Belt change gives mine artery new life

One of the world’s leading manufacturers of steel cord conveyor belt, Germany’s Phoenix AG, says it has come up with an innovative new method of conveyor belt replacement.

Staff Reporter

One of the world’s leading manufacturers of steel cord conveyor belt, Germany’

Phoenix AG, says it has come up with an innovative new method of conveyor belt

replacement.

A 3600m-long, 1200mm-wide Phoenocord ST 5000 conveyor belt at the Freidrich

Heinrich Rheinland mine of German coal producer Deutsche Steinkohle AG (DSK) -

owned by RAG - was recently replaced after 21 years of continuous operation. During

the period from 1979 until 2000 the conveyor belt had carried more than 100 million

tons of run-of-mine coal from the 885m to the 600m level in what is one of the

world’s biggest underground coal mines.

A spokesperson for Phoenix at Hamburg, Germany, said a plan to replace the belt

aimed to minimise production stoppages.

“In order to keep the downtime of this main conveyor during the replacement as short

as possible, the 21 single lengths of the Phoenocord ST 5000 belt were spliced next to

the conveyor system underground,” said Phoenix general manager, conveyor belts,

Bernd Kusel. “Each of the flat reels was 4m long and 1.9m high, with a weight of 16t.

“After splicing the whole belt was put in 42 layers, creating an 85m-long and

1.43m-high package. At both ends where the loops were supported by pipe rollers, the

package was up to 1.7m high.

“To avoid high friction during the stringing process of the belt, sand was scattered

between the layers. The complete length of 3600m was stringed onto the conveyor

structure in inching mode.

“Two vertical curves had to be passed from the belt storage place to the conveyor.

The final endless splice was made (with the belt) in the conveying system.

“Thanks to careful planning and excellent organisation, the whole procedure went

very smoothly with no conveying downtime.”

The Phoenocord ST 5000 belt in use at Freidrich Heinrich Rheinland features

Phoenix’s 12+8mm self-extinguishing rubber covers with the company’s active

impact and rip protection system. In 1975 the company supplied a 3000m-long

conveyor belt (type ST 4000) which was said to be the first to meet stringent

internationally recognised safety standards.

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