Five times the strength-to-weight ratio of steel cord belting

In search of the best belting solutions, Fenner Dunlop welcomes the opportunity to work with clients to identify customer-specific applications to optimise their conveyor performance.

In responding to a problem faced by an iron ore company in the Pilbara, Western Australia, Fenner Dunlop has developed a solution to reduce the overall belt weight and deliver increased cover thicknesses in a high abrasion environment.

Fenner Dunlop increased the belt’s top cover from 28 to 32 millimetres, and its bottom cover from seven to eight millimetres.

The four millimetre increase in the top cover and one millimetre increase in the bottom provide the opportunity to increase the belt life by up to 15 per cent. Thus, the development of KordFlex conveyor belting was initiated specifically to solve a common problem in the industry.

The KordFlex difference lies in its aramid reinforcement – a low-stretch, high-tensile fibre that replaces the traditional steel cord in the belt’s carcass production. With aramid, KordFlex ends up with a lighter build so its cover thickness can be increased.

As an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) of belting products, Fenner Dunlop’s in-house engineering has ownership of all design and product development decisions.

“It’s a Fenner Dunlop product, it’s Fenner Dunlop-designed and it’s Fenner Dunlop-manufactured. One of the benefits of being manufactured by a company with a global footprint is that we leveraged global knowhow and expertise within our business to deliver Kordflex to the Australian mining industry,” Fenner Dunlop general manager of sales and marketing Trevor Svenson tells Australian Mining.

“Since we’ve gone from a traditional steel cord belt to an aramid carcass, the most common questions are how’s that conveyor going to track and what about the integrity of the carcass? And on both accounts KordFlex has been proven very successful.”

Fenner Dunlop is in the unique position of being able to weave its own carcasses for fabric belts for all mining environments to ensure the manufacturing process is owned and controlled from start to finish to produce a premium product.

As the only Australian belting manufacturer that produces the complete range of conveyor belts for all mining applications, Fenner Dunlop’s recent development in belt cover compounds for high-abrasion applications, and low-rolling resistance belting to reduce power draw on a conveyor system.

“At Fenner Dunlop we don’t develop cookie-cut, one-size-fits-all solutions. We are about customising a solution for that individual client’s needs,” Svenson says.

“KordFlex is a specific solution for specific applications, and that’s the approach Fenner Dunlop takes with all customer requirements – it’s a customised solution.”

With 18 service branches around Australia, Fenner Dunlop is locally based where its clients are. Its sales support and field service teams work closely with users on-site, identifying potential value-adding opportunities for the relevant site.

Prior to the construction of the belt, Fenner Dunlop invites its mining partners to witness the complexity of the belt manufacture at Kwinana, the largest steel cord belting facility in the southern hemisphere.

“Fenner Dunlop takes pride in being a company that welcomes customer feedback to continuously improve the products we introduce into the market,” Svenson says. “When you’re in close proximity to your manufacturing plant, it gives you a higher level of autonomy to make changes and work closely with your clients to deliver engineered conveyor solutions.”

This article appears in the March 2019 issue of Australian Mining.

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