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Automatic stud welding from Rio-Carb allows for efficient liner mounting
05 July 2017
Automatic stud welding from Rio-Carb allows for efficient liner mounting

Rio-Carb is at the forefront of innovation in the application of efficient liner mounting with its automation of the stud-welding process. Stud welding is particularly beneficial where a regular ore flow is required, as there are no interruptions or recesses caused typically by bolt heads.

The leading manufacturer of wear-resistant Chromium Carbide (CrC) clad liner plates for heavy materials-handling applications in the mining and allied resources industries, Rio-Carb offers stud welding as a standard on OEM equipment, unless bolts are specified by the client. “Stud welding is a quick and robust process,” Rio-Carb Director Colin Maine explains.

Typically, an M16 or M20 stud is fitted to a gun/chuck, which then places the stud in a pre-determined area. A 1 200 A DC current is applied for about three-quarters of a second. The electrical arc is initiated by a match-head size aluminium insert in the bottom of the stud, which de-oxidises the molten weld, shrouded by a ceramic mould. Cooling is virtually instantaneous, and achieves full strength immediately.

“It is most important that the stud is placed vertically, and in the correct position, to within 0.5 mm,” Maine stresses. For this, Rio-Carb has developed a mechanised jigging system whereby the stud gun and stud is held precisely at 90°, and placed on a pre-determined point within 1 mm. This CAD-etched point is taken off the same plasma-cutting programme when the liners are made.

With Rio-Carb’s extensive experience in the mining industry, the supply and application of a liner plate is only part of the story. The removal of conventional liner plates poses an additional issue, in that following corrosion and weathering, conventional countersunk bolts are difficult to remove.

Removing liners that have been stud-welded, however, is a simple ‘one-person operation.’  Also, due to the long-life of Rio-Carb’s CrC liners with its MaxCS™ alloy, this corrosion can be excessive. Therefore, all studs are supplied in 304 stainless steel, complete with a galvanised washer and Nyloc-nut.

Commenting on the industry perception whereby stud-welded liners tend to have a bad reputation due to stud breakages, Maine explains that this is caused by studs cracking off on 400 and 500 Martensitic steels, which are not welded regularly.  Rio-Carb liners have a weldable mild steel backing, which means zero breakages under normal usage.

“All our stud-welding is certifiable according to American Welding Society (AWS) standards, which involve a sacrificial 15° minimum bend test on each batch of 100, as well as a torque test,” Maine points out. Installation has to be according to the specified torque range, denoted by a plastic collar on each liner.

The location of the mounting holes in the parent chute are replicated from that chute’s CAD program directly into Rio-Carb’s Plasma-CAD programme. “Misfits and breakages in assembly are thereby zero,” Maine emphasises. Stud-welding requires simple operator-skill levels, and is virtually fully automatic with the Rio-Carb process, which also uses pre-set parameters. “Once again, Rio-Carb is at the forefront of innovation in the application of efficient liner mounting,” he notes.

“For conventional applications, we have our Rapid Removal System (RRS) of CrC 700 hard-faced galvanised countersunk bolts, with a slot at the end to prevent rotating, whilst unthreading the nut at the end of its lifecycle. This offers a simple ‘one-man’ dismantling operation, without harmful grinding or cutting,” Maine concludes.

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