As a leading South African producer of high-quality rubber hoses, Weir Minerals Africa designs and builds mining hoses for customers from 50 mm to 1,000 mm nominal bore up to 10 metres in length and up to 1,100 mm bends.
“Our state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Alrode, Gauteng, comprises advanced semi-automated processes to produce both hard wall hoses, soft wall hoses and bends,” says Yatheen Budhu, product manager rubber products, hoses and spools at Weir Minerals Africa. “With a decade of investment in semi-automated building equipment and training, we can ensure high levels of safety, manufacturing consistency and quality in our custom-engineered products.”
“The safety of our people is our number one priority, and the investment included system improvements in the hose building process protecting our employees from harm at all times,” he says.
These hoses are designed to the specifications of customers around the world, using an option of Linatex®, Linard®, Linagard® and Linacure® abrasion-resistant internal wear liners. The hard wall mining hose is built for suction and discharge applications, with a heavy spring steel wire helix to cater for high dynamic loads. For discharge applications with no vacuum or suction that could collapse the hose, the soft wall mining hose is usually used as it allows for ease of movement and flexibility.
“Among the innovations we have introduced is a wear-indicator system, for critical applications where unexpected hose failure carries an unacceptable level of risk,” says Budhu. “The wear-indicator system gives operators early warning of wear on the liner, and allows proactive replacement to be planned and conducted.”
Weir Minerals Africa’s world class local manufacturing capability gives a number of benefits to mining companies, he says. These include a quicker lead time and a valuable contribution to Mining Charter compliance.
“Having our manufacturing facilities relatively close to our customers also facilitates our engineered-to-order approach,” he says. “We spend time with customers whenever possible – through our comprehensive branch network – to understand their conditions and requirements.”
For mines across the commodity spectrum, Weir Minerals’ rubber hoses deliver long wear life – from demanding conditions in mineral sands dredging operations to tailings, cyclone feed or thickener underflow.
“Our hoses must deal not only with abrasive materials, but also unexpected foreign objects in slurry, some of which may be sharp,” he says. “Nonetheless, as an example, we have seen our hoses in mineral sands applications last up to seven years – considerably longer than the customer is used to.”
The company also manufactures related equipment like flexible distance pieces – instead of normal bellows – to customer specifications, notes Budhu. With its Linatex® wear liner, these items last considerably longer. In addition, they can be used to connect pipework that is not well aligned.
Weir Minerals Africa has an extensive footprint across the continent to deliver efficient technical support for its range of rubber lined hoses. This technical experience, coupled with the premium quality liners and the consistency achieved through using the semi-automated manufacturing process gives customers the assurance of a well-engineered product for the application.