Friday 18th Sep, 2020

4B increases potash production output

Bucket elevator and conveyor component manufacturer 4B has devised a bulk handling solution for a potash and fertiliser mining company.

Often deep mined, deposits of salt-based marine evaporate minerals high in potassium, calcium and magnesium are used for agricultural and industrial applications.

The mineral is very hard, abrasive and hygroscopic making it difficult to handle efficiently.

Once mined, the mineral is crushed, graded, blended and stored, using expensive wear resistant steels in the process.

Initially, a pot ash manufacturer had installed solid hardox elevator buckets, but due to their rigidity and the aggressive hygroscopic nature of the mineral, caused loss of production and frequent and expensive downtime.

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Industrial nylon elevator buckets were trialled and although they improved the discharge of the material from the buckets they wore out in a few months.

4B engineers devised a solution that used the benefits of Nyrim, which allowed for better wear resistance due to deformation rather than brittle break on a micro level, and self-cleaning properties due to the flexibility of the moulded buckets.

This, in addition to the steel wearband used and developed in the glass cullet industry, provided excellent impact resistance.

The product saw improved tonnage through the plant, improved belt life, a reduction in downtime and planned maintenance. It also helped save on electricity costs, improved manual handling and led to greater health and safety compliance.