Mechanical belt fasteners play a crucial role in underground coal mining operations as the belt length is constantly changing. Underground conveyor belts need to be extended as operations progress further into a mine and shortened as operations retract. Mechanical fasteners allow the on-site crew to quickly respond to these changes and repair and join conveyor belts efficiently.
Conveyor output and overall operational productivity can be significantly impacted by mechanical belt fastener durability. If your fastening system cannot withstand the harsh conditions of underground coal mines, premature splice failure will occur leading to frequent belt repairs and disruptions to the operation.
The Flexco® XP™ Staple Belt Fastening System combines an enhanced applicator tool with a long wearing staple fastener and hinge pin on the market to produce a superior belt splice for tough mining environments.
"Fastener longevity was at the forefront of the XP Staple Belt Fastening System design. The finished splice has a smooth, low profile which discourages damage to belt cleaners and other conveyor components, dramatically increasing the wear life", says Flexco NSW Territory Manager, Khy McLennan.
The use of cold-rolled steel provides uniform mechanical properties and increased tensile strength of up to 50%. Along with increased strength, the staples are preset in the fastener and the larger loop area accepts bigger pins for easier insertion and extended splice life.
"One of the biggest issues for underground conveyors is the longevity of components," McLennan said.
"Shutting down a conveyor to repair a damaged clip is extremely disruptive. You've got to stop the belt and the longwall operations, so fastener durability is critical.
The type of mechanical fasteners used for splicing should have excellent tensile strength, abrasion resistance, and durability. They should be able to withstand the heavy loads and constant wear and tear that occur during the transportation of coal.
"The XP system shines in these underground operations. It's versatile, easy to use, and quick to set up. We're seeing a whole new level of capability in terms of how these underground mining operations manage their belt maintenance schedules, McLennan expressed.
Flexco has recently completed a trial at an underground coal mine in New South Wales, where the XP fastener lasted 14 weeks longer than a competitor staple fastener.
The site reached out to a Flexco distributor with concerns that their existing staple fastener was frequently failing prematurely, causing major disruptions to their production.
"If operations have the potential to keep running a conveyor for another 14 weeks without stopping, it significantly helps production rates, reduces maintenance windows and saves them money", McLennan said.
For more information on the XP Staple Fastening System or any other Flexco splicing solutions, click here.