high turbulence or impact. Appropri- ate applications for sprayable ceram- ics coatings include augers, screens, grates, curved components, elbows and the insides of tanks and vessels. • Impact-resistant coatings—specially formulated to absorb shock and with- stand damage from medium to large sized aggregate such as rocks, coal and other substances falling onto or strik- ing a substrate. These materials are often found protecting chutes at the end of conveyor belts. Pins Point to Component Life Expectancy Keeping track of how quickly vital ma- chine parts are wearing out is a labor-in- tensive task that can easily be overlooked until problems arise or failures occur at inopportune times. Rockland Manufac- turing Co., based in Pennsylvania, has in- troduced a product designed to solve that problem. According to Rockland, wear parts equipped with its patent-pending Wear Pin technology allow operators to deter- mine how much wear life remains in a part, just by looking at it. When a mold- board, blade, liner, or wear plate wears to a specific point, contrasting Wear Pins ap- pear, signaling the need for maintenance or replacement. The amount of wear over a certain pe- riod of time in a certain location can also be easily determined, again just by looking at the part. This provides fleet managers with an opportunity to experiment with configurations to reduce the overall cost of equipment operations and maximize uptime. Different materials can also be easily evaluated and tested in specific ap- plications side-by-side with one another, according to Rockland. "We created this technology for two reasons," said Bill Pratt, Rockland's mar- keting director. "First, to prevent un- scheduled downtime due to equipment failure by using a visual indicator of wear and second, to eliminate the need for multiple manpower-intensive ultra- sonic inspections." He went on to explain that when the steel structure of a bucket or blade wears thin, cracks appear that may not be per- ceptible upon visual inspection. If the cracks aren't properly repaired in a time- ly manner, they will continue to grow. To eliminate the need for continual ultra- sonic inspections assessing the extent of cracks, Wear Pins installed directly in the bucket shell, blade moldboard or any lin- er component during manufacturing be- come visible when the steel has worn to a point at which operators should schedule maintenance or prepare for replacement. Speedy Chain Repairs Cut Downtime Another common goal of an overall wear-protection program is labor cost re- duction. When parts do eventually wear out and require replacement, new wear materials and related components ideal- ly should be easy to install with minimal equipment downtime. Accordingly, Columbia Steel Products believes that for some mine maintenance crews, the holy grail of dragline chain maintenance would be a tough, reliable repair link that is also easy and safe to in- stall and remove. With that goal in mind, Columbia Steel Product Engineer Charlie Dreixler has been working extensively on hoist and drag chain designs since 2010. "We're on our fifth generation of mechan- ical repair link improvements, and a year's worth of field trials in Wyoming and North Dakota have already convinced customers to place additional orders," Dreixler said. Columbia said the key to the repair link's success is its EZ RigLok hammer- less, mechanical pin locking system. The system has also proven to be a faster, safer locking mechanism in many other Colum- bia Steel dragline products as well, like hoist links, swivel links, and clevises. The EZ RigLok repair link requires no welding or special tools, and needs just a standard 3/4-in. breaker bar to install and remove. Dreixler noted that accelerated wear on hoist chain in the bucket rub rail area is a frequent cause of downtime — and a real test for any repair link. "During our Wyoming field trial, the EZ RigLok repair link lasted for over seven months in a rub rail position." Columbia Steel says its EZ RigLok repair links allow safer, faster fixes for worn-out or broken dragline chain sections.

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