Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Journal of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy]]> vol. 115 num. 3 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>Sustainability: Environmental, economic, and social</b>]]> <![CDATA[<b>Comparison of linear polarization resistance corrosion monitoring probe readings and immersion test results for typical cooling water conditions</b>]]> Owing to the corrosiveness of the untreated brackish cooling water typically used for steel mills (and other environments), it is important to treat the water and monitor corrosion in such systems. Generally, corrosion rates are monitored with corrosion probes inserted into a pipeline or vessel. This has been standard practice for many years, and is widely accepted in industry. Typically, two kinds of probes are used - electrical resistance and linear polarization resistance (LPR) probes. In this study, the effectiveness and accuracy of the LPR technique was evaluated by comparing the electrochemical measurements with the results of mass loss tests using corrosion coupons. The corrosivity of the environment, a synthetic brackish water, was varied by varying the calcium hardness and alkalinity, and to simulate actual plant conditions temperatures of 35°C and 45°C were used. In addition to the corrosion rate measurements, the iron concentration was measured, as well as the imbalance from the probe. The corrosion rates obtained by LPR were from 57% lower to 385% higher than those from the immersion tests. Most probe measurements were higher than the immersion results, and 50% of the probe results were 50% or more higher than the immersion results. The best correspondence between the two methods was obtained at low calcium levels, except for one measurement that was 93% higher than the coupon results. There was no clear correlation between parameters such as temperature and total alkalinity and the difference between the results. It would therefore appear that LPR measurements can differ significantly from immersion results, and LPR results should therefore be used with caution in industrial applications. <![CDATA[<b>Avoiding structural failures on mobile bulk materials handling equipment</b>]]> Bulk materials handling systems are extensively used in the mining and minerals industry, where a fairly high incidence of structural failure is experienced, notwithstanding design compliance with appropriate standards. A number of case studies are explored to demonstrate how insufficient controls or protection systems have contributed to structural failures on mobile bulk handling equipment. The importance of design integration across engineering disciplines is highlighted. The revision of ISO 5049-1 (1994) is proposed to provide specific rules and guidelines pertaining to machine protection systems. It is further recommended that the structural design engineer of the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) fulfils a more prominent role during the final acceptance and handover of mobile bulk handling equipment, with specific reference to protection systems. <![CDATA[<b>Utilization of the Brazilian test for estimating the uniaxial compressive strength and shear strength parameters</b>]]> Uniaxial compressive strength (UCS) and shear strength parameters (cohesion and angle of internal friction, C and ϕ) of rocks are important parameters needed for various engineering projects such as tunnelling and slope stability. However, direct determination of these parameters is difficult and requires high-quality core samples for tests. Therefore, this study aimed to explore the applicability of the Brazilian test (BT) - a simple, less sophisticated and inexpensive method for both specimen preparation and testing - to estimate the UCS and shear strength parameters of rocks. Thirty-seven rock types were sampled and tested, 24 of which were volcanic, 8 were metamorphic, and 5 were sedimentary. Statistical equations were derived to estimate the UCS and shear strength parameters of rocks using the BT. The validity of the statistically derived equations was confirmed using predictive analytics software (PASW Statistics 18). A strong linear relation was found between BT and UCS values. BT and UCS values exhibited prominent linear correlations with the cohesion values of rocks. The Mohr envelope was also used to determine the cohesion and friction angle of rocks using BT and UCS values. It is deduced from the current study that the BT values can be used to estimate the UCS and cohesion. However, no relation was observed between the angle of internal friction values and the UCS and BT for all rock types. Therefore, different approaches are suggested for the estimation of the internal angle of friction for application in the preliminary design of projects. <![CDATA[<b>Laser surface alloying of Al with Cu and Mo powders</b>]]> Laser surface alloying was used to develop copper and molybdenum aluminides by injecting premixed copper and molybdenum powder particles into a laser-generated melt pool on an aluminium substrate. Different laser processing parameters were used to produce the composite thin layers on the substrate material. The microstructure and phase constituents of the composite layer were studied by means of scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS), and X-ray diffraction (XRD) techniques. Experimental results show that the matrix structure of the metal matrix composite layer consists of θ-CuAl2 and MoAl5. Surface hardness was increased by a factor of 3. <![CDATA[<b>Chemical wear analysis of a tap-hole on a SiMn production furnace</b>]]> In April 2013 a 48 MVA submerged arc furnace producing silicomanganese was excavated in South Africa. Since the high shell temperatures recorded in the tap-hole area resulted in the furnace being switched out for relining, the tap-hole area was excavated systematically. A refractory wear profile of the tap-hole area with affected hearth and sidewall refractory was obtained in elevation. The carbon ramming paste in front of, above, and below the tap-hole was worn, as was the SiC with which the tap-hole was built. A clay mushroom formed but was detached from the refractories. Thermodynamic and mass-transfer calculations were conducted to quantify the potential for wear by chemical reaction between refractory and slag and refractory and metal in the tap-hole area. It was found that chemical