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Corrosion protection for mining

Corrosion protection for mining equipment is essential due to the extreme environmental factors at play in a mine site. High ambient temperatures, extremely high humidity, acid, and dust are combined and result in high demands being placed on the need for corrosion resistant machines and materials.

An important factor in the corrosion of steels in coal mines is the mine water. However, the composition and corrosivity of these waters are highly variable.

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In addition to mine waters, coal itself has been shown to be corrosive. Factors such as coal particle size, moisture content, and sulfur content have a significant influence on the corrosion of steel. In most cases, the corrosion takes the form of pitting attack.

In addition to mine water and coal corrosivity, the presence of bacteria leading to microbiologically influenced corrosion can also be a factor. Common bacteria that cause corrosion in mines are sulfate-reducing bacteria and acid-producing bacteria.

Environmental cracking and corrosion fatigue are other common failure mechanisms in coal mines. Environmental cracking of rock bolts can largely be attributed to hydrogen embrittlement that is identical to sulfide stress cracking in the presence of hydrogen sulfide found in some coal mines.


How does ArmorGalv® improve corrosion protection for mining?

ArmorGalv® is used to coat millions of roof support rock bolts in hard rock underground mines for corrosion protection. Thermal diffusion galvanized components have been used in the mining industry worldwide for decades due to the reliable and multifunctional zinc-iron alloy.

ArmorGalv® heat treated fasteners are coated using temperatures of, at least, 320 degrees Celsius for over 90 minutes in a completely dry environment. This time and temperature matrix ensures there is no chance of inducing hydrogen embrittlement. It also relieves any residual stresses that might already be present in the fastener due to other factors.

Thermal diffusion galvanized high-strength steel shafts, ranging in weight from 10kg to more than 100kg each, serve as load-bearing hinges in shaft-supporting systems. Other applications include diffusion galvanized chains, hoisting hooks, shackles, long-wall hinge pins, locking pins, fasteners, and attachment systems.

Heavy equipment machinery components used in mining environments such as cable trays, structural steels, springs for vibratory equipment, and conveyor components have also been treated with ArmorGalv® to prevent corrosion.