Stretching the limits of belt technology
At mines, ports, power and heating plants and in the steel and cement industry, around the world, bulk materials are on the move. It’s a non-stop flow. Coal, iron ore, cement and chemicals, sand and gravel and grain – going where they need to be, to keep a whole site running, day and night. And they are carried there smoothly on a conveyor belt made by Sempertrans.
Conveyor belts are more efficient than a whole fleet of trucks. Faster, safer and greener. With higher availability and lower costs. The rivers of materials carried on belts flow across land, up and down hills, even above the tree-line if necessary.
For over 50 years, Sempertrans has been making these high-quality steel cord and textile conveyor belts. A business segment of the Semperit Group, Sempertrans is one of the world’s leading conveyor belt suppliers. They support customers through design, selection, optimisation, manufacturing, installation, splicing and splicing supervision. Their know-how, experience and the versatility of their products make Sempertrans a partner of choice to meet the extreme conditions of Australian mining across every possible application. With two sales offices in Australia and production facilities in Poland and India, Sempertrans supplies tailored conveyor belts to customers who demand both high-performance and economical transport of raw materials and other goods.
Sempertrans also has a Global Application Engineering team. Their dedicated conveyor belt experts provide customised consulting services such as the design and configuration of special belts to meet the unique and demanding needs of customers and optimise their operations.
Belts that do tough jobs
The Sempertrans range is known for strength, impact and wear resistance and long service life; carrying materials reliably and efficiently. Part of the Sempertrans product range are the flame retardant covers for the Australian market. Sempertrans AS-S and AS-F covers comply to AS 4606. Self-extinguishing compounds have been developed especially for underground coal mines achieving statutory conformance to the most stringent of global specifications.
Transtherm is their range for high temperatures such as cement handling. It includes a cover grade for extreme temperatures.
Transdura is Sempertrans’ anti-abrasive cover range – the preferred choice by customers to combat heavy wear and tear, cuts and gouges. Sempertrans have also developed a range of specifically adapted covers that go beyond AS, ISO or DIN standards. D50 is the hard rock cover, designed for mining. It’s the right fit for highly abrasive ores, maximising the lifetime of belts. While D30 is their newly-developed cover with rock-bottom abrasion values, created for transporting small-sized but highly abrasive materials like iron ore.
Sempertrans has engineered many solutions for unique requirements. Autostable, for example, has a self-centring mechanism that doesn’t need additional equipment on the conveyor. It reduces the risk of off-centring that can damage the edges.
The Transpipe belt allows enclosed transport. It’s loaded like a regular conveyor belt then forms a pipe-shape along the route. This engineered solution for material and environment protection has several advantages over conventional conveyor belt systems. Sempertrans’ special belt design offers rigidity and ozone resistance over its lifetime.
To stay ahead in a competitive market, Sempertrans position themselves as partners with their customers, offering a full range of conveyor belt systems to best suit customers’ needs, including custom solutions.
Great importance is placed on quality. To reach the highest standards, Sempertrans engage in all stages of manufacturing a conveyor belt, from creating the belt design to mixing their own compounds and producing their own steel cords, Sempertrans undertakes the entire processes of belt manufacture – ensuring total control over the technical construction and properties of their conveyor belts.
The tech that sets Sempertrans apart
Sempertrans’ R&D department focuses on developing innovative compounds, like the energy-saving TransEvo or an environmentally-friendly lead-free compound. The belt created using TransEvo compound reduces the so-called indentation loss at idler stations – responsible for up to 70 per cent of the running resistance of the belt. This technology can reduce the power needed to run the system by up to 25 per cent. As by definition the splice poses the weakest part, Sempertrans’ R&D also developed solutions to optimise splicing efficiency.
Overcoming tough challenges and creating the right belt for the job is something Sempertrans excels at. Take the Cobre Panama mine as an example. It’s a massive new copper mine – one of the biggest operating open-pit copper in the world. A 13,600-hectare mining concession and 3,700 million tons of mineral resources, plus 1,000 million tons inferred.
This project set the most demanding challenges of hard rock mining. Belts operate in almost all mining stages: primary crushers, overland conveyors, secondary crushers, stackers and feeders.
The newly-developed Sempertrans XCG cut and gouge compound was a perfect fit for the first stage crushers. The impact resistance is 20 per cent higher than in standard covers while maintaining excellent abrasion resistance. Across the site, Sempertrans supplied 43 km of belts to the project.
Belts that fly
How do you move cement across valleys and dense vegetation efficiently without wreaking havoc on the surroundings? With the Flyingbelt. Lafarge-Holcim sought an innovative conveyor for the expansion of its Barroso cement plant in Minas Gerais, Brazil. The conveyor had to withstand a demanding production capacity, without damaging the local environment.
A collaboration between Sempertrans and Agudio (a brand of Leitner SpA) was initiated. The resulting Flyingbelt is an aerial conveyor system suspended by four track ropes. Standing on a ropeway 7.2 km long and up to 36 m high, this unique installation carries 1,500 tonnes per hour of limestone and clay from the quarry to Lafarge-Holcim’s cement plant.
The cement glides across valleys and through dense vegetation without ever touching the ground. That beats the alternative: over 40 lorries an hour, needing to travel on 24 km of road. It’s the longest Flyingbelt in the world, and more cost-effective, efficient and environmentally-friendly than conventional trucks. It’s also another remarkable example of Sempertrans engineering prowess on overland conveyor systems.
For this unusual structure, Sempertrans’ Metaltrans belt was the right choice for the job. Its unique steel carcass construction with low elastic modulus allows for optimum elongation. Thus the belt is supple and can stretch to fit the very small radius curves on the pylon stations supporting the Flyingbelt.
Onward into the future
The increasing demand for Sempertrans conveyor belts promises a bright future. Growth has led to an expansion of the production capacities at Sempertrans’ huge Belchatow plant. Today Belchatow is believed to be Europe’s largest conveyor belt production site. Using state-of-the-art production technology, it might be the most modern, too.
Building on Sempertrans’ strong technology advantage and respected reputation for quality, the next 50 years look very promising.
*Top image: Sempertrans belt at the Cobre Panama mine (image courtesy of Sempertrans).