Mining exploration costs have soared in recent years, making it difficult to secure profit margins without adjusting mining operations accordingly. Both smaller and major mining companies alike have been challenged to increase discovery success rates, target the highest quality deposits, and reduce operating expenses for increasingly remote operating regions.
One enduring pain point, no matter what type of mining operation you are running is unplanned downtime on separation equipment. There are many pieces of equipment after the primary crusher that utlize various types of High strength, low alloy steels for wear protection. These materials do not stack up to our Engineered Ceramic materials offering perect solutions for various applications that lower the cost per ton.
Engineered ceramics, often referred to as technical ceramics, represent the cutting-edge of materials today. Exceedingly hard, strong, and tough, they are routinely applied in harsh working environments associated with high abrasive forces, severe corrossion, and extreme temperatures. Each of these applies to varying degrees in the mining industry.
Key engineered ceramics that are routinely leveraged in mineral processing applications include:
Sintered alumina (Al2O3), or dense aluminium oxide;
Silicon carbides (SiC);
Zirconia (ZrO), or zirconium oxide.
Through improved manufacturing ingenuity, these unique carbide and oxide ceramics have been employed for both static and dynamic wear applications in mining and mineral processing. They can be incorporated into conveyance systems, pipework, milling equipment, separation equipment, and many other process equipment parts, gradually increasing the profitability of intensive operations through reducing downtime due to gradual material wear and tear.
At Saint-Gobain Performance Ceramics & Refractories, we provide precision-made engineered ceramics for numerous touchpoints in the mineral processing chain, from ore extraction, crushing, grinding, separation, washing, processing and transporting. Here we will highlight a few of our proprietary engineered ceramic products for key application areas in mining projects around the world.
Breaking down large chips and particles is an intensive process requiring extreme microstructural hardness. Steel bits work well for breaking larger deposits down, but as particulates get smaller and smaller, they begin to damage the intermolecular structure of even the hardest metallic alloys thus contributing to failure.
We have developed a range of materials suitable for various forms of equipment in crushing, grinding, and separation which require good sliding abrasion and moderate to light impact resistance, the best of which is our products under the Durastrike® ZTA and HAMMERfrax brand names. These can each be rendered in large and complex shapes to suit your specifications.
We have also leveraged our Cryston®, Durafrax®, Durastrike® ZTA, and Norfrax® engineered ceramics in harsh abrasive materials transporting environments, providing the outstanding wear-resistant performance required for piping components. Maintenance of complex elbows, lateral pipes, or reducers in abrasive environments represents a significant bottleneck in mining operations due to the tandem abrasive and corrosive effects of self-contained minerals travelling through the system. Our ultra-fine grain engineered ceramics are inherently resistant to corrosive effects while their engineered microstructures resist abrasion for extended lifecycles over traditional materials. Consequently, we have used them to create high-performance pipe lining systems that address such wear concerns.
At Saint-Gobain, we build our business from a position of material expertise, engineering unique solutions for a diverse range of clients using our unmatched knowledge of the appropriate engineering ceramics. If you would like to learn more about leveraging our materials in mining projects, simply contact us today.