The dust from unsealed or unstable road can cause major problems with haul trucks driving over it 24 hours a day.
Companies often have to either engage significant amounts of labour and equipment to work on the road and make it suitable, or dispense water or other liquid dust suppressants, sometimes around the clock.
B3Bond has introduced a product to the mining sector that combines the results of re-making the road, with the ease of application of a dust suppressant.
The ISB1000 product is a liquid application for dust control, but as B3Bond business development manager Simon Bayley says, it is not a dust suppressant.
“It is a dust control product because it bonds the particles together and is able to stabilise the road,”he told Australian Mining.
The ISB1000 creates a hard, semi-flexible and water impermeable road surface which, according to the company, acts to prevent dust, pot holes, rutting, corrugation and other surface degradation caused by heavy traffic or extreme weather.
According to Bayley, the ISB1000 differs from suppressant products in that it is a long
term dust control solution that requires only a single application.
“Some of our customers have got roads that have been down for six years that they have not yet graded, whereas in the past they would grade them sometimes every three days,” he said
Before entering the mining industry, the ISB1000 has seen extensive use in the Australian forestry sector.
The Queensland Department of Primary Industries Forestry (DPI) has been using the product since 2003 and seen positive results.
“The key benefit is that where the DPI used to use specialist road building materials they can now use the gravel that they have around the forest area,”
“They are getting better roads using our product than they were with the road bases they were bringing in.”
Time and money
A key benefit in using water or dust suppressant liquids is in their ease of application. They are simply sprayed over a road using a water truck.
The draw back is that they have to be applied regularly, which is a time consuming and often costly exercise.
Bayley said that one potential B3Bond customer in North Queensland has had significant trouble with dust control and the maintenance it requires.
“The company has two teams with a water truck, a grader, and a roller. One of them is running 24 hours a day and the other 12 hours a day,” he said.
“They said that the labour alone is $1 million over 12 months.”
“For the cost of the company to buy our product and put it down they would be able to save that amount in maintenance within the first year,” Bayley said.
Stretching from coat to coast, surfaces in the Australian mining sector differ greatly.
Different surfaces are no concern to ISB1000, Bayley said.
“With our main products we have sub categories within that can be used on pretty much any type of material,” he said.
“There are variations so we have a product that can suit every soil type.
“Also, it does not freeze so it there is no problem in alpine areas.”
According to Bayley, the once only application of ISB100 is a relatively easy and rapid process.
It is applied much the same as any other dust suppressants or water solutions, the difference being that the road can then be used almost immediately.
“Companies rip the surface of the road, put the product in with a water truck, spread it with a grader and roll it back down,” Bayley said.
“It does get harder over 48 hours, but it does not stick to the tyres so it can be trafficked straight away.”
Bayley said that while each operation will differ, it is best to follow a basic schedule in laying down the product.
“With a team of a grader, a roller and water truck, we tend to stick to about a kilometre a day,” he said.
While other available dust suppressant agents may be an initially cheaper option, Bayley stresses that the long term benefits of ISB1000 far outweigh the original cost.
“When companies first look at our product they often say it is expensive
compared to dust suppression sprays, but we tell them that ours will last up to 10 years,” he said.
“The worst case scenario sees it lasting five years, and even then you are still miles ahead.”
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