Friday 18th Sep, 2020

Stretching the limits of belt technology

Quality engineering and high standards have allowed belt supplier Sempertrans to build novel solutions to bulk handling problems, including a flying conveyor belt.

Quality engineering and high standards have allowed belt supplier Sempertrans to build novel solutions to bulk handling problems, including a flying conveyor belt.

When it comes to moving bulk materials, not all methods are created equal. Mines, ports, power plants, and heavy industry manufacturers will often need to find the right method of transportation to facilitate the rivers of material that flow into or out of their sites.

Christian Ullmann, Head of Technical at conveyor belt manufacturer Sempertrans, says the continuous flow of material provides higher availability and lower costs, making it an easy decision for many organisations.

Sempertrans, a business segment of the Semperit Group, is a global conveyor belt supplier with more than 50 years of manufacturing experience. It supplies its customers with steel cord and textile conveyor belts, offering also tailor-made constructions, assistance in conveyor belt selection, conveyor optimisation, conveyor belt installation and splicing supervision services.

Ullmann says the company’s experience and the versatility of its products allow it to meet the extreme conditions of Australian mining across every application.

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“With two sales offices in Australia and production facilities in Poland and India, Sempertrans supplies tailored conveyor belts to customers who demand both high-performance and economical transport of raw materials and other goods,” he says.

“Great importance is placed on quality. To reach the highest standards, we engage in all stages of manufacturing a conveyor belt, from engineering the belt design to mixing the rubber compounds and producing our own steel cords. Because we undertake the entire process of belt manufacture, it gives us total control over the technical construction and properties of the conveyor belts.”

Ullmann says another way Sempertrans stays competitive is to position the company as a partner of its customers, offering a range of belt solutions, including custom designs, to adapt to specific requirements of each conveyor system.

“Take FQM’s Cobre Panama mine as an example. It’s a massive new copper mine – one of the biggest operating open-pit copper mines in the world. It includes a 13,600-hectare mining concession and 3700 million tonnes of mineral resources, plus 1000 million tonnes inferred.

“The newly-developed Sempertrans XCG cut and gouge compound was a perfect fit for the first stage crushers. The impact resistance is 20 per cent higher than in standard covers, while maintaining excellent abrasion resistance. Across the site, Sempertrans supplied 43 kilometres of belt to the project.”

The company has also used its engineering expertise to develop novel solutions to environmental problems. When Lafarge-Holcim wanted to expand its Barroso cement plant in Minas Gerais, Brazil, it needed a way to move cement across valleys and dense vegetation without harming the surrounding environment. Road transport was not an option, as it would require more than 40 trucks travelling on 24 kilometres of road. Instead, Lafarge-Holcim reached out to Agudio and Sempertrans to install an aerial conveyor system.

Called the Flying Belt, the system is suspended by four track towers. Standing on a ropeway 7.2 kilometres long and up to 32 metres high, the installation carries 1500 tonnes per hour of limestone and clay from the nearby quarry to Lafarge-Holcim’s cement plant.

It uses Sempertrans’ Metaltrans belt, which has a steel carcass construction with low elastic modulus to provide optimal elongation. This means the belt is supple and can stretch to fit the small radius curves on the pylon stations supporting it.

“The increasing demand for Sempertans conveyor belts. has led to a significant expansion of the production capacities at our plant in Belchatow, Poland,” Ullmann says.

“Building on Sempertrans’ strong technological advantage and respected reputation for quality, the next 50 years look very promising.”