Mining trending toward thermoplastic valves

31st July 2020

Mining trending toward thermoplastic valves

INNOVATIVE PLASTIC A SAFi installation in the hydro-metallurgical sector was at a copper mine, where thermoplastic valves provided a solution for the storage and transport of sulphuric acid

Industrial manufacturing company BMG’s Fluid Technology division works closely with the mining sector in sub-Saharan Africa to ensure that all valves, strainers and flow control equipment supplied, meet the exact requirements of every application.

BMG business unit manager Willie Lamprecht states that BMG’s experienced team, which has a thorough understanding of fluid technology processes, keeps abreast with global trends and ensures the local market has access to the latest products, with advanced developments in design, materials and coatings.

He cites that SAFi thermoplastic industrial valves – which were launched locally by BMG nearly three years ago – have gained popularity over traditional alloy metal valves to handle corrosive materials in demanding applications.

“This trend is evident not only in the mining sector; thermoplastic valves, that are about six times lighter than metallic valves, are also highly-regarded in chemical and petrochemical plants, water treatment, transport and logistics, marine, food production, energy and agriculture,” he notes.

SAFi’s lightweight polymer materials are integrated with a robust valve design for reliable performance, easy installation and low maintenance, as well as for reducing operational costs and extending service life.

Lamprecht explains that critical advantages of thermoplastic materials over conventional alloy metals, are that they are resistant to corrosion caused by the most aggressive chemicals, while also having high impact resistance.

Plastic systems also allow for the safe transportation of a range of industrial fluids and aggressive chemicals, with no risk of deterioration and environmental pollution.

“The smooth inner-bore of plastic pipework ensures that there is no build-up of limescale, resulting in less frictional losses and ensuring that a consistent flow rate is maintained throughout the life of the pipe system.

“Solvent weld plastic systems are also easy to install and do not require any specialist tools or equipment. “Quick installation offers cost savings of up to 50% when plastic is compared to steel or copper as alternative materials. “Plastic pipework systems also require less maintainability-centred maintenance, ensure optinance, thereby reducing material replacement costs. “Energy consumption is lower owing to a lack of friction when pumping fluids throughout the piping system.”

The trend in the mining sector, to choose thermoplastic industrial valves over standard components, is evident in process applications that include electrowinning and solvent extraction, and acid, plants, as well as heap and in situ leaching.

BMG says its SAFi range, which conforms to stringent international quality specifications, incorporates ball, butterfly, diaphragm and nonreturn valves, as well as strainers and tank fittings – all manufactured from high-quality noncorrosive materials.

SAFi’s most commonly used material – glass reinforced Polypropylene – has excellent mechanical, chemical and ultraviolet resistance, good dimensional stability and it can be easily machined and welded. This material can withstand operation in temperatures from –10 ºC to 100 ºC.

A recent SAFi installation in the hydrometallurgical sector was at a copper mine, where the thermoplastic valves provided an efficient solution for the storage and transport of sulphuric acid. The hydrometallurgical process of copper extraction uses sulphuric acid in large quantities to dissolve the copper ore on leaching heaps.

SAFi thermoplastic valves, with resistance to the chemical corrosiveness of sulphuric acid, also have large dimensions and excellent abrasion resistance, which are ideal features for this type of installation.

BMG specialists recommend SAFi thermoplastic ball valves for use in on/off regulation applications in mining. These thermoplastic ball valves are mainteability-centred maintenance, ensure optinance-free and have the ability to close faster than conventional valves, also ensuring extended service life.

BMG’s extensive range of components for fluid technology systems and general industrial applications, include valves, hydraulic hoses and fittings, accumulators, cylinders, heat exchangers, hydraulic motors and hydraulic plumbing, as well as pumps and reservoir accessories.

The company’s 24-hour process support services for production efficiency and reliability-centred maintenance, ensure optimum efficiency and increased service life of every system.