Conveyors, Transfers, Chutes

The silver lining for equipment longevity

E-Plas can extend the life of bulk handling equipment by up to 10 years through its advanced engineered plastic lining materials.

Replacing equipment is an expensive endeavour, one that often involves lengthy shutdowns and production interruptions.

As a result, bulk handlers will often install specialised liners into chutes, hoppers, and other major CapEx investments to prolong their lifespans.

Not all liners are made equal, though. Lisa Marshall, managing director of plastic specialist E-Plas, said long-term performance is crucial.

“Whether it’s in mining, agriculture or heavy industry, everyone wants to get the most out of their equipment,” she said.

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“Replacing machinery is something most people are looking to avoid, especially now while costs are rising. You want to get the most out of your trucks, chutes and hoppers.

“Our high-quality liners can add up to five to 10 years of longevity to bulk handling equipment. They’re long lasting and have been proven to work by Australian users.”

E-Plas has serviced a diverse range of industries for more than 40 years, from orthotics and nuclear medicine to food production, mining, ship building, and the transport industry with the specialised QuickSilver truck liner coils.

Each of these different industries has its own unique demands, which has led to the development of products such as the TIVAR ultra high molecular weight polyethylene UHMW-PE product range.

TIVAR polymers are produced using an advanced compression moulding technology and ram extrusion. They are designed to provide specific solutions to tough problems in some of the most demanding applications, such as the mining industry.

TIVAR 88 has a distinctive blue colour, and was developed specifically for the bulk handling industry, undergoing rigorous laboratory and field testing to ensure it reduces arching, ratholing and erratic material flow. 

The plastic has a high-abrasion, corrosion, and impact resistance, with no moisture absorption. It retains its properties at temperatures of -269–80 °C and is resistant to aggressive chemicals.

Several bulk handling applications can use TIVAR 88 liners, including chutes, silos, bins, screw conveyors, truck beds, slider beds, vibratory feeders and more. It can also be used for wear strips, belt scrapers, conveyor skirting and chain conveyor flights.

Marshall said E-Plas provides products for specific applications to ensure the client can get the most out of their equipment.

“When we sell someone a product, we are offering a way to add value to their investment, whether it’s a truck, hopper, silo or conveyor,” she said.

“Our liners have improved chemical resistance and help to improve flow, but they can also include additional elements where needed.

“TIVAR liners with burn-guard ensures increased protection against static build up and related fires. We can also include TIVAR with rubber backing to absorb major shocks if heavy objects are being conveyed.”

The company also offers TIVAR 88-2, a weldable UHMW-PE lining that can be used as a drop-in liner, which saves on installation time. It uses rapid release technology to eliminate arching, ratholing and flow problems, working best in situations where sticky bulk materials are being conveyed.

These materials – which include cement, coal, bauxite, synthetic gypsum, sand, iron, fly ash and clay – are notorious for sticking and feeder plugging. They can also cause extreme surface wear to the equipment. TIVAR 88-2’s low co-efficient of friction and slippery non-stick surface mean bulk materials flow smoothly and discharge without hang-up.

Marshall said the company is looking to continue its growth following its success during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Infrastructure needs to keep moving, and so did we,” she said. “Our plans are to continue cultivating a positive work culture, developing our one-site manufacturing capacity and support for local jobs.” 

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