Liner manufacturer driving innovation

25 Nov 2022

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Internationally recognised manufacturer of abrasion-resistant liner materials for the mining, chemicals and power generating industries Rio-Carb notes that its R-C 700 Chromium Carbide Overlay (CCO) liner plate and Impact plate range strive to deliver top quality to its African mining clientele.

Having acknowledged gaps in the abrasion wear resistant liner materials field, Rio-Carb sought knowledge and understanding on how best to fill these gaps, as a means of creating a competitive edge and to pursue involvement in “ground-breaking” projects.

As such, the company collaborated with the University of Johannesburg’s Department of Engineering Metallurgy, which yielded a Masters dissertation entitled ‘The Study of Transition Depth Range on Impact and Sliding Wear: Effect on Hardening of Abrasion-Resistant Liner Materials’.

The dissertation – authored by a metallurgy student who boasts 22 distinctions throughout his academic career at UJ, Kgotso Bhabha, working under the supervision of Professor  Elizabeth Makhatha and Rio-Carb’s founder Martin Maine – produced fruitful results, despite challenges faced during the pandemic.

Empirical evidence through a high-velocity projectile impact test revealed that the work hardenability of the Impact plate range can reach 55 HRc from an average base hardness of 33 HRc. That equates to a 66% increase in hardness, while R-C 700 liner plates produce a 22% increase in hardness.

The R-C 700 liner plate range’s shortfall in work hardenability is heavily compensated by its high abrasion resistance. A mass loss of 0.13% was recorded before the next sample abraded the rubber wheel from the ASTM G65 test, procedure A. “The takeaway from these results is that when it comes to efficient wear-resistance, one size does not fit all,” stated Rio-Carb.

Smart Chute: Engineered Smarter

Given the multitude of adverse service conditions in the mining, chemicals and power generating industries, “it is no surprise that one size does not fit all”, said Rio-Carb.

As such, the company’s Smart Chute is “engineered smarter” and drives efficiency and specificity rather than expansion, with Rio-Carb focusing on provide a product or service that is “100% fit-for-purpose before going big” to avert future problems.

The company explains that need for an efficiency-based approach is directly related to its clients working in industries that are affected by diverse types of wear. These can include, but are not limited to, impact, abrasion, erosion, corrosion, oxidation, cavitation, compression and metal-to-metal wear. “No one material is resistant to all these types of wear, but a combination of the right materials that are fit-for-purpose is the ultimate solution.”

Rio-Carb engineers will survey the site and analyse the factors for the most prevalent types of wear. The most suitable and cost-effective materials will be selected. The smartest chute design will be engineered and presented to the end-user.

“Once implemented, the design will be monitored, and the efficiency measured against its predecessor.  The success of Rio-Carb’s Smart Chutes can be seen in places such as Glencore Wonderkop, with two successful chutes [as well as] Samancor TC Smelters and Ferroglobe, with one Smart Chute each.”

Edited by Nadine James
Features Deputy Editor