reaction between refractory and slag or metal could offer only a partial explanation for the wear observed; erosion is expected to contribute significantly to wear. <![CDATA[<b>A stochastic simulation framework for truck and shovel selection and sizing in open pit mines</b>]]> Material handling in open pit mining accounts for about 50% of production costs. The selection and deployment of efficient, safe, and economic loading and haulage systems is thus critical to the production process. The problems of truck and shovel selection and sizing include determination of the optimal number and capacities of haulage and loading units, as well as their allocation and operational strategies. Critical survey and analysis of the literature has shown that deterministic, stochastic, and experimental approaches to these problems result in considerably different outputs. This paper presents a comprehensive simulation framework for the problem of truck and shovel selection and sizing based on the random processes underlying the network-continuous-discrete event nature of the mining operation. The framework builds on previous research in this field and attempts to address limitations of available methodologies in the form of a comprehensive algorithm. To test the validity of the framework a large open pit mine was evaluated. The stochastic processes governing the uncertainties underlying the material loading and haulage input variables were defined and built into the stochastic model. Discrete event simulation was used to simulate the stochastic model. The proposed model resulted in several modifications to the case study. <![CDATA[<b>A comparison of models for the recovery of minerals in a UG2 platinum ore by batch flotation</b>]]> A study was carried out to evaluate various batch flotation models for the recovery of minerals in a UG2 platinum ore. The major minerals in a UG2 ore can be grouped as platinum group minerals, chromite, and siliceous gangue. This study also examined the entrainment of minerals during flotation. The models were ranked using statistical methods and an analysis of model-fit residuals. Entrainment parameters obtained from model fitting were evaluated for logic using a simple mineral-to-water ratio versus time plot. The foremost conclusion from the study was the importance of entrainment modelling. The measurement of water recovery increased the size of the data-set, and the inclusion of a simple entrainment model was statistically significant. The overall fit to the data was improved, and the entrainment model provided logical information on the recovery of gangue minerals that were not considered to be floatable. <![CDATA[<b>Enrichment of low-grade colemanite concentrate by Knelson Concentrator</b>]]> This study investigates the enrichment of a low-grade colemanite concentrate (-3 mm) using a Knelson centrifugal gravity concentrator. Due to its low boron content, the concentrate is unsaleable and has to be stored under appropriate conditions to avoid potential environmental problems. The low-grade colemanite concentrate was comminuted to size fractions of -1 mm, -0.5 mm, and -0.15 mm before treatment in the Knelson Concentrator. The effects of particle size, fluidizing water velocity, and bowl speed on the enrichment process were examined. The B2O3 content of the concentrate was increased from 33.96% to a maximum of 45.52%. B2O3 recovery increased with increasing bowl speed and particle size, and decreased with increasing fluidizing water velocity. The enrichment process also rejected arsenic and iron to some extent, with a maximum reduction of arsenic from 1360 g/t to 765 g/t and iron from 0.88% to 0.33%. <![CDATA[<b>Multifractal interpolation method for spatial data with singularities</b>]]> This paper introduces the multifractal interpolation method (MIM) developed for handling singularities in data analysis and for data interpolation. The MIM is a new moving average model for spatial mapping and interpolation. The model decomposes the raw data into two components: singular and nonsingular components. The former can be characterized by a localized singularity index that quantifies the scaling invariance property of measures from a multifractal point of view. The latter is a smooth component that can be estimated using ordinary kriging or other moving average models. The local singularity index characterizes the concave/convex properties of the neighbourhood values. The paper utilizes a binomial multiplicative cascade model to demonstrate the generation of one- and two-dimensional data with multi-scale singularities which can be modelled by asymmetrical multifractal distribution. It then introduces a generalized moving average mathematical model for analysing and interpolating data with singularities. Finally, it is demonstrated by a one-dimensional case study of de Wijs' data from a profile in a zinc mine, that incorporation of spatial association and singularity can improve the interpolation result, especially for observed values with significant singularities. <![CDATA[<b>High-order additions to platinum-based alloys for high-temperature applications</b>]]> Platinum-based alloys are being developed with microstructures similar to nickel-based superalloys for potential high-temperature applications in aggressive environments. Since the chemistries of nickel and platinum are similar, Pt-based alloys can be made with gamma prime -Pt3Al precipitates in a gamma (Pt) matrix. Currently, the Pt-Al-Cr-Ru system is one of the bases for developing Pt-based alloys, where Al allows the formation of the Pt3Al precipitate and also gives protection from the alumina scale formed, Cr provides oxidation resistance and stabilization for the L1(2) -Pt3Al phase, and Ru provides solid solution strengthening in the (Pt) matrix. Four Pt-Al-Cr-Ru-V and two Pt-Al-Cr-Ru-V-Nb alloys were made, with compositions based on a quaternary alloy, ~Pt82:Al12:Cr4:Ru2, which had previously been identified as having optimum properties. Four of the as-cast alloys had the targeted two-phase structure of ~Pt3Al and (Pt), and two were single-phase -PtjAl. Vanadium partitioned more to (Pt) than to -PtjAl. There was an improvement in hardness compared to the quaternary alloys. The best addition of V was -15 at.%; higher additions resulted in brittle intermetallic phases of the Pt-V system. The effect of Nb could not be ascertained because of its high losses.