Chemical fixings manufactured by fischer and used mainly as anchors to secure conveyor-belt systems, crushers, and piping systems, as well as for the installation of ventilation systems in underground mines are catching on in Africa’s mining sector, according to distributor Upat.
The fixings are popular due to their high-performance, safety benefits and quick installation, Upat, the official fischer distributor in southern Africa, said. All of these avoid costly downtime.
The chemical fixings used at mines comprise chemical mortar, glass-encased chemical capsules and epoxies, all with studs and accessories.
Upat Mining and Exports Manager George Williams says fischer’s products are the best option for mines because, apart from their high strength, they are supplied with service guarantees of up to 50 years – a major advantage for long-life mining operations.
Before supplying any products to mining companies, fischer undertakes load tests to assess their suitability for the application required. Those available cure to a strength of 180 MPa, almost double the strength of concrete, affording increased protection from the possibility of structural failure.
“The safety features, combined with the reduced maintenance required for these anchoring systems, are the two main priorities for mines,” Williams said.
He adds that fischer also undertakes regular mine-site inspections to ensure its products are all in working order. This is particularly important as seismic events can result in ground movement anywhere from 5 m to 25 m a month, heightening the risk of fall-of-ground incidents.
“Our assessment is undertaken in conjunction with the mine’s resident rock engineer. For example, with the installation of a conveyor-belt system, we will determine the rockfall pattern, which is of critical importance in determining the depth of the anchors needed,” he said.
Another critical feature of the heavy-duty anchoring systems required by mines is the two-hour fire rating provided by fischer products, one of the highest in the industry. This provides for ample time to evacuate underground mine workers in the event of any fire incident.
“We even offer combination anchoring systems to support headgear stabilisation, which can weigh up to 65 t, and typically require 12 anchoring bolts,” Williams said. In order to ensure the correct installation of its products, fischer provides training for mine engineers, and also issues certificates upon its successful completion.