Open Cut » Maintenance & Equipment
Driving mine trucks with underinflated and overloaded tyres subjects the steel cords within the tyre walls to cyclic stress and causes them to fatigue. Reinflating such damaged tyres can lead to what is termed a “zipper” failure. This is a rapid progressive failure of the cords and explosive rupture of the tyre carcass. Zipper failures have resulted in serious injuries and fatalities at mine sites, which prompted a coroner to recommend that mines needed to introduce an annual process to ensure that tyres undergo integrity testing. This project has developed the requisite tyre integrity monitoring technology.
A portable system was developed which includes a gamma radiation source, a digital detector array, a manual tyre rotation jig and new tyre image analysis software. The developed tyre analysis software depicts undamaged cords in green and damaged cords in red. The authors suggest that that workshop personnel or truck operators look for cord damage using this technology and must repair any damage before it leads to zipper failure. This system has been demonstrated at CSIRO, ALS workshops and the BMA Blackwater Mine. In particular, it has been shown that the system can detect undamaged and damaged cords within the walls of 23.5R25, 295/80R255, 11R22.5, 27.00R49 and 59/80R63 tyres. That is, the system can be used to analyse cords of light truck tyres through to the 4.1 m OD 59/80R63 tyres for Cat 797F haul trucks.
Commercial opportunities exist for tyre diagnosis services to be provided at mine sites. To this end, an agreement has been reached with ALS Industrial Pty Ltd to identify pathways for commercialising the developed technology and providing the mine site services. Please contact Scott Ramsey at ALS Industrial Pty Ltd (firstname.lastname@example.org) for further information.
Further development, automation and commercialisation of the above system will be undertaken in a follow-on project.