Rubber-to-Metal Adhesives Ensure Longer Tank LifespanWed, 10/21/2015 - 18:41
With 85 years of experience in industrial adhesives, Lord knows pretty well what will stick in any given industry. In the Mexican mining sector, Lord promptly identified that its Chemlok adhesive product line could be used for attaching rubber to metal equipment, therefore increasing protection and minimizing wear and tear. “Our most important mining application concerns the rubber protection that lines the inside of storage and process tanks, into which crushed rock and chemicals are poured. Tanks, mixers, pipes, and all the metal equipment that is subjected to corrosion, impact, and abrasion in a mine are commonly protected by rubber. Without it, the life of the equipment would be incredibly short and the return on investment would be too low,” says Edgar Rosas, Sales Manager for Mexico and Central America at Lord. The company is now providing adhesives to cover such tanks at the El Boleo copper-cobalt-zinc-manganese mine in Baja California, including two tanks that are fully covered across their 42m diameter. Aside from directly applying the coating to machinery already inside the mines, Lord has extensive working relationships with mining suppliers. Chemlok’s ability to bond rubber to metal is what makes Lord so confident that its adhesives stand out from rival products. Rosas states that by counteracting the impact produced by the transfer of minerals and rocks, as well as almost negating the corrosion caused by chemicals in metal flotation cells, the combination of these adhesives and the protective covering can double the lifespan of mining equipment. As the solutions used in the froth flotation process are usually acidic, they can often erode the rubber and adhesives on the equipment. Lord tests its adhesives to ensure they can resist such reactions and withstand high temperatures. “Minerals and rocks are often transported through pipes for kilometers, causing great friction and high temperatures. Our adhesives are used to protect the inner walls of these pipes and sustain the high temperatures inside,” explains Rosas. However, given the vast range of atmospheric and geological conditions found in mining sites, Lord’s adhesives need to be adapted to suit.
Besides adhesives, Lord also produces a range of mechanical parts for the mining industry, covering hubs, bearings, and couplings. But the company is most excited about its latest line of business: the application of its adhesives for dampening vibration created by mechanical components in engines and moving pieces. Alongside this, Lord now manufactures sensors and monitoring systems to detect and control such vibrations. Although this new revenue stream was first launched to meet the demand of automotive clients, it was quickly applied to mining as well. “When a tank is new, the rubber cover and walls are thick, meaning that there is practically no vibration. First launched in 2013, Lord’s new systems and sensors allow companies to identify weak spots that develop over time by monitoring vibrations in the tank. These products are independent of our adhesives range and we are working to increase their use in the mining industry,” concludes Rosas.