The mining industry is both high-value and high-risk. It requires the right technology to efficiently retrieve precious resources without endangering personnel. This kind of demanding environment is a perfect match for compressed air, however.
For one, compressed air as an energy source is more flexible compared to diesel and electricity, as it does not require return lines. The best compressed air equipment is also designed to be both robust and convenient. Given that, you’ll want to invest in compressed air technology if you’re involved in the mining industry.
If you’re wondering about specific applications or the equipment you’ll need for your mines, check out the helpful list below!
7 Uses for Compressed Air in the Mining Industry
1. Powering Air Tools
The equipment in a mine must be built for heavy-duty applications. Fittingly, there are compressed air tools and devices designed specifically for usage in mines. Some equipment used in mining are:
- Drills and Jackhammers – for exploration drilling, probing surrounding areas for ore, breaking rock walls or other stubborn materials
- Impact Wrenches – for adjusting equipment and tightening or loosening bolts accordingly
- Hoists – for lifting equipment, large rocks, and (occasionally) personnel
In addition, compressed air systems can be fitted with filters to ensure that only clean, dust-free air enters the tools in a mining site.
Blasting refers to the controlled use of explosives to break up the rock. These explosives are often loaded into cylinders which have been embedded into the rock bed. Compressed air tools can easily drill holes into the rock, while compressed air itself can push explosives into the prepared cylinders.
3. Transporting Materials
Fine, powdery materials such as coal dust would normally be difficult to transport around a mining site using gravity alone. However, an upstream of compressed air causes such materials to behave like fluids and flow down slight inclines. This phenomenon is called fluidization, the principle behind airslide conveyors. Roots blowers are often used for this application.
Compressed air can also clear accumulated dust from filters and other equipment in the mine. This helps increase the service life of mining equipment and reduce the time needed for routine maintenance. It also eliminates the need for other cleaning materials.
5. Ventilating Mining Sites
One key application of compressed air is providing adequate ventilation in deep mine tunnels. Fumes and dust can pose health risks to miners working in an enclosed space. Roots blowers in an airflow system can transport these hazardous gases and particles away from the working area.
Compressed air is also important for a mine’s refuge stations. During fires and other dangerous incidents, miners can stay in a refuge station fitted with basic life support services and communication lines.
6. Extracting Methane Gas and Coal Dust
Aside from being poisonous to miners, methane and coal dust are both highly flammable. An electric spark can be enough to cause an explosion if these two substances have accumulated in a given mine.
Fortunately, a properly designed compressed air system can easily extract methane and coal dust and reduce the risks of an explosion. You’ll want to have a compressed air system fitted with blowers and vacuum pumps for this application.
7. Handling Waste Properly
Some mines are equipped with wastewater treatment facilities to reduce their environmental impact. In line with this, aeration blowers are often used to remove carbon dioxide from the water. The introduction of clean compressed air into wastewater can also help organic compounds metabolize.
After considering these 7 applications of compressed air in the mining industry, you’ll want to fit your facilities with the best equipment around. You can find just what you need by contacting us at Compresstech Resources, Inc. We can present you with your best options for robust compressed air machines built for mining applications. Expect no less than world-class products from an industry leader in the Philippines. Place your inquiries today!
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