“Currently, we’re applying it in our bolters’ cable guide trays, which can sometimes be susceptible to abrasions brought on by the rigors of underground service,” said Ben Hardman, Fletcher’s coal equipment sales manager. “It seems to make a big difference. Now we’re looking at using the LINE-X coating in other areas of the machine, including tool trays, cover plates, drill heads and more.”
In the past, Fletcher has used an epoxy resin coating in these areas. But the company has been working on ways to minimize wear and tear from normal machine use, and to lower noise levels in the vicinity of machine operators. Similar to protective spray-on coatings often used in truck beds, XS-252 adds properties that resist corrosion and abrasion, and reduce noise levels. In addition, Fletcher can add sandy grit to the coating to make machine walkways less slippery, a real bonus with the company’s walk-thru chassis designs. According to Hardman, it’s a bonus that the product dries in about 10 minutes vs. 10 hours for the resin.
“Our engineers are constantly looking for ways to improve the safety and productivity of Fletcher roof bolters, mobile roof supports, face drills, scalers, tractors and other products,” Hardman said. “Line-X seems like a small thing, but it can make a big difference in the mine.”