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Bridon international’s mining ropes take the strain

Bridon International, global technology leader in the manufacture of steel wire and fibre ropes for demanding applications, is transforming deep mine hoisting operations with innovative rope technology.

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. Mine operators increasingly require lighter ropes that, can operate at greater lengths in deeper mines, and demonstrate high levels of resistance to crushing. Bridon’s Bristar and Tiger ranges are renowned in the industry for their high performance and reliability.

Ropes in Bridon’s Bristar range (which includes hoist and drag ropes for surface mining and cable belt ropes) are distinguished by their plastic core, which prevents contact between their individual strands. This core prevents fretting, maintaining rope diameter, reducing stretch, and significantly increasing the rope’s overall longevity.

Bridon’s Tiger Dyform range are an ideal fit for mine hoisting. The ropes and can operate at the highest standards in the world’s most challenging environments. Tiger Dyform ropes offer fatigue performance far in excess of conventionally utilised hoist products and the smooth strands of the rope provide improve rope to sheave contact, meaning internal and inter-strand abrasion is diminished and the scope for resultant damage is minimised. These ropes can also be sized to fit the specific dimensions of friction-drum grooves.

Bridon’s Tiger Dyform 24LS ropes are currently being put to use in a number of major mining operations in Africa.

Afplats, a subsidiary of Implats, is utilising Tiger Dyform 24LS ropes at its Leeuwkop platinum mine. In 2012, the firm commissioned Bridon to manufacture and supply three 7,000 metre sinking ropes for use in the twin mine-shaft system. Once it reaches full capacity, the 1,500 metre Leeuwkop mine is expected to produce 250,000 tonnes of platinum ore per month - equating to roughly 160,000oz of platinum every year.

One gold mine in South Africa is seeing the benefits of innovative Bridon rope technology having switched to using the Tiger Dyform 24LS on a two-rope Koepe winder, which is 861 metres deep. The firm had previously been conducting hoisting operations using 34mm ‘Fishback’ construction ropes, but had become concerned over the lack of durability the product exhibited. Whilst the previous product maintained functionality for an average of 30,000 trips, Bridon’s 24LS ropes have set a new record, achieving in excess of 170,000 trips with no sign of wear or wire breaks. The ropes remain in service today.

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 clients 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.