|Is AR Steel still the best choice for transfer chute linings?
Considering the importance of successfully transferring material, it makes sense to keep chutes functioning- and lining them with the strongest and most wear resistant options available. Protecting the chute from damage keeps material flowing and productivity from coming to a stop.But is AR Steel still the best choice for today’s applications? AR Steel is known for abrasion resistance, impact strength, weldability and hardness. In applications with abrasion and impact, this seems like a logical solution.In the field, this option sometimes proves to be less than ideal.A busy production facility in South Carolina decided to test their current AR Steel liners against Richwood’s RockPlate® Rubber/Ceramic wear liners. The material flowing through this chute was 6” minus granite / 600-800 tons per hour / height of fall ranging from 2’ to 6’. The AR Plate in use was 1” thick.
The first noticeable difference was the installation procedure. Removing the old steel required a two-man crew in the chute, torches, a boom truck, cutting in confined spaces and heavy lifting. To re-install AR Steel, welders and cranes would have been needed as well.
In contrast, the new RockPlate® wear liners were furnished in easy to handle modular sections. Each small section can be bolted in, magnetically attached or use a t-rail system. A blueprint indicates the placement of each piece, making it possible to replace only the most severe wear areas as needed. The best recommendation for this application required 4”x6”x24” wear panels.
RockPlate® is a combination of wear resistant high alumina ceramic and the impact absorbing properties of Richwood’s RockFlex® rubber. This combination allows the abrasion resistant ceramic to float in a bed of shock absorbing rubber, providing superior wear and impact protection.
The test for this project not only proved the value of an easy to install modular wear liner system, it also confirmed the superior wear life of a rubber/ceramic combination vs. AR Steel. Previously, with the AR Steel, the facility experienced a 3-4 month wear life. Using RockPlate®, service life increased exponentially, with a run time of four years before replacement. Comparing initial wear liner prices in this application against tonnage throughput, maintenance costs, downtime and ergonomics of replacement, the real value of increased wear life and ease of installation becomes very apparent.
Are there applications where AR Steel is a good choice? Certainly. Would a rubber/ceramic matrix be the right investment for your application? Testing data from your location can be a useful tool in making those decisions. Richwood has helped a variety of applications protect chutes from wear, reduce noise and dust levels and simplify maintenance. For more details on Richwood wear liners, or to discuss the needs of your application, call today (304) 525-5436.