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Tag Archives: Mining Industry
the use of in-line and on-site fluid analysis systems in the mining industry will decrease equipment downtime, reduce total cost of ownership, increase reliability, enable more efficient use of operating equipment and reduce the amount of oil in waste streams. the application of automated oil analysis by smart groups of sensors and miniaturized analytical instruments is being extended to include mine process machinery as well as the equipment used to recover and transport raw materials.
automated fluid analysis technologies use sensors and sophisticated analytical modules controlled by microprocessors to determine the conditions of machine fluids. automated fluid analysis technologies help establish a preventative maintenance program based on need rather than a set schedule based on hours of equipment operation. therefore, maintenance activities are performed when fluid deterioration and equipment wear are detected. as a result, the length of time between maintenance activities increases, less used oil is generated, and unscheduled repair work decreases.
recently, a great deal of research has focused on developing better sensors and instruments for automated fluid analysis systems and gathering more complete analytical data about fluids and their deterioration. by using these advances, and gathering specific information about these fluids’ characteristics in mining equipment, partners will develop an automated fluid analysis system that is specific to mining equipment and conditions. this system will help reduce equipment life cycle costs and equipment downtime.
project description objective: to implement advanced in-line and on-line systems for machine condition diagnostics and prognostics based on analysis of lubricating oils and hydraulic fluids.
the first step of this project is to adapt and develop the present on-board intelligent lubrication prognostic (oilpro) system for use in the mining industry. adaptations will be based on detailed knowledge of ways in which in-service oils and lubricants deteriorate and how best to measure these parameters in mining equipment. the next step is to determine the critical characteristics on hydraulic and powertrain fluids as well as how to measure these key characteristics.
progress and milestone activities completed in this project include: • design, fabrication, and bench testing of an automated, multi-sensor oil analysis system. • development and demonstration of sensitive infrared sensor to detect water in oil. activities to be completed in this project include: • development and deployment of software that allows remote, web-based, expert system analysis data, data archiving as well as human expert review and quality assurances. • deployment of full function demonstration system (hardware and software) at an open pit mine. • demonstration of laser light extinction sensor for in-situ analysis of particles in hydraulic fluids. • further development of the present multi-sensor system for in-line use on board heavy mining equipment. • commercialization of the technology through licensing to a third party manufacturer.
development and deployment of automated machine fluid analysis systems, on-site and in-line fluid analysis systems warn of fluid deterioration and pending equipment failure.
the mining industry would greatly benefit from economical methods to image the ore bodies ahead of the mining process. the crosswell technology, radio imaging method (rim), was developed to meet this need, but could be improved by using more sophisticated interpretational software. this project will use rim acquired data to test new interpretational software.
rim is an electromagnetic (em) system that was developed to detect and map anomalous geologic conditions far in advance of the mining face. the elements of rim are deployed on each side of the ore seam of interest that forms a natural waveguide for transmission of electromagnetic waves. until recent hardware improvements, it was not possible to use a superior imaging algorithm with it. this project will analyze actual rim data with a sophisticated finite difference imaging scheme and traditional tomographic methods. this new imaging scheme will accept data from rim to produce an image of the distribution of electrical resistivity. this graphical map can delineate the interface between bounding rock and an ore seam, or show the presence of an anomaly within the seam ahead of the mining face. this project will also examine the possibilities of using the internet to allow mining engineers to determine the applicability of rim with the new software for specific geologic situations. by allowing mining operations to see beyond the mining face, this technology will improve mine planning, increase energy efficiency, decrease equipment wear, and produce a better quality product.
objective: to use the internet, instrumentation advances, and newly developed modeling and analysis software to accurately image the volume of material ahead of mining, thereby improving the quality of mined ore, reducing wear of mining machinery, facilitating mine operations, and reducing costs.
progress and milestones
this project includes the following milestones:
• complete collection of rim in-mine data
• collect ground-truth data to compare with rim data
• complete imaging using both tomographic algorithms and the newly developed finite difference imaging scheme
• investigate and report on the feasibility and logistics of developing a web site that would allow engineers to determine the applicability of the rim system for a specific geologic situation
waterjet technology expected to reduce handling and processing needs
mining a valuable mineral requires a number of consecutive steps that begin with the excavation of the ore, followed by transportation to the processing plant and the subsequent grinding and treatment of the mined material in order to concentrate and then recover the valuable mineral content. the conventional extraction technology is relatively non-discriminatory where the mineral and host rock are extracted together and in fragments, in which the two are co-mingled. the separation generally takes place after the ore has been brought to a surface treatment plant and the rock has been reduced in size to ensure liberation of the different constituents of the rock.
however, if the process of extraction breakers down the ore so that the individual constituent grains of the rock are separated and can be segregated at or near the mining machine, potentially with simpler processes, it will reduce the overall volume of material that must then be moved and treated.
researchers at the university of missouri – rolla are attempting to establish a method for disintegrating rock using high-pressure waterjets, and separating the valuable minerals in the vicinity.
over the past two decades, high-pressure waterjet systems have been developed extensively in the civil construction market. by combining the use of high pressure through very small jet orifices with an associated collection system, umr is developing a tool that can grow the defining fractures around individual grains that constitute the rock such that the rock is disintegrated into its constituent fragments. this process results in individual mineral grains being liberated. in a number of ores, there is a difference both in size and density of the different constituents, and it is proposed to build on these differences to more easily separate the valuable mineral from the host in a location close to the mining machine.
a number of different benefits can be achieved through this separation technique. first, the amount of material that needs to be transported is expected to be reduced by 95%. second, the material that will be transported to the surface will be a sized, segregated ore of high grade, requiring very little processing (crushing and grinding). third, the waste rock left behind can be used to fill mine voids and provide support to the excavation; additionally, this material will not be disposed at a surface mine site, which provides an environmental, energy and economic gain to the process. finally, the reduction of blast fumes underground will reduce the need for ventilation.
benefits for our industry and our nation
• reduction in materials handling by 95% through the reduction in transportation of waste rock • reduced noise levels due to the elimination of blasting • reduction of downstream crushing and grinding • lower environmental impact through the increase in product recovery, which will reduce waste disposal at surface mine site
applications in our nation’s industry
high pressure waterjets have been extensively developed for the civil construction market. this project will focus on validating assumptions for mining of lead ore, however, it is expected that this technology can be applied to other commodities mined in underground mines.