Speak with one of our experienced engineers

Contact us

Large Gold Mine in Australia – increased service life of pulleys with Elastotec/PROK HVCL

Hot Vulcanised Ceramic Lagging Maintenance

Large Gold Mine in Australia – increased service life of pulleys with Elastotec/PROK HVCL

One of the largest gold mines in Australia, located in southeast of Perth, produces around 750,000 ounces of gold annually and 80 million pounds of copper and has a workforce of 2,000 people. This mine has an expected life of 20 years.

In 2006 PROK Conveyor Components had supplied pulleys for mine expansion and has continued to supply pulley refurbishment services to the mine. Lagging initially installed was cold vulcanised ceramic on the drive and non-drive pulleys.

In 2014 the mine maintenance personnel asked PROK to make recommendations to increase the lagging service life as this was the primary cause of pulley failure and resultant conveyor down time.

Problems being experienced included:

  • Debonding of the lagging from the pulley shell
  • Edge lifting of the lagging
  • Water penetration at the joints between lagging strips resulting in lagging debonding and shell corrosion (see photo opposite)
  • Tile loss due to debonding
  • Excessive lagging wear
Cold vulcanised ceramic lagging debonding at the joints between strips

These lagging failures occurred well before any problems were seen with the pulley bearings or locking elements and as a result in-situ cold vulcanised lagging was required to keep the plant operational. The mine maintenance personnel wanted to eliminate the in-situ lagging application because it produced unreliable lagging performance, particularly on the drive and high-tension bend pulleys. There was a desire to eliminate any unplanned conveyor down time due to lagging failure.

New Non Drive Pulley with Elastotec HVCL to be installed at the gold mine.
Non Drive Pulley returned for refurbishment due to bearing failure – Elastotec HVCL in good condition and will not be replaced.
Tile loss due to debonding – note the rib detail where the tiles are missing as this shows the tiles have debonded.

PROK recommended Elastotec Hot Vulcanised Ceramic Lagging (HVCL) to address each of these lagging failure modes and the mine maintenance personnel approved a trial with HVCL in mid 2014.

Following the success of this HVCL trial, this mine site changed the lagging specification to Elastotec Dimpled HVCL for the drive pulleys and Elastotec Plain HVCL for the non-drive pulleys.

To date (2017) since 2014 in excess of 50 pulleys have been installed with zero failures. In fact, a number of pulleys have been returned to PROK for bearing replacement and Elastotec HVCL has in each case been in good condition and has not required replacement (see photos).

Maintenance personnel have advised that the pulley specification has now been changed to require Elastotec HVCL on all new and refurbished pulleys.

“In 2014 at each major shutdown it was normal for as many as 10 pulleys to be taken out for refurbishment. Today that is down to an average of one pulley per major shutdown.
The implementation of the Elastotec/PROK HVCL at one of Australia’s largest gold mines has provided substantial reduction in pulley refurbishment costs and has eliminated unplanned down time due to lagging failure.”
Case study update – October 2023

A routine inspection was conducted at this mine site in October 2023 and the Elastotec Hot Vulcanised Ceramic Lagging applied in 2014 presented excellent conditions. No debonding of the lagging from the pulley shell was observed and the joints between strips were entirely preserved with no visual separation. This indicates that no water penetration occurred, safeguarding the integrity of the pulley shell. Added to this, no sign of significant tile debonding or lagging wear was observed in these nine years.

The PROK-Elastotec Hot Vulcanising Ceramic Pulley Lagging performance is increasing conveyor availability and production output.

Pulley lagging outlasting the life of pulley mechanical components can be achieved when the lagging is engineered to perform.
 PDF this page