Toughened for the job

“When things go wrong, reach for Devcon,” this is the message that the team at ITW Polymers and Fluids – the manufacturer behind the Devcon range of abrasion resistant epoxy products – has for repair and maintenance specialists.

“Devcon is a world leader in products for mining maintenance and repair applications. This is particularly true about our range of technically advanced epoxy systems for abrasion resistance,” Jason Richards, national sales manager for ITW Polymers and Fluids, says.

The first product in the Devcon range, the Devcon Plastic Steel putty, was introduced by Devcon USA over 60 years ago.  Plastic Steel was the original metal-filled epoxy putty used for patch and repair purposes where welding or brazing would be undesirable or impossible.

Today, the Devcon range consists of an extensive portfolio of epoxy and urethane products developed for maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) applications.

Having been introduced into Australia in 1980, with local manufacture soon after, the Devcon brand has a proven success record in developing maintenance and repair products. In Australia, Motion Asia Pacific brands, including BSC, have been supplying Devcon products to multiple industries, including mines and quarries, for over 30 years.

BSC product manager Michael Rowe’s suggestion for maximising equipment life in high-abrasion applications in mining and mineral processing is to consider preventive repair and maintenance rather than taking a reactive approach.

“High wear and abrasion are common in mining equipment such as mixing vessels, tanks, pumps, hoppers, impellers, skips, chutes, screens and grates. These heavy-duty parts are often exposed to large stones, aggregates, particulates, sand and aggressive slurries that can damage and abrade even the hardest substrates.

“While the Devcon epoxy systems can be used to repair high-wear surfaces, they can also be used to prevent damages and maximise equipment life,” says Rowe.

Graham Astbury, technical manager for Field Support at ITW Polymers and Fluids, says two epoxy products, Wear Guard and MegaWear, are the corner stones for wear and abrasion resistance in the Devcon product range.

“In both of these products, bead quality and bead to resin ratio are key factors for ensuring high quality products,” he says.

Additionally, Astbury says the Devcon products are designed to overcome the challenges of applying epoxy compounds on vertical surfaces.

“In many applications, slumping of product during vertical or overhead type application causes issues during the application process. You’ll find that many of our products are formulated with this in mind, allowing the product to be placed in those positions without the fear of falling out before appropriate cure.

“We have also tried to package products in suitable sizes to allow easy mixing and use whilst maintaining the integrity of the mix ratio.  This allows the resin and hardener to be mixed precisely in the correct ratio and improve the overall performance of the abrasion resistant coating, whilst avoiding off-ratio issues that can lead to soft spots and the entrapment of air. There is of course no ‘one-solution-fits-all’ when it comes to selecting the correct epoxy repair system, according to Astbury. His recommendation is to consult the BSC experts with regards to surface preparation or the use of adhesion promoters in severe working conditions.

“The BSC staff are all trained by the ITW Polymers & Fluids team to not only make recommendations regarding the best choice of Devcon epoxy repair products, but also to assist customers around surface preparation and product application for long-term equipment protection,” he concludes.

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