AMOG has recently completed an ACARP funded research study into alternative rope materials for dragline applications with a focus on exploring the feasibility of substituting steel wire ropes with light-weight, high-performance synthetic fibre ropes.
If adopted onto draglines, synthetic HMPE ropes could make a step change in safety, equipment productivity and costs in the mining industry for existing draglines and future development options. The benefits of increased fatigue life and increased RSL capacity (i.e. greater payloads) combined with decreased dynamic loads, lower maintenance costs and multiple safety improvements are expected to out-weigh initial costs.
Feedback from the associated industry monitors has been extremely positive with comments on the high quality, detail and thoroughness of the research.
The research has generated a swell of interest from the mining industry with Dr Andrew Potts presenting the findings to the ACARP Open Cut Research Committee in March 2012.
AMOG is proposing several follow-on packages of work to take this study to the next stage. Further scale testing would culminate in potential field trials to verify the expected increases in rope life in the harsh mine environment: the ultimate test for success.