Weir Minerals has partnered with adhesive producer Henkel and its team of LOCTITE specialists to develop a sustainable, solvent-free adhesive for rubber lining applications.
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are carbon-based, organic chemicals often used in adhesives, paints and coatings.
They are subject to strict regulations, with some governments looking to ban them in certain products.
In the mining industry, these compounds present a potential hazard to workers as breathing in fumes from VOCs is a safety risk. Solvents that use VOCs are also damaging to the environment, given they can release toxic chemicals into the atmosphere as they evaporate.
As a result, many mines regularly monitor VOC emissions as part of their sustainability strategies.
Mark Doyle, Weir Minerals’ global product manager – Linatex rubber and hose, told Australian Mining that the company had been looking for a solvent-free system that eliminated VOCs.
“We’ve had many customers across the globe approach us to help them find ways to improve safety for their employees,” he said.
Weir Minerals, manufacturer of Linatex, partnered with adhesive producer Henkel and its team of LOCTITE adhesive, sealant and coating specialists to develop a mining-industry-first solvent-free adhesive for rubber lining applications with zero volatile organic compounds.
“At Weir Minerals we take safety very seriously and looked at several possible solutions,” Doyle said.
“Our team worked closely with the LOCTITE experts and developed an adhesive that is stronger than any other product in the market today with the double benefit of being solvent-free with zero VOCs.”
The partnership between Weir Minerals and Henkel was not the beginning of the LOCTITE journey. Before the companies came together, Henkel spent seven years on development of the adhesive, followed by another three years with the multinationals working together.
The LINATEX LOCTITE – LINA 88 adhesive range is custom formulated for the mining industry, with a bond strength that exceeds the current British Standard by up to four times.
The adhesive also saves time during shutdowns, as there is no need to wait for multiple coats to dry. This means the bond reaches full strength much faster, so the plant is back in operation sooner.
The lack of solvents means the LINATEX LOCTITE – LINA 88 adhesive range isn’t flammable or classified as a dangerous good. This not only increases safety on-site but also allows the products to be easily transported.
Jody Martens, Henkel’s global account manager for Weir Minerals, said the range had undergone extensive testing in Australia, where it has exceeded customer expectations.
“The range has been tested on mine sites in Queensland and New South Wales, where it’s been in use for more than two years,” Martens said.
“The main feedback we’ve heard is how long-lasting the adhesive is. The main aim for any adhesive is ensuring it stays in place for the life of the rubber and the LINATEX LOCTITE – LINA 88 has proved its longevity.”
To prepare its staff for a global rollout of the product, Weir Minerals is training its staff with the new range. The product has a slightly different application method and Doyle said the team wants to ensure mines get the best out of the new range.
Stock for the LINATEX LOCTITE – LINA 88 range is starting to roll out globally, with mines excited to get their hands on the product.
“Mining companies understand the importance of the new range,” Doyle said. “We want to emulate what we’ve done in Australia, get global acceptance and continue to work with Henkel to develop solutions.”
This feature appeared in the July issue of Australian Mining.