Transfer points no longer need to be high maintenance areas on a mine according to Mark Baller, managing director of Weba Chute Systems, who says the solution to reducing maintenance costs on transfer points is simple.
“More often than not this issue is addressed by looking at new materials handling solutions including the use of sophisticated lining composite materials which can be extremely expensive,” Mark says. “The solution does not have to be as complicated as this, nor as costly.”
Mark explains that the Weba Chute System is not an alternative to conventional chute systems. “It is, in fact, a completely different engineered approach with a ‘supertube’ or ‘cascade’ scenario with 95% of the material running on material at the same time.
“Some engineers may be familiar with the term ‘boundary layer’ which is used in aero and fluid dynamics. Studies of this phenomenon show that when a boundary layer is in place, friction can be reduced by up to 30%,” he adds.
When viewed in slow motion, it becomes apparent that the particles close to the surface actually move in a tumbling motion and are, in fact, moving slower than the main flow of material. Sliding particles moving at higher velocities cause extensive wear, while those that tumble at a lower velocity cause far less wear.
“Controlling the material’s movement down the transfer point is only the first step. By changing the angle of the transfer point, the material can be controlled from its entry into the chute right up until the point of discharge.”
This optimal control of the material during its journey through the transfer point not only reduces wear, but can eliminate spillage which is a major cost issue both in terms of waste and when it comes to cleaning up the area around the transfer point.
Mark says that on a new transfer point, it is actually possible to completely eliminate spillage, and on projects where Weba Chute Systems are retrofitted into existing installations, it is possible to significantly reduce spillage.
The company currently services six different continents, mainly from its South Africa manufacturing facility, with distributors and agents in most regions. With ISO 9001:2008 accreditation, quality manufacture forms an important part of the process.
Significantly, today there are over 4 000 successful transfer chute and system installations throughout the world handling a variety of different materials.
Weba Chute Systems, Mark Baller
Tel: (011) 827-9372