Curtin University‘s Western Australia School of Mines (WASM) has partnered with the Australia-based Central Institute of Technology (CIT) to develop wear management solutions for mining companies.
The collaboration will utilise CIT engineering department’s wear-testing facilities at Northbridge campus, as well as WASM’s experience in research and development in the mining sector.
CIT managing director Neil Fernandes said the collaboration will be informal at first, with CIT’s wear-testing laboratory and equipment to provide the raw data, which WASM will use to develop solutions for mining companies, including advanced materials characterisation and development and research services.
The wear-testing lab at CIT has a wide range of equipment for performing testing procedures, including the development of custom solutions.
Fernandes said the wear tests allow mining operators to identify the characteristics of particular materials, such as those used in excavator shovels, ore trucks, crushers, and other materials handling equipment.
"By identifying a material with greater wear properties, mining companies can save considerable amounts of money by not having to replace this equipment as often," Fernandes said.
"When you consider that every hour of a shutdown to replace wear liners of a crusher on a mine site can cost up to $100,000 per hour in production, it is a major saving in a sector characterised by high production costs and overheads."
WASM director Professor Steve Hall said it is a natural collaboration for the organisations, as they share a keen interest in the science of materal’s wear properties and how this can have practical applications.
"And in the process of providing this service we can offer opportunities for students and researchers to apply their knowledge, strengthen skills and broaden their understanding of this critical operational area to provide added value to the mining industry," Hall said.