The Connection Between Mining and Plastic Engineering

April 27, 2015
The Connection Between Mining and Plastic Engineering

Mining tools face a tough challenge every day. After all, they’re smack in the middle of a hazardous environment, one that has a talent for wearing through the toughest alloys when time is on its side. Once constructed solely from metal, science couldn’t keep up with the slew of damaging forces that geology had at its command. Thankfully, modern mining has access to the latest and greatest developments in engineering plastics, a science that has developed to keep pace with tough locales. Abrasion resistant polyurethane products stack up against chemical threats and the presence of water, holding intrinsic plastic strength that actually sees sharp rocks and gritty aggregate bounce off of the surface of plastic linings.

The cycle we’ve just described began with wood, but cellulose grains gave way to metal as wood rotted. Time advanced and corrosion-prone iron was swapped for early plastics, placing polymers in a position that would prove to be a test by fire. The inert nature of a high-end engineering plastic reinforces this last statement by delivering today’s polyurethane tools, feeders, conveyors, and screens, components that won’t react to damp or impact. The nature-defeating neutrality of the material has since been extended by a library of other engineering plastics that add superior strength and friction defying characteristics. If those properties aren’t quite up to the challenge, it’s a simple task to contact a polymer engineering division and source a tailored plastic that works within an extreme temperature range and can still reject heavy impacts. Provided as either a standalone product, screen are one example, the productivity cycle also embraces a plastic lining dynamic, thus combining the unmatched strength of new alloys with the chemically inert features of resin-applied engineering plastics.

Pipes coated in polyethylene barriers and rubberised synthetics are yet another connection between mining and plastic engineering. The HDPE deposited layer is flexible, pliable, and incorporates abrasion defeating properties that make the material ideal for running through the many rough-edged chambers that typically define a functional mine or quarry. Already known as a proven barrier against tough soil conditions in the mundane world of domestic pipes and utility cables, engineering plastics are manufactured for mining purposes as a semi-formed resin, thus coating the mine bins and nests of pipes that blanket this underground world. Still, this barrier between man-made metals and soil is only a fringe aspect of engineering plastics pervasive presence in mining. The true power of plastic lays in its customisable capacity to come in contact with ore, coal, and minerals, shrugging of raw rocks and gritty aggregate with equal ease.