Chromium Carbide (CrC) liner plate expert Rio-Carb has ensured a saving of more than R100 000 for a power plant in Secunda, after successfully refurbishing three chutes and fitting them with CrC liner plates.

Rio-Carb has successfully refurbished three chutes at a power plant in Secunda
Rio-Carb has successfully refurbished three chutes at a power plant in Secunda

Rio-Carb director Martin Maine explains that the project, which has been ongoing for five years, was extended due to the impressive performance of the R-C 700 liner plates. “Rio-Carb had already installed liner plates, in the three 60 m2 chutes at the plant. We have also been tasked with supplying the utility with R-C 700 pipes, which outlast the current pipes ten-fold.”

The chutes at the plant were previously fitted with ceramic 2 m bolted liners, which were not suitable for the project’s specific wear rate, thereby resulting in erosion and blockages in the chutes. Rio-Carb replaced the ceramic liners with 500 mm x 500 mm R-C 700 liner plates, which are manufactured to the chute specifications. The refurbishment included; sandblasting, welding and re-fitting.

Rio-Carb repaired the holes in the chutes, and then standardised the liner sizes to an easy-to-handle weight.

Rio-Carb Director Martin Maine
Rio-Carb Director Martin Maine

According to Maine, the average chute lasts for at least three years. “Standard refurbishments cost at least R2-million every three months, while with Rio-Carb’s R-C 700, it is around R1-million every three years. Using MaxCS technology, Rio-Carb is able to take the properties of CrC and cast it via a welding process onto a mild steel backing plate, which gives it an optimum hardness of 58 RC, and additional flexibility for moulding and shaping.”

The liner plates are also marked with a unique identification number and recorded in the company’s database. This enables the customer to get the correct liner plate sizes immediately, and eliminates the need for onsite measurements. “Rio-Carb also provides an obligation-free wear survey consultation by sending a wear specialist onsite to measure the thickness of the liner plate using ultra-sonic technology to determine when they need to be replaced. This not only saves costs, it helps to accurately prepare for downtime too,” Maine concludes.

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