ABSTRACT

In the mining and mineral processing industries, several properties need to be considered for processing equipment. Chemical resistance, abrasion resistance, corrosion resistance, UV resistance, and integrity at elevated temperatures are all common requirements. Thermoplastics, more specifically fluoropolymers, excel in their chemical resistance and have proven success in applications using highly corrosive chemicals. Yet, of the wide range of fluoropolymers, PVDF is a material that not only displays this strong chemical resistance, but also has sustained mechanical integrity at elevated temperatures, allowing it to be both a free standing or supported structure. This paper will demonstrate thermoplastics applications, highlighting PVDF components. It will also include case histories within the mining and mineral processing industry.

INTRODUCTION

Mining is the essential process of extracting materials from the earth. It dates back to prehistoric times when the earliest humans mined flint, copper and gold. These basic materials were then used for tools, weapons, currency. Today, there is a wide array of mined products from the extraction of valuable materials. Mining is a growing industry with many varied processes and system designs depending on the extraction requirements, processing techniques, and restoration of the land after a mind is closed.

The progression of mining always begins with initial exploration. This process includes geochemical sampling, structural mapping, and subsequent drilling to confirm predicted results. Once it is determined that a mine is economically viable, a mine will be designed to meet the qualifications of the mineral extraction. In modern times, there are two main types of mining processed including surface mining and underground mining. Surface mining is significantly more common and produces the majority of metallic ores as well as mining for petroleum and natural gas while underground mining is a significantly more dangerous and complex process given that it requires blasting tunnels into the rock to reach deep ore deposits.

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