Having spent a large part of his time developing the two-foot cone crusher as a superior alternative to traditional machines, Leon Venter, designer and founder of Crush Force, came up against a challenge when repetitive failures of a seemingly insignificant bush began to occur on a test machine that was being trialled in a hard metal recycling operation nearby the company’s East Rand factory.
The failure had been completely unexpected and despite finite element analyses, stress tests and a host of other interventions taken during the ongoing development of the crusher, no material could stand up to the stresses exerted on the small bush – until igus South Africa brought engineered plastics into the equation.
Metal out, plastic in
“The part in question is a 45mm bush that serves as a guide for the torque arm. Having tried phosphor bronze and several other materials, these would fail prematurely within a few weeks. In each instance the entire processing line needed to come to a halt for the seemingly insignificant part to be replaced,” says Leon.
“This is when igus polymer specialist, Juan-Eric Davidtz came calling and suggested we make use of one of the company’s specially-formulated bushes. Having made use of igus materials for other components previously, I installed it on the crusher about a year ago and it is still in operation to this day. On inspection it is clear that the bush is holding up well and shows no visual signs of wear and tear.
All the difference
“One simple part has made all the difference and enables the crusher to perform at its design capability. It was frustrating because everything else was designed to outlast and outperform ordinary crushers and the torque arm bush was the last piece of the puzzle to produce South Africa’s own, world-beating cone crusher.
“From the beginning we set out to manufacture the world’s most productive crusher for hard rock applications. Every part has been designed and redesigned with endurance and performance in mind in order to take on the tough hard-rock mining conditions in southern Africa and, now that we have ironed out even the smallest of problems, we are all set to take on the mining world,” states Leon.
Juan-Eric says the bushing is made with the company’s iglide material and offers exceptional technical and economic advantage over all types of metal plain bearings (bushes). In addition, the bushes are self-lubricating, maintenance-free, chemical resistant, universally applicable and reduce costs by up to 40 percent.
“Our bushes can withstand extreme temperatures, are self-lubricating and are suitable for special machine construction, underwater applications, and harsh conditions such as minerals processing and mining among others. We also have a wide range of standard catalogue options and can customise options where necessary.
“This makes upgrading of existing bushings simpler and as with Crush Force, our customers can increase their technology and reduce their costs by up to 90%. In addition, customers benefit through fast lead times, online service-life calculators and tools for nearly all product lines,” he concludes.