At some point in time, there will be instances where wear parts will need replacement. But there are a couple of ways you can do to prolong the lifespan of these parts such as jaw dies, cone liners, HSI blow bars, and VSI parts. Producers are looking for ways to maximise the usage out of these wear parts and they want to know how many tons of material can be produced before replacing them. In reality, it all depends on each operation and application. Today we’ll be taking a look at a number of different variables that can affect wear part life and highlight some essential tips on how to get the most out of these wear parts.
Factors that affect wear part life
There are a couple of factors to consider when you’re looking to prolong the lifespan of wear parts. These are:
- Feed size: Producing too many fines or feeding very large materials can affect the throughput production of a crusher, thus reducing wear part life. To prevent accelerated wear, we recommend using screens to prevent smaller materials from getting reintroduced to the crusher when the material is at product size.
- High quality wear parts: High quality OEM wear parts that are designed to fit your crusher and application can help prolong its lifespan. Aftermarket wear parts can cause unwanted damage to your crusher and it can also cause warranty implications. Always source OEM wear parts from trusted suppliers.
- Crusher speed and settings: Another factor to consider is the speed and the settings of the crusher. Improving the efficiency of the crusher will help prolong the lifespan of wear parts and can drastically affect the outcome of a single pass crushing.
- Dust control: Water can be very abrasive and the nozzle placement is critical for wear parts longevity. Dust suppression can yield positive results by ensuring that the nozzle type, pressure, and volume are appropriate and meet the requirements for dust control. If the nozzle placement is incorrect, this can lead to accelerated wear.
- Material composition: Material composition has a huge impact on the overall longevity of wear parts. Some material characteristics to consider are its abrasiveness, hardness, and chemical composition. While producers cannot alter the characteristics of the material, it helps to know its composition. Most producers know that rock is really abrasive, but don’t know exactly how hard or how abrasive it is.
Knowing the material composition gives producers an advantage when selecting wear parts. This information can help producers select the best wear parts for their application and reduce unnecessary wear.
How to determine material composition
The best way to determine material composition is to conduct a series of tests. Different materials have different characteristics and its impact on wear part longevity will differ as well.
These tests will give you a good idea of the strength properties of the material, how hard it is, and how abrasive it is.
- Crush test: This test determines how friable the material is. A crush test is a good way to gauge how much tonnage you can make in one pass depending on the gradation requirements. Crushing a material in a single pass will help prolong the lifespan of the wear parts since it only processes the material once.
- Burbank abrasion test: The burbank abrasion test determines the abrasiveness of a material on steel parts. This allows producers to select the best wear parts that can resist abrasion for prolonged lifespan.
- Chemical analysis test: A chemical analysis test determines the chemical composition of the material. The test highlights the amount of iron oxide, silica oxide, and aluminum oxide and gives a percentage of silica found in the material (also known as percentage hard parts.) This gives the producers a good idea of how hard the material is.
- Compression test: The compression test determines the psi (pounds per square inch) strength of the material and reveals how much energy is required to break it. This test is primarily used for cone and jaw crushers to help producers figure out the correct CCS (closed-side-setting) and reduction ratio.
Using wear liners and panels
Other practices for wear parts protection include using wear liners or panels that are bolted onto the equipment. The most common wear liners used are hard-metal liners and heavy-duty rubber liners. Each of these have their own strengths and weaknesses and their usage depends on a variety of factors such as material lump-size distribution, type of ore, angle of impact, and drop height.
Some companies have developed a wear liner solution that uses a combination of steel and ceramic components to address the challenges of operating crushing equipment. Traditional metal wear liners wear out too quickly and ceramic liners have a tendency to crack. The abrasion resistance of ceramic combined with the strength and durability of metal makes for a wear liner that’s capable of handling abrasive materials in high impact applications.
As with other wear parts, the design of the crusher liner can also affect the capacity and function of your operation. It’s vital to ensure that the crusher liners are appropriately designed to keep the process running as efficiently as possible. This helps optimise the crushing chamber, increase uptime, and improve wear parts life. All of these variables play a crucial role in improving wear part life. Producers can make significant savings in terms of wear parts and production when these factors are taken into account. It all comes down to being informed. Attending factory trainings and consulting factory experts will help producers make the right choices for improving their operations.
Improving wear part life is key to getting the most out of your mining equipment. And while all wear parts need replacing at some point in the future, prolonging its lifespan can significantly reduce costs and unwanted downtime. Give these tips a follow to not only improve the longevity of the wear parts, but increase their efficiency as well for better throughput and productivity.