Evonik’s Dynavis technology boosts coal mining efficiency

Indian coal mining operations near the city of Ranchi

Evonik Industries is helping the mining industry to achieve the highest possible level of efficiency through its solutions.

The extreme working conditions within the mining industry place enormous demands on mining equipment hydraulic systems. For example, extreme heat can be significantly impact hydraulic fluid, causing the fluid to thin and contribute to a condition known as “internal leakage.”

When internal leakage occurs, overheated, thin hydraulic fluid “leaks”, or escapes, past the vanes within the hydraulic pump, resulting in the creation of more heat and, thus, more leakage. The result is a loss of power, productivity and reduced fuel economy.

Evonik’s latest technology, Dynavis, provides mining operators a cure for “internal leakage” and all the efficiency problems associated with it.

“In a mining operation, as well as in any excavation project requiring the use of heavy-duty hydraulic equipment, you’ll find that Dynavis technology cuts fuel consumption per ton, shortens loading cycles and provides better trip efficiency,” Evonik’s Asia region Dynavis technology marketing manager Carlos Vernet, said.

Envonik tested the technology at a coal mine operation near Ranchi, India which subject to extreme weather conditions. In the open-pit mine, several hydraulic excavators are used to mine coal and roofing slate.

A second partner in the test was the major Indian oil and lubricant marketing company which provided the Dynavis-formulated fluid for the test.

Constantly working under pressure

The tested excavator weighed 111 metric tonnes and was equipped with a 567 kW engine. At the Ranchi coal mining operation, it is in continuous operation, working three shifts daily, 24/7.

This particular piece of mining equipment was a track excavator, an ideal test subject, since track excavators stay in one place for extended periods of time, working almost exclusively with their hydraulic systems.

To obtain data under the most challenging conditions possible, the test took place in May, with average temperatures of 38 °C, the hottest month in Ranchi’s climate zone.

A tough competition

Before draining the 1100 litres of conventional hydraulic fluid from the excavator and refilling with Dynavis-formulated fluid, it was determined that the drained fluid was of excellent quality, and would, therefore, provide a challenging reference fluid in a test comparison.

Clearly, the difference in efficiency between these two fluids would be smaller than the difference between a low-quality hydraulic oil and the high-performance Dynavis-formulated fluid.

Testing accuracy

Testing was organised and conducted by an Evonik task force, specialised in the precise monitoring and recording of lubricant performance in a broad range of equipment.

Several highly accurate temperature sensors were installed by the Dynavis team on the mining excavator tested.

Evonik’s performance test lab team installed precision temperature measuring devices at critical locations on the test excavator. The testing was conducted over a nine-day period under actual working conditions. Several dump trucks were put in service to the test excavator, carrying away a crushing 75-80Mt load per trip.

The temperature of the Dynavis-formulated fluid rises more slowly, resulting in less temperature stress within the hydraulic pump and system. This reduces wear and tear, prolonging service life.

A ‘triple play’

Over the course of the testing, some 40,000 tonnes of material were moved – and more than 450 loading cycles were studied. Numerous efficiency gains were observed with Dynavis-formulated fluid flowing through the excavator’s hydraulic system.

Fuel efficiency, measured in L/Mt of material moved, improved by nearly 12.8 per cent. The excavator moved 12.2Mt of material per litre of fuel, compared to conventional fluid performance of only 10.8Mt. Time efficiency in minutes/trip improved by 11.8 per cent.

Finally, trip efficiency in litres of fuel/trip showed a gain of 10.6 per cent.

Some facts on the fluids

The Dynavis-formulated fluid had a viscosity grade of 46 and a viscosity index of 180. Its competitor had a viscosity index of 150 and was highly formulated, as outlined in the case study. Due to its higher viscosity index and better volumetric efficiency, the Dynavis-formulated fluid was expected to outperform the reference fluid in terms of fuel efficiency. In fact, at high hydraulic fluid temperatures, the Dynavis taskforce observed significantly better functionality than expected for the Dynavis-formulated fluid – yielding impressive fuel savings and efficiency gains.

This coal mining operation in India experienced an efficiency gain of over 12 per cent when their excavator’s hydraulic system was drained and refilled with a hydraulic fluid formulated to the Dynavis technology standard.

Austmine 2017

At this month’s Austmine 2017 event in Perth, Evonik, with its Dynavis technology, will partner with licensee, Total Oil Australia, to introduce Total’s Equivis HE – a hydraulic fluid formulated to Evonik’s Dynavis technology standards that is designed to optimise the performance of industrial hydraulic systems and mobile equipment.

Visitors to the Total stand will learn how viscosity-optimised hydraulic fluids can contribute to the operating efficiency of their mining and construction equipment, and online calculators will be available for them to predict the fuel savings potential.

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