Every time bulk material moves, something will experience wear. If this wear causes a system to malfunction, the results can be disastrous.
As part of the BULK2020 conference, the Australian Society of Bulk Solids Handling will host a series of technical sessions to explore some of the key challenges engineers and suppliers face, and what can be done to solve them.
Grant Wellwood, General Manager of Jenike and Johanson, will be presenting at the conference about the science and opportunities surrounding the challenge of wear.
“If your role involves the design or optimisation of elements in the bulk solids value chain, then you are (consciously or unconsciously) making decisions about the trade-off between wear rate and cost,” he said.
“These decisions have numerous and far reaching financial consequences for the operations involved, so they need to be informed by the available science.”
In sectors such as mining, wear can cause millions of dollars’ worth or productivity to be lost. In addition, if wear causes an unexpected failure, this can catch companies by surprise and lead to unacceptable amounts of unscheduled downtime.
However, one of the reasons that wear flies under the radar according to Wellwood is that people tend to focus on more exciting parts of the process.
In addition, he says that if there is no science backing up wear resistance, then the competition can turn into one of price, which can lead to Australian companies facing stiff overseas competition.
“Wear rate, throughput and bulk solid properties are inextricably linked,” Wellwood says. “Any informed decision relating to throughput and the flow characteristics of the bulk solid needs to incorporate its wear implications in order to avoid a false economy.”
“I’m looking forward to BULK2020 as it is a rare opportunity for the sector to come together. A lot of events tend to either focus on the researchers or the end users, but this event looks like it will bring them together.”
To attend the BULK2020 conference, visit https://www.bulkhandlingexpo.com.au/ticket/