These Pieces Of Equipment Are Essential To The Mining Industry
Having the proper equipment is necessary for success in the mining industry. Mining equipment is sophisticated and powerful–the days of the simple pickaxe are long gone. Below are some of the most popular – and practical – pieces of equipment favored by the mining industry.
Worm Gear Drives
Industrial worm gear drives have applications across many industries and are especially useful for miners. This term refers to an instrument where a screw meshes with a “worm gear” (similar to a spur gear). These two elements are also commonly referred to as the “worm screw” and “worm wheel.” A worm gear drive reduces rotational speed and increases torque. This makes it practical for use in the mining industry. Industrial worm gear drives have the distinct advantage of being able to transfer motion in 90 degrees. This means that a full (360 degree) rotation will advance a gear by one tooth. This is a highly efficient instrument with many uses. Within the mining industry, industrial worm gear drives are often used (among other uses) on coal pulverizers.
Shovels And Excavators
One of the most important tasks for any mining company is digging. Shovels and excavators are used for this task. Electric rope shovels are a popular choice for many mining companies. These are huge machines with an enormous payload capability. As the name implies, this type of shovel is electrically powered. It consists of a large “bucket” attached to a crane. Steel ropes are used to move the bucket. Electric rope shovels can dig through extremely hard surfaces and can handle payloads of several tons. The other popular choice for digging/excavation is a hydraulic excavator. Hydraulic excavators are also capable of digging through hard surfaces and lifting massive payloads. Unlike electric rope shovels, the arm and bucket are powered by hydraulic fluid. Hydraulic excavators are a common sight on most mines in the U.S.
Drills are also among the most common pieces of mining equipment. Drills are primarily used for underground mining (the process of removing ores or minerals that are located far below the earth’s surface). For the most part, drills are used for digging deep holes that explosives are placed into (blasting tools are also essential to most types of mining). These explosives free up the ores or minerals so that they can be removed using an excavator/digger. Drills are also used to create holes that underground miners can enter in order to do their work. Much of the mining that is done today would not be possible without the help of drills.
Rocks that are excavated from below the earth’s surface are often too large to transport effectively. This is where crushing equipment enters the picture. This essential equipment crushes large rocks into much more manageable pieces. Crushing equipment is also helpful because it reduces the amount of material at the worksite. Crushing equipment remains basic and continues to reduce the cost of handling and conveying material at the mine.