Bridon international brings innovative rope technology to the african mining market

Bridon International, the global technology leader in the manufacture of steel wire and fibre ropes for demanding applications, is bringing innovative rope technology to the African mining market.

Key to Bridon’s primacy in the mining industry has been the company’s unique understanding of the challenges contractors face, and a readiness to develop ground-breaking solutions to overcome them.  Bridon has an extensive résumé of successes in helping mine contractors realise challenging commercial objectives.

Bridon’s Tiger range is renowned across the industry for offering optimum performance in some of the world’s deepest mines. Tiger ropes offer superior fatigue performance to conventional hoist products, and their smooth strands provide improved rope-to-sheave contact, meaning internal and inter-strand abrasion is diminished, and the scope for resultant damage is minimised. The ropes can also be sized to fit the specific dimensions of friction-drum grooves.

Bridon’s Tiger rope range has already enjoyed several major outings in Africa.

At one gold mine in South Africa, which is 861m deep, Tiger Dyform 24LS ropes are currently employed in a friction hoist system on a two-rope Koepe winder. The mine’s management was previously using 34mm ‘Fishback’ construction ropes, but was concerned about the relatively short rope life it was achieving, with the ropes lasting for an average of 30,000 trips.  Bridon suggested that the mine should trial the Dyform 24LS rope, as it offers increased strength, significantly greater resistance to crushing, and improved fatigue performance (which is estimated at up to 50+% more than conventional ropes). The 24 LS can also be accurately sized to fit the precise dimensions of the friction drum grooves.

The current set of ropes that Bridon installed at the mine have set a new mine record, achieving in excess of 170,000 trips with no sign of wear or wire breaks. The ropes are still in service today.

A set of 24LS ropes were also commissioned by Implats subsidiary Afplats, who required 7,000 metre sinking ropes to be used in the twin mine-shaft system at the company’s multi-billion rand Leeuwkop development.  The ropes, which were installed April 2012, will be used to sink the site’s 1,350 meter shaft system. The mine will ultimately be extended to 1,500 metres and will produce 250,000 tonnes of platinum ore per month - equating to roughly 160,000oz of platinum every year.

In addition to developing a range of market-specific rope products for the mining sector, Bridon recommends and supplies unique specifications of its products to meet customers’ individual needs. Bridon offers customers an end to end service, from initial rope design through to real-time maintenance in the field, where ropes can be assessed using magnetic flux leakage techniques to detect defects such as broken wires on the surface or within the rope.

As part of its efforts to consolidate a position as the world’s leading supplier of rope solutions for mining applications, Bridon International has also recently opened the Bridon Technology Centre (BTC), one of the world’s most advanced facilities for rope development and optimisation.

The BTC houses a range of purpose-built equipment to test rope properties and performance, assessing strength under extreme loads, endurance against bend fatigue, and response to repeated layering on smaller, more economical spools. Bridon has also invested in the latest 3D Microscope technology to examine ropes in minute detail, allowing for some of the most rigorous examinations ever conducted.