Superior dust suppression


Superior Industries has developed a modular skirting system designed to suppress the hazardous effects of dust and mitigate waste from conveyor systems.

Superior Industries has grown into one of the world’s leading manufacturers of bulk material processing and handling equipment.

In addition to its crushers, screens and washing equipment, the US-based company has a reputation for manufacturing innovative, robust and safe conveyors to feed, transfer and stockpile dry bulk materials.

As part of an ongoing commitment to continuously improve the reliability and efficiency of its products, Superior has turned its attention to suppressing the effects of dust emissions and mitigating material wastage in the transfer of bulk materials in the quarrying industry.

The company recently developed a new modular skirting system designed to significantly improve the performance of various types of bulk handling conveyor systems.

“In the process of transferring aggregates from one piece of equipment to another piece of equipment, there is often a release of trapped air,” Superior Industries chief engineer of portable conveyors Travis Thooft told Quarry.

“This air displacement is unavoidable and directly results in dust emissions and material wastage.”

If dust escapes during the bulk handling process, it can lead to costly product wastage and create a health and safety issue for nearby staff members, as well as for the environment.

“Any time you can help prevent the external movement of air accessing your material, you’re going to have success with mitigating dust emissions and reducing wastage,” Thooft said.

Dust emissions pose health risks that can potentially lead to respiratory issues, while fine dust can also cause irritation, burning and damage if it gets into the eyes.

In areas where dust is poorly contained, lower visibility due to dust pollution can also pose a safety hazard for workers.

Conveyor skirting creates and maintains a seal between a chute structure and a conveyor belt, stopping dust and small particles from being able to escape the conveyor system.

“We have developed a new sealed load zone, effectively an all-in-one skirting and dust containment solution, to mitigate the effects of dust and spillage,” Thooft said.

“The modular skirting system is capable of being retrofitted to most existing conveyor structures with little or no field fabrication.

“It’s generally meant to be attached to the frame that’s going to be supporting the idlers of the other components across the conveyor structure, with plenty of adjustability to match the existing infrastructure.”

The conveyor skirting has the potential to significantly reduce the amount of material lost by preventing airborne material wastage and spillage.

“It’s generally created with the intention of using it around bulk aggregates; however, it is also going to work with finer materials such as more granular products like fertilisers or soda ash,” Thooft said.

Two sets of adjustable legs aid in this universal installation, while easy-to-adjust clamping mechanisms are used in place of nuts and bolts to hold skirtboard rubber tight against the belt.

An optional stilling zone is available to accelerate the settling of dust while material is moving inside the system.


Going without

Without a conveyor skirting system, material can spill over and become lodged underneath the belt. Material caught between the belt and rollers will cause the belt to mis-track and become damaged.

Having a conveyor skirting system in place will reduce the risk of preventable belt damage caused by material build-up.

Reduced conveyor belt damage, belt tracking issues and material build-up means less downtime is spent on unplanned repairs and maintenance.

“The Superior skirting system is highly flexible and can be configured to account for many different types of material,” Thooft said.

“Our skirting solution will effectively reduce dust emissions and wastage from the bulkier materials such as unrefined mineral ores.

“When it comes to aggregates, it’s one thing to seal the belt and seal that transfer zone; however, you’re also introducing a wear surface, so we do offer different liner configurations.

“If an operation was working with a sticky material, you could utilise a low fiction plastic as a coating surface.”

Superior’s modular skirting system is sold in 1.5m sections for conveyor belt widths up to 1.728m.

Dust pollution, material spillage and build-up require ongoing cleaning and maintenance to ensure conveyor systems run safely and smoothly.

Without conveyor skirting, a conveyor system will require more maintenance, which can be expensive due to cleaning labour costs and downtime from system shutdowns.

“Effective conveyor skirting has the potential to increase a system’s overall efficiency and productivity,” Thooft said.

Superior’s modular skirting system helps to ensure health and safety incidents are minimised and material loss prevented, leading to a higher product yield.

Another of the key benefits of partnering with Superior Industries is the access the company provides to a plethora of aggregate processing equipment solutions, technologies and machinery.

“If you’re looking at a new plant design, we’re one of the few, if not the only, companies that can provide a full turn-key system,” Thooft said.

“We can design a complete operation solution tailored to the customer’s requirements.”

Superior Industries is always cognisant of providing the most effective solution for customers that require either portable or pre-engineered plant to process dry bulk material efficiently, safely and at the lowest cost per tonne.

“Superior works closely with its equipment distributors throughout the Oceania region,” Thooft said. “And the new modular skirting system is available to our Australian and New Zealand customers.”

To learn more, visit the Superior Industries website here.

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