Mines un­der cover

The Australian Mining Review - - COMPANIES GEARING UP -

COR­RO­SION con­trol is a ma­jor cost fac­tor in mine main­te­nance, with valu­able equip­ment sub­ject to ad­verse weather con­di­tions and en­vi­ron­men­tal degra­da­tion.

A revo­lu­tion­ary prod­uct, En­velop pro­tec­tive cov­ers, were orig­i­nally de­vel­oped by NAVSEA for the US Navy and are now avail­able for mine equip­ment.

Aus­tralian Pump In­dus­tries (Aussie Pumps), au­tho­rised distrib­u­tors for En­velop cov­ers, of­fer a com­plete cover so­lu­tion that will pro­tect th­ese key as­sets from mois­ture, dust, UV light and heat.

The re­sult is a mas­sive re­duc­tion in main­te­nance hours spent clean­ing and “rust bust­ing”.

“Tra­di­tional wa­ter­proof tarps and plas­tic cov­ers of­ten trap mois­ture with dev­as­tat­ing re­sults,” Aussie Pumps chief en­gi­neer John Hales said.

“The En­velop cov­ers’ unique de­sign cre­ates a mi­cro cli­mate that slows cor­ro­sion re­duc­ing main­te­nance and im­prov­ing equip­ment readi­ness.”

Aussie Pumps has started sup­ply­ing En­velop cov­ers to big iron ore mines in the WA Pil­bara, where mon­soonal rain and fre­quent dust storms con­trib­ute to the cor­ro­sion of key as­sets.

Aussie Pumps also sup­plies En­velop pro­tec­tive cov­ers to the Royal Aus­tralian Navy, lead­ing to huge main­te­nance cost re­duc­tions on Aus­tralian ships in­clud­ing FFGs, An­zacs and Mine Hun­ters.

The com­pany points out that there are big sav­ings to be made on commercial as­sets, even those held in long term stor­age, where cor­ro­sion can be an is­sue.

En­velop cov­ers use a unique and patented sys­tem that lit­er­ally ab­sorbs mois­ture from un­der the cover by “wick­ing” damp into ab­sorbent lay­ers which then sweat the wa­ter droplets through the out­side cover.

The out­side layer is wa­ter­proof and acts as a rain shield, re­sult­ing in a con­trolled en­vi­ron­ment that keeps the as­set dry and cor­ro­sion free.

That same tech­nol­ogy has been ap­plied to cov­ers for the off­shore drill rigs in the Gulf of Mex­ico, with sub­stan­tial cost sav­ings made.

Cov­ers have been cre­ated for elec­tri­cal con­trol boxes, en­gines, hy­draulic mo­tors and pumps.

Th­ese high cost as­sets, crit­i­cal for au­to­mated con­trol and mon­i­tor­ing, are sus­cep­ti­ble to cor­ro­sion caused by wa­ter in­tru­sion, ei­ther from the el­e­ments or from pe­ri­odic wash cy­cles re­quired by ad­ja­cent power equip­ment.

En­velop cov­ers shield equip­ment from the el­e­ments, keep­ing it dry, cor­ro­sion free, and elim­i­nat­ing the mois­ture build up un­der­neath the cover.

“Lab­o­ra­tory test­ing and field eval­u­a­tions have re­sulted in up to 90 per cent re­duc­tion in cor­ro­sion,”,Mr Hales said.

“Field tests also showed sub­stan­tial gains in pro­tec­tion of elec­tri­cal com­po­nents, op­tics and del­i­cate nav­i­ga­tion aids,” he said.

More in­for­ma­tion on En­velop cov­ers and Aussie Pumps’ range of prod­ucts can be found at: www.aussiepumps.com.au.

En­velop cov­ers have started rolling out to big iron ore projects in the Pil­bara.

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