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By feeding too large material or  producing too many fines, producers can  damage a crusher and affect throughput production and wear parts’ life.
By feeding too large material or producing too many fines, producers can damage a crusher and affect throughput production and wear parts’ life.

Top ways to improve wear part life

What is the best way to prolong the life of wear parts, specifically horizontal shaft impactor blow bars, jaw dies, vertical shaft impactor parts and cone liners?

Producers often want to know how many hours can be logged or how many tonnes of material can be produced before replacing wear parts. The answer is the same every time – it depends on each operation and application.

There are a number of variables to examine when considering wear parts’ life, including:

Feed size. By feeding too large material or producing too many fines, producers can cause damage to a crusher and dramatically affect throughput production and wear parts’ life. Using screens to separate the material so material is at product size, near-size or smaller prevents the material from getting reintroduced to the crusher and helps prevent accelerated wear.

High quality parts. Using quality OEM wear parts that fit your crusher and application can prolong wear life. Using aftermarket or pirated parts can have warranty implications if the use of these parts causes damage to the crusher.

Crusher settings and speeds. These can change the outcome of single pass crushing. Improving the efficiency of a crusher can reduce wear and extend wear part longevity.

Dust suppression. Water is abrasive yet it has both health and environmental impacts. Dust suppression can have positive results if the nozzle type and placement, pressure and volume are correct and meet the goal for dust control. Nozzle placement is critical for wear parts’ life. If  incorrectly placed, nozzles can accelerate wear.

Composition of material. The natural characteristics of material have an impact on wear parts’ longevity. Characteristics include chemical composition, hardness and abrasiveness. Although producers cannot change material characteristics, they can educate themselves. Producers often state that their rock is abrasive or hard but when asked they don’t know exactly how abrasive or hard it is. Knowing the exact material characteristics can empower producers to select the best
wear parts.

The best way to learn about material characteristics is to have samples tested. These tests include:

A crush test. This determines how friable the rock is. A crush test provides information on how much product tonnage you can make in a single pass, depending on your gradation requirements. If the material can be crushed in a single pass, the wear parts see the material once only, thus prolonging their life.

The Burbank Abrasion test. This test demonstrates how abrasive material is on steel parts, which enables producers to select the best wear parts for their equipment.

A chemical analysis. This determines the chemical composition of the rock, which defines the amount of silica oxide, iron oxide and aluminium oxide present. This test provides producers with the percentage of silica present in material, or as we call it, percentage hard parts.

A compression test. This test determines the psi (pounds per square inch) strength of the rock. In other words, how much energy is required to break the rock? This test is for jaw and cone crushers and will help determine your closed side setting and reduction ratio.

By considering all these variables, producers can realise significant savings in wear parts and production. Of course, it boils down to education. By attending factory training and consulting factory experts, producers can make the right choices to improve their operations. Taking time to invest in education will always help producers save money and improve the efficiency of their operations.

John Williams is the national aftermarket sales manager for Astec Australia.

Saturday, 20 October, 2018 06:16pm
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