A mining complex is a terrible place to install man-made tools and equipment. Abrasive rocks cut at rigid metal panels. Water pours down every rough wall, and humidity kills electrical circuitry. Rubber products for the mining industry arbitrate this geological horror show, reducing the damage by introducing a versatile mechanical constituent to the gritty mix. Rough-hewn rocks loaded with trace elements and precious minerals pummel the alloys protecting the equipment, but polymer-imbued pliability comes to the rescue, delivering a protective layer, one that ejects shock events with a solid bounce and an anti-abrasive skid to instantly reform and deal with the next glancing blow.
A resilient molding forms rubber wedges, chocks that allow the passage of utility cables and smooth the way of vehicle wheels. Rubber-lined sheets coat hoppers, imbuing light-duty self-tipping feeders and heavy-duty bins with a shock-attenuating layer. This coating acts as a defensive lining, one that protects warp-prone metal housings from the crushing force of mined raw material. Also employed for other material handling duties, foot traffic mats, and transfer chute lining.
The conveyor belt and screening decks are obvious examples of rubber products for the mining industry, so no prizes for guessing those. But take a peek under the steel-reinforced belt. The roller pulleys and the drum cladding on the pulleys use high-grip rubber to stop energy-sapping slippage events and maximize the operation of the drive system, including any of the vibratory action that screens thin streams of aggregate matter. Indeed, rubberized inserts counterbalance the springs and assembly elements of this counter-vibrating mechanism, thus canceling wear and enhancing the screening cycle.
This turnkey service produces products that precisely fit a stated application. Sound-absorbing rubber screens and perimeter bumpers increase wear-resistance by a factor of 15 when compared with equivalent fabrics and wire meshes, which ensures the transportation segment of the mine keeps moving around the clock. Down among the chutes, special inflatable linings further reduce impact and establish a favourable flow of material that attenuates wastage, a move that’s especially applicable when the conveyed material is a valuable mineral such as a stream of diamond-laden gravel.
On moving away from the main artery of the operation, rubber products for the mining industry form water hoses and pump drive belts, ‘O’ rings for drainage pipes and grip handles for heavy tools. The rubber in question is tough, resilient, fast to reform, and formulated to resist the water and chemical agents that flow in a dirty mine.