In the last 60 years, tyre protection chains have been highly utilised throughout the quarry industry. In fact, worldwide demand for tyre protection chains in the resources sector quadrupled in the last five years.
RUD, a manufacturer of quality tyre protection chains, has worked with quarrying and mining operators to refine tyre protection chain design to meet the demand.
In its dedication to perfecting its tyre protection chain design, RUD has performed field trials worldwide which, while varying from site to site, have shown financial benefits.
COST SAVINGS ? A CASE STUDY
Quarry type: Limestone quarry.
Machine type: Caterpillar 988B wheel loader.
Statistics pre-tyre protection chain: Pre-trial, the wheel loader had 36/65-33 DT tyres, with an average service life of 1200 hours, at a cost of $55,000 per set (four tyres).
Statistics post-tyre protection chain: The quarry operator invested $64,000 in fitting RUD Fels Royal X16 tyre protection chains on the machine. With a minimum service life of 10,000 hours, the result was:
? A 90 per cent increase in tyre service life (from 1200 hours to 12,000 hours).
? A 78 per cent reduction in tyre costs (from $45.85 per hour to $9.90 per hour).
? A 16 per cent increase in loaded volumes (from 550 to 630 tonnes per hour).
? A 77 per cent fall per year in tyre repair downtime (from 160 hours to 36 hours).
Cost savings ? Multiple applications
As demand for higher productivity drives the need for more profitable operating machinery, the cost and efficiency benefits offered by tyre protection chains to quarry operators is significant, as outlined in Table 1.
ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY, DESIGN
The metallurgy and engineering design involved in the manufacture of RUD?s chains is quite sophisticated, and involves three specific areas of focus.
First is the construction material. The chain is manufactured using a CrNiV alloy which is case hardened to between 61 and 68 Rockwell C. This provides a component equipped with the core tensile strength and ductility for withstanding the high forces of the machine and tyre, and yet hard enough to provide a long service life, typically 30,000 hours (or higher) in low abrasion rock types.
Second is RUD?s patented chain link design, which is more resistant to severe impacts than its predecessors. It facilitates safer, faster fitting and tensioning adjustment of the tyre chain through the following design elements:
? Three wear levels that provide three separate zones of wear resistance.
? A diamond shaped wear link for better traction and protection of the tyre tread.
? A middle reinforcement that increases stability, traction and wear volume.
? Sharp edges on the outer surface area that again increases traction.
? An ideal compact shape for equipment with low clearance.
? A wide contact area that improves force distribution and connects ring wear life.
? A wide base that reduces wear on tyres and prevents excessive rolling of the wear link.
The final element in the tyre protection chain design is the chain link configuration. RUD offers Fels and Garant link designs for a range of aggressive, low traction surfaces.
In abrasive applications (eg granite), the Fels four-link configuration is recommended. It presents the largest surface area (and wear volume) to the ground, providing maximum protection of the tread area (due to the small mesh opening) and the longest wear life for the chain (due to a large wearing link mass).
For lower abrasion rock types, RUD offers a chain design with a lower wearing mass that reduces the initial outlay while delivering exceptional service life. Derivatives of vertical link shape and profile, with mesh pattern, can deliver excellent traction characteristics with a reduced purchase price.
The Garant design has the widest mesh opening and is designed to give traction on slippery or slimy surfaces.
INSTALLATION AND MAINTENANCE
Chains can be fitted to any tyre type ? bias, radial or slick, new or worn ? as long as they are in good condition, do not travel faster than 25 kilometres per hour and there is no change to the machine?s normal operation. If tyre pressures, tramming speeds and distances remain virtually unchanged, even load and carry is still viable.
Maintenance of the chains involves basic daily checks by the operator, ensuring the chains are correctly tensioned. When necessary, parts replacement is simple and can be done in only a few minutes, with no requirement for special tools.?
Source: RUD Chains