‘The best defense is a good offense’ applies to many activities, including games and military combat. Metal wear generally can’t be defeated, but proactive product selection can be effective in battling abrasion to a draw.
Mining takes its wealth from the Earth, which in turn imposes its own expensive toll on the equipment used to dig, move and crush coal and rock — wearing down parts and equipment at a rate that costs the mining industry untold millions in replacement costs and downtime. In the most extreme mining conditions, it can be a race between abrasion and corrosion to see which process can destroy a part faster (See sidebar article, p. 33).
Miners typically employ a three-pronged approach — prevention, detection and repair — to battle the problem, and industry suppliers are providing new weapons in all three areas. Here’s a look at the latest wear-protection products and technology.