Dust pollution is a long-standing and common problem in bulk materials handling operations. The inability to control dust build-up results in increased conveyor belt wear, with its associated downtime and loss of productivity. Not only is productivity at risk, but mineral processing plants are under pressure to comply with international environmental regulations. By incorporating a Weba Chute System that can reduce dust (and noise) pollution, mining companies will greatly contribute to environmental sustainability and increase their productivity.
Without giving careful consideration to the design of a transfer point, larger materials will bounce and roll, thus creating a belt wear problem. In addition, air is entrained in the fines and creates a dust problem.
Due to the variability in particle size or moisture content of the material, there will be a resultant build-up in the chute, which will alter the flow of material through the chute. If the material drops through the chute and onto the receiving belt in an off-centre manner, this is likely to result in spillage at the loading point. In addition, if the belt is forced to ride up on the idlers eccentrically, spillage will occur along the route.
Historically, conveyor systems design focused more on the structural integrity of the system and the selection of the mechanical components. Unfortunately, the design of the transfer points was considered of secondary importance and has been constrained by a lack of design analysis of the material flow characteristics and needs. This has resulted in innumerable transfers that are inefficient and expensive.
A properly designed and efficient transfer point will eliminate these problems. The object of the exercise is not to decrease the momentum of the material entering the chute. In fact, momentum can be used to keep the speed of the flowing material close to the belt speed all the way through the chute. If you attempt to slow down the flowing stream of material, this will result in an increase in the cross-sectional area, which may cause the chute to become blocked. Also, by slowing the material down and then accelerating it again, one is providing an ideal environment for entraining air and creating dust.
Controlling the transfer of material onto the conveyor belt eliminates a high proportion of wear and tear and minimises the rebound that traditionally sends clouds of dust into the air. This ensures not only increased cost saving advantages for customers, but also boosts occupational health and safety compliance. The twofold effect that results from using a bespoke engineered Weba Chute System, impacts positively on the productivity and environmental sustainability of an organisation.