Open Cut » Maintenance & Equipment
This research study focuses on dragline ropes and the feasibility of substituting steel wire ropes with light weight, high performance synthetic fibre ropes.
By conducting this study into alternative rope materials significant areas of benefit have been identified for existing draglines and future development options for new design draglines. This could see significant value added to the industry in the areas of safety, productivity and cost.
Whilst preliminary research shows that synthetic HMPE rope is currently around three times the cost of wire rope the benefits identified involving decreased dynamic loads, increased fatigue life, increased RSL capacity (i.e. greater payloads), decreased maintenance cost and multiple improvements in safety are all expected to out-weigh the cost.
If adopted onto draglines synthetic HMPE ropes could make a step change in safety, equipment productivity and costs in the mining industry. Further scale testing and field trials to verify the expected increases in rope life in the harsh mine environment would be the ultimate test for success.