Mines Under Cover

New breed of protective covers reduce corrosion

Corrosion control is a major cost factor in mine maintenance with valuable equipment subject to adverse weather conditions and environmental degradation. Revolutionary protective covers, which were originally developed by NAVSEA for the US Navy are now available for mine equipment.

Australian Pump, authorised distributors for the covers, say they offer a complete solution that will protect your key assets from moisture, dust, UV light and heat. The result is massive reduction in maintenance hours spent cleaning and “rust busting”.

“Traditional waterproof tarps and plastic covers often trap moisture with devastating results”, said Australian Pumps’ Chief Engineer, John Hales. “The Envelop Covers unique design creates a micro climate that slows corrosion reducing maintenance and improving equipment readiness,” he said.

The covers are already being supplied to big iron-ore mines in the Pilbara, Western Australia, where monsoonal rain and frequent dust storms contribute to the corrosion of key assets. They also supply them to the Royal Australian Navy, leading to huge maintenance cost reductions on Australian ships including FFGs, Anzacs and Mine Hunters. There are big savings to be made on commercial assets, even those held in long term storage, where corrosion can be an issue.

The covers use a unique and patented system that literally absorbs moisture from under the cover by “wicking” damp into absorbent layers which then sweat the water droplets through the outside cover. The outside layer is waterproof and acts as a rain shield as well. The result is a controlled environment that keeps the asset dry and corrosion free.

That same technology has been applied to covers for the offshore drill rigs in the Gulf of Mexico, and substantial cost savings made. Covers have been created for electrical control boxes, engines, hydraulic motors and pumps.

These high cost assets, critical for automated control and monitoring, are susceptible to corrosion caused by water intrusion, either from the elements or from periodic wash cycles required by adjacent power equipment.

The covers shield equipment from the elements, keeping it dry, corrosion free, and eliminating the moisture build up underneath the cover.

“Laboratory testing and field evaluations have resulted in up to 90% reduction in corrosion”, said Hales. “Field tests also showed substantial gains in protection of electrical components, optics and delicate navigation aids”, he said.

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