Multotec, an industry leader in manufacturing and supply of process engineering equipment, has developed a range of flame-resistant rubber screen panels that self-extinguish in under 60 seconds, significantly reducing the risk of fire with the associated loss of valuable production time and safety hazards. Shawn Faba, Product Manager, Screening Media at Multotec, highlights the significant benefits of the product in meeting the mining industry’s stringent requirements. Tarren Bolton reports.
Multotec responded to a challenge facing iron ore producers in Australia by developing a rubber screen media solution that negates the risk of fires associated with hot work on screen decks.
Shawn Faba, Product Manager, Screening Media at Multotec, explains that while the solution was developed to meet the stringent performance and safety requirements of the Australian mining industry, other mining operations across the world can also benefit from its adoption. “The risk of fires associated with hot work during maintenance on screen decks is not unique to Australian mines. Fires caused by hot work on screen decks are considered a global issue which can disrupt production in any mining operation and lead to unnecessary downtime,” says Faba.
Multotec’s flame-resistant panels have been scientifically developed in collaboration with international academic institutions and raw material suppliers. The product has been tested under controlled laboratory conditions, as well as on a number of sites in real world conditions.
“When we consider an interruption to any production environment, the downtime could easily translate in revenue losses that run into millions of dollars, this is particularly true for Australian iron ore mines which are tonnage driven. Fires in the plant can shut down entire modules for weeks at a time. Australian miners operate in campaigns – for instance, they will operate for three months and then they will do planned maintenance. Plant availability is of paramount importance.
“Our product has undergone rigorous testing and has been confirmed to operate continuously to fit existing shutdown campaigns, meeting the mining industry's stringent requirements. Ensuring high-quality equipment is essential to minimise downtime. This is especially beneficial for plants that operate around the clock, as interruptions can be costly and disruptive,” says Faba.
“Our product has undergone rigorous testing and has been confirmed to operate continuously to fit existing shutdown campaigns.” Shawn Faba
“To make the rubber screen panels flame-resistant, we modified the chemical composition of the raw materials used to manufacture the panels. There is a minimal trade-off in terms of wear life when changing from standard rubber compound to flame resistant rubber compound. “However, the flame-resistant screen panels can be used without compromising on efficiency, compared to conventional rubber screen media,” adds Faba.
He notes that Multotec is proud of the fact that its flame-resistant rubber screen media has received international acceptance and is in use at processing plants of some of the world’s leading iron producers. The flame-resistant screen panels can be used in all screening applications for a variety of duties, both wet and dry.
“While we currently supply the flame-resistant rubber screen panels for iron ore screening applications, these panels can also be used in any screening application. They can be used extensively in all mineral processing applications, such as coal, iron ore, copper, platinum, diamonds, manganese, and zinc, among others.
In addition to providing the greatest level of fire safety, Multotec’s flame-resistant panels also increase optimal screening performance and plant availability, are available in hard (PD70) and soft (PD45) durometer rubber and remain robust and extremely reliable under the toughest mining conditions.