Compact coal transfer chutes

The robust construction and time saving design of T.W. Woods Group’s coal transfer chutes provides for a smooth flowing, low-height transfer when in operation.

These chutes are built to overcome space, spillage and conveyor bulking problems common in coal handling facilities and have been commissioned in underground coal mines in the Hunter Valley.

“The chute’s major advantages are its simplicity, ease of installation and robust design,” the company said.

Discussing the simple installation process, a company spokesman said it takes about four hours to install a chute.

“We put in one new chute and a couple of refurbished chutes recently and it was very straightforward. It takes one shift about four hours to perform the complete installation,” he said. 

Plant manufacturer T.W. Woods’ services the mining, energy, construction and materials handling industries throughout Australia and has used its extensive experience across multiple platforms to devise this coal chute.

“The design more than covers what we do. It’s a robust simple design that’s pretty wear resistant and easy to adjust for our operations, which involve about 1200 tons and hour with throughput containing lumps up to 300-400mm,” a team leader who recently had the chute installed on his site said.

“We use it on left and right hand 90-degree turns, where it is easy to adjust for throughput flow. The chute hangs off the jib frame, sitting on bearing blocks, taking discharge from the upper belt. It’s straightforward to adjust back and forward for throughput as you require.”

The low-height transfer chute features a conical head developed especially for mining applications, enabling high volume rates, of up to 2000 tonnes an hour, to be maintained when conveyors change direction either underground or on the surface.

“Frequently in underground mines you get 90 degree turns as coal conveyors emerge from one shaft and have to transfer into another within very tight spaces,” T. W. Woods director Tom Woods said. 

“It is usually very difficult to get coal to turn that quickly without spillage and bulking up on the conveyor belts as coal is dropped from the belt above onto the one below while changing direction.”

The company’s transfer chutes are manufactured to overcome this issue through the compact design which allows the chutes to be fitted into lower overall heights than conventional designs, operating with a separation distance between belts of 1200-1500mm.

The chutes’ conical head is also configured to provide a smooth transition through the turn for coal moving at typically three metres a second and dropping up to 1500mm onto a belt below.

“Drawing on our designer’s highly respected problem-solving expertise and our own hands-on experience over scores of mines, we set out to eliminate the spills, splatters and bulking that can disrupt production in mines where time truly is money. Eliminating frustration, delay and cost is vital in today’s economic climate,” Woods said.

“The design has already been proven service with some of Australia’s leading coal producers. A bonus of the design also is that it has been quality engineered in our own extensive metal working facilities to easily outlast conventional designs and far exceed typical warranties.”

T.W. Woods also manufacture products for mineshaft development including shaft liners, drilling tooling and wear plate materials, as well as custom-fabricated wear plate kits.