Rubber Specialist Proves Successful Through Attention To Detail

Diamond mining operation on the West CoastClose monitoring, accurate records and regular visits to the operating sites have allowed mining and industrial rubber specialist, Truco (Transvaal Rubber Company), to succeed where others have failed to provide a lasting dredge hose solution.

At a diamond mining operation on the West Coast, all existing 600 mm hoses kept on failing. Table Bay Rubber, the Cape associate of Truco, was called in to help resolve their ongoing problems. At the time, the mine believed its problems were due to the type of raw material carried through the dredging hoses. Various hose suppliers were given the chance to propose a solution.

Truco's investigations found that the existing hoses in use failed primarily around the flanges, and that the differing diameters between hose manufacturers caused excessive wear on hoses where they were joined at the flanges, due to the vortex created by the medium carried. In addition, flange bolts were being tightened up unevenly, thus exacerbating the problem.

After establishing these problem areas, Truco experimented with various abrasive inner liners and construction methods, resulting in a completely reengineered hose. In addition, the mine also agreed to the incorporation of Truco Flute Valves, which let operators know when rotation was required and/or hoses need replacement. This is a significant advantage in helping to prevent unexpected breakdowns.

The end result has been that hose life in this demanding operation has been extended significantly, saving the mine substantial costs.

Truco was also involved in the development of a hose, together with ADP and the mine, that could be fitted to a moveable diamond-mining platform where the hoses would need to withstand highly abrasive conditions inherent to the nature of the operation. After having been fitted to the original prototype, the new hoses were also fitted to a large excavator platform incorporating a DMS plant. The mining platform was mounted with a series of abrasion resistant 250 mm suction hoses, as well as high-pressure water hoses to clear diamonds from ancient sea beds. Through ongoing development, Truco's success on this project was based on producing hoses capable of accommodating high loads, extreme abrasion and being very flexible. With these technical partnerships in mining, the company is sure to have established itself as the rubber solution supplier of choice for the industry.

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