Underground mining processes are complex and at the same time, it is necessary for the economy. Different technologies and equipment are introducing to the market for reducing the complexity involved in mining. It also needs to be noted that, mining is one of the dangerous industries dealing with dust, vibration, and noise. So, the primary emphasis on choosing any machinery for the mining industry is the safety it delivers. To reduce the risk associated, the most preferred is hydraulic machinery and it will also provide other features like productivity, efficiency, performance, and reliability. This article focus on how and where hydraulics is implemented in the mining industry.
As you know, mining is the process of extracting valuable minerals and other geological materials from the earth’s surface. The procedure of mining begins from creating an open pit to disposal of waste materials. Almost every stage of mining requires hydraulic systems. For example, excavation machinery for digging earth, drilling & crushing tools for breaking/crushing stones, trucks and forklifts for transporting the waste from the mining site. So, the machinery for the mining industry can be categorized as earthmoving machinery, crushing equipment, and feeding & conveying equipment. Shovels, excavators, haul trucks, dozers, loaders, and drills are some examples of mining machinery.
The hydraulic fluid used in this machinery is fire-resistant and it needs to be compatible with the system circuit also. Other features for fluid selection will vary based on the equipment design characteristics, operational parameters, and environment. Most of the mining equipment fluids are formulated with oxidation and corrosion inhibitors along with anti-foam and anti-wear additives. This will protect the hydraulic pumps and motors used in the equipment from scuffing and wear. Choosing the fluid with desired viscosity index is also important for reducing fluid leakage, lowering fuel consumption, and delivering optimum hydraulic power.
Read More: Hydraulics for Underground Piping and Cabling
Almost every equipment used in the mining field contains hydraulic components integrated to deliver maximum performance and productivity. The factors that need to be considered while choosing a hydraulic component for mining machinery are shock loadings, reliability, contamination tolerance, high power, and torque density. Similar to other hydraulic systems, the common issues concerning the hydraulic components in the mining industry are contamination, leaks, and overheating. To prevent these failures in the machinery, it is advised to use quality products, monitor the system performance, perform regular maintenance, and clean the equipment.
Using hydraulics in mining equipment will provide various advantages like the accuracy of operation, efficiency, higher horsepower, operator safety, environment protection, controllability, serviceability, etc… With a small mechanical force applied, the hydraulic tools and machinery in the mining industry will perform complex tasks like digging soil, crushing stones, transporting heavy loads, and more.
Mining rotary breaker is one of the commonly found machinery in mining sites that utilize hydraulic power. This machinery is used for breaking huge chunks of soil. The rotary breaker operation is controlled by applied hydraulic pressure to the circuit and this is how the obstacles from either side of underground mining is removed.