The PJL Group is in the process of manufacturing new Creusabro liner mats to replace the existing Rail mat liners currently being used in the Crushed Ore Bins underground at Newcrest’s Cadia East site.
PJL Group worked closely with the client on the design and as a result the new mats have undergone significant changes in an effort to increase service life and further protect the parent material of the bin.
The current system was experiencing high rates of wear, resulting in the requirement for regular replacement. The new mats consist of vertical and horizontal plate strips which are chemically impregnated with Titanium Micro-Carbides (like crushed gravel in concrete) that are exposed as it wears causing the material to work harden.
“Unlike Quench and Tempered plate (which is only case hardened and therefore soft in the middle) Creusabro is through hardened, this means that the wear rates are consistent and predictable enabling more accurate monitoring and planning.” Site Operations Manager (CVO) James Monaghan explained.
The existing design for fastening the rail mats meant that as they wear and expose the fasteners - the mats fail in pairs or multiples. In the future, if material flow/production was increased the problem would be exacerbated leading to more frequent or extended shutdowns to change out worn mats.
“Each rail mat row was taking between 24 – 36 hours to replace, and with the limited number of shut down hours available, these were becoming critical path items in the shut plan.”
This new system engineered by the PJL Group will offer greater service life, less risk and will accommodate increased production as required. It will also remove the ongoing requirement to regularly change multiple rows of mats during shutdowns due to their inadequate service life.