Background and Objective


To maintain an operation of 400,000 TPD, it was necessary for the customer to ensure high availability and high throughput from the plant in all phases of the process. And to do it safely and cost-effectively.


A significant challenge faced by one of the most important copper mines in Peru was how to reduce the high wear and tear in the material transfer chutes. There were more stops than expected and it was becoming clear that a new solution would be needed to extend intervals between maintenance, which would increase reliability, availability and operating time.


In an effort to resolve this critical issue, the mine opted to carry out a test with the FerroCer®Impact panels, which FLSmidth suggested would be a perfect solution – and one that would not affect the performance and efficiency of the plant.

 

The manganese steel coatings on the side walls of the transfer chute, located in the primary crushing area, exhibited accelerated wear due to the high abrasion of the feed material. This required a stop every 30 days to maintain the equipment. The inactivity was affecting the performance of the plant and generating economic losses for the operation.


The mine supervisors knew that if they wanted to significantly decrease the time lost due to the replacement process, an innovative product would be required. Their goal was to install wear panels that had a much longer life.

After a complete analysis of wear patterns and rates, as well as the equipment's operating conditions, relevant data was obtained that allowed us to decide on FerroCer® Impact as the best alternative. We were sure this would solve the customer’s problem.

Luis Mejía BeltránProduct Support Engineer at FLSmidth

Expert knowledge, global experience and local presence, the key to success


“After a complete analysis of wear patterns and rates, as well as the equipment's operating conditions, relevant data was obtained that allowed us to decide on FerroCer®Impact as the best alternative. We were sure this would solve the customer’s problem. After previous meetings to plan the installation details, as well as the conditions and criteria of the evaluation, the objectives and goals of the test were defined. The objective was for FerroCer®Impact to exceed 30 days of operation with a constant tonnage of feed received from the FLSmidth Fuller 60 "x113" rotary crusher, the plant’s primary crushing station," explained the project lead, Luis Mejía Beltrán, a Product Support Engineer at FLSmidth.

Each FerroCer®Impact liner weighs only 5kg and comprises a set of abrasion resistant ceramic inserts enclosed in a malleable steel matrix. This ensures only the top surface of the inserts is exposed to the impact of the material. The sides of the inserts are tapered within the panel, which holds them in place and prevents material particles and fluids from damaging the coverage.

The solution


The manganese steel linings that were used in the chute have an approximate weight of 60kg and an extremely complex fixing system. This made it necessary to repair the structural wall of the equipment to install the new linings. Additionally, due to the elevated location, replacement of liners requires safety preparations (such as scaffolding and other access and handling arrangements), where six to eight workers were required to replace the liners in the hopper.

On September 6, 2019, FLSmidth installed 58 FerroCer®Impact liners on the right wall of the transfer chute from the primary crushing station. The installation was carried out quickly thanks to the lightweight and compact design of the wear parts. The new panels do not require special tools as only one bolt is required for its installation.
In addition to supplying the liners, FLSmidth staff provided ongoing advice, as well as the necessary services and support for on-site controls. During the first inspection after 40 days of operation, it was observed that the FerroCer®Impact coatings completely complied with the patterns and wear ratios initially expected for both the ceramic inserts and the steel matrix. 
It should be noted that the conical geometry of each ceramic insert allows to evaluate visually the useful life remaining.

It is necessary to highlight that the exposed surface of the insert shows progressive wear, as the width of its area and contact surface increases, height decreases, due to a correlation between both factors, which facilitates the calculation of both values.
 
FLSmidth Mining Ferrocer

FerroCer®Impact wear panels tripled service life and proved 200% superior to the previous solution. As a result, the mine site could increase production and reduce operation and maintenance costs.

An expectation-beating result

Thanks to the high resistance to abrasion and its unconventional and innovative design, it was only necessary to replace 10 of the 58 FerroCer®Impact panels after 94 days. This lining alternative, it was becoming clear, would reduce downtime and increase equipment reliability – resolving the customer’s issue.

 

FerroCer®Impact wear panels tripled service life and proved 200% superior to the previous solution. As a result, the mine site could increase production and reduce operation and maintenance costs.

 

Thanks to the success of the test, the mine is currently evaluating installing FerroCer®Impact on their HPGR chute walls to mitigate wear in high areas.

 

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