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 in which a rapid progressive failure of the cords occurs and causes an explosive rupture of the tyre carcass. The blast pressure waves from exploded damaged tyres have resulted in serious injuries and fatalities at mine sites.
This project, which follows on from C25034, developed a technology demonstrator and a procedure for remotely rotating truck wheels, acquiring a sequence of radiographic (or x-ray) images and analysing the internal structure of tyres. The developed technology and procedure involves the following:
- Exposing a radiographic source on one side of a tyre;
- Positioning a digital detector array (DDA) on the other side of the tyre;
- Running a Motor Controller software application to remotely rotate a wheel or tyre;
- Running a third-party software application to remotely source a sequence of radiographic images from the DDA;
- Running a Tyre Image Analysis software application to remotely analyse the images and detect undamaged/damaged cords.
The developed system can be used to analyse tyres in three ways. First, it can be used to analyse individual radiographic images of tyres acquired wherever interior damage is suspected to exist. Second, it can be used to automatically rotate a tyre carcass and analyse a complete sequence of images. Third, it can be used to automatically rotate a (jacked-up) truck wheel and analyse an image sequence.
The developed technology was successfully demonstrated. A manual inspection of the acquired radiographic images confirmed that the Tyre Image Analysis software correctly identified the (unbroken) cords. In order to deliver the benefits of the project to the Australian coal industry, a technology transfer plan has been developed in conjunction with ALS Industrial.