By J.V. Pellegrino, Jr., RJ Lee Group, USA

Corrosion has impacted the mining industry worldwide by its adverse impact on the environment and on expensive mining equipment, increasing maintenance costs and lowering production. Mine operators claim the equipment failures are related to design or material selection/quality, placing a large burden on the manufacturers. Water used in the mine is a primary contributor to corrosion. The water must be treated before use in the mine and again before it is released from the mine and enters local watersheds. Treatment methods include the use of multimedia filters, Ultraviolet light, water softeners, activated carbon