Features, Industry News, Materials Handling

Clearing the air


Dust build-up can have disastrous effects for quarries, which is why Kinder Australia has developed a solution.

Dust is created in almost all quarry and dry bulk material processing activities. If dust suppression systems aren’t implemented properly, the consequences can be major.

Dust build-up can result in potential in potential clogs, jams, corrosion and burial of important operating components. This is on top of the risks of respiratory illness to staff nearby.

Cleaning this build-up can take hours and sites may even be shut down, causing unplanned downtime, which negatively impacts on the bottom line of businesses.

Tracey Wall is the communications support officer at Kinder Australia and spoke to Quarry about legal ramifications for employers who do not comply with dust suppression regulations.

“A recent government announcement of health and safety legislation that ends [an] employer’s ability to take out insurance against workers’ lung-injury can mean big penalties for sites that do not comply with sufficient dust reduction,” Wall said.

Since its foundation in 1985, Kinder Australia has been one of the nation’s leading independent suppliers and manufacturers for the bulk solids materials handling industry.

Kinder Australia recognises the flow-on effects of poor dust suppression and strongly encourages quarries to invest in ways of dealing with dust effectively.

Wall said a common method to reduce dust is known as a fogging system, which involves water being expelled via a network of hoses and nozzles, binding to the dust particles to form a clump, sinking the material back down to join the flow.

“Identifying the areas where dust is most likely to escape is the key to understanding how to contain it. High impact load zones and poorly designed transfer points are notorious for the billowing of excessive airborne dust,” Wall said.

Once the issues are identified, Kinder Australia’s field application engineers and specialists can take a proactive approach with potential solutions.

The Essential Air Seal was developed after the field application engineers recognised similar patterns in productivity issues that were repeated across the quarry industry.

The innovation consists of European technology as well as other Kinder products that have been designed in-house by engineers.

“The system’s design starts with the AirScrape, a contact-free conveyor skirting and sealing system that acts as a side seal suspended over the conveyor belt,” Kinder Australia told Quarry. “TailScrape, a proprietary and intelligent blade structure, combines with a K-Containment seal and a K-Sure belt support system.”

“This, together with the movement of the material and belt, result in a suction effect. Rather than contacting the conveyor belt, the ability to suspend over the top with zero contact has meant that there is no skirt friction and damage to the conveyor belt.

Through this system, the service life of the belt and conveyor components can be dramatically extended.

Wall said dust remains a necessary by-product of quarrying, but through proper leadership and planning, it can be managed and controlled effectively.

“Poor control of airborne dust is a personal, environmental and financial risk – a liability that can potentially bring a site to its knees,” Wall said. •

To Learn more, visit the Kinder Australia website here.

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