As the pioneer of wear lining materials in the minerals processing and materials handling sectors, Multotec Wear Linings is well-positioned to provide a far more holistic approach to managing wear. Mike Dexter, Managing Director of Multotec Wear Linings, says that its extensive reference base across all commodities and other materials has given the company the ability to provide the most appropriate wear solution for a given application.
Multotec is also responding proactively to the latest industry trends. “Preventative maintenance is more of a focus than ever with plants looking for major reductions in unplanned downtime. At the end of the day, the most effective maintenance is planned maintenance, while ease of maintenance also needs to be factored in,” Dexter comments.
Multotec Wear Lining’s flagship product in this regard is a quick fit panel consisting of ceramic tiles embedded in polyurethane, aimed at simplifying wear lining installation. The tiles are attached to the chute by means of threaded studs that are simply welded on, which allows for rapid change out. There is little surface preparation necessary as it requires no epoxy and therefore no curing time. This means the panels are equally quick and easy to remove, which also assists in reducing downtime.
The panels are available in three sizes, namely 300 mm x 150 mm, 300 mm x 300 mm and 600 mm x 600 mm. Standardised components also translate into reduced stockholding. A major additional feature allowing for ease of maintenance is that the panels can be supplied with tiles featuring an integrated wear indicator.
This consists of a ‘green dot’ that is a 20 mm diameter cylindrical insert in the centre of the tile. The green portion of the insert wears down over time to reveal a red layer, at which point 25% of the tile thickness remains, indicating it is due for replacement. “No other ceramic tile manufacturer in South African offers a comparable feature,” Dexter says.
The system is so flexible that the dual colour of the cylindrical insert can even be changed to green and blue for an iron ore application, for example, where red is not sufficiently visible. A proprietary process is used to form the insert with the combined colours, and this is then pressed into the cylindrical hole within the tile itself. The bond is created through the sintering process, whereby the insert and the tile fuse together to form a cohesive single tile. This process is key to the success of the wear indicator tile, as it provides the necessary integrity and strength consistency as well as wear properties for the tile to act effectively.
Another example of Multotec’s innovative approach to the maintenance issues facing minerals processing plants and mines is MultoLag™, a direct bond ceramic pulley lagging system for drive and non-drive pulleys. The system uses standard 100 mm x 25 mm x 6 mm smooth high alumina ceramic tiles for non-drive pulleys and studded tile lagging for drive pulleys.
“MultoLag™ lagging functions as a maintenance free wear resistant cover that is applied to pulley shells to improve traction in the case of drive pulleys and provide a polished low friction surface on non-drive pulleys,” Dexter explains. The studded tiles on the drive pulleys have a high co-efficient of friction of 0.78, which means no movement between the surface of the ceramic lined drive pulley and the surface of the conveyor belt. The smooth ceramic surface on the non-drive pulleys results in minimal friction and reduced resistance, and therefore no wear.
In terms of total wear lining solutions, Dexter says that quick fit panels with wear indicator tiles are ideal components for the MultoCano™ Modular Chute, which is designed for ease of transportation, erection and commissioning. “The modular replaceable panels allow for rapid replacement and interchangeability and therefore reduced downtime. The focus here is efficiency, adaptability and ease of maintenance,” he explains.
“The MultoCano™ Modular Chute can be adapted to specific client requirements. We also offer specialised maintenance and inspection solutions, in addition to on-site maintenance programmes,” Dexter explains. The modularity of the system is based on the fact that no single component weighs more than 50 kg, which means it is easily transportable and quick to erect on site by a two to four person team.
Another product aimed at assisting clients with their routine maintenance requirements is Multotec’s PIG-i (Pipe inspection Gauge) system for visual inspection of pipelines. The PIG-i system features an electronic display with a live video feed of the pipe area being measured, the calculated lining wall thickness and a graph displaying wall thickness at various intervals in the pipe. The wall thickness is displayed as an inside diameter (ID) reading, versus the original ID. “This allows for both a visual and electronic inspection to be made at specific points in the pipe,” Dexter says.
Multotec’s total solutions approach is based on a proactive approach towards maintenance. “Providing a solution is not simply about solely specifying a wear lining product. It is essential that a full inspection of a plant is conducted so as to fully understand existing or potential issues. Assessing and understanding the plant requirements allow us to offer a wear lining solution that will increase plant life and further reduce maintenance requirements. We have the necessary depth of both knowledge and product range to be able to do this,” Dexter concludes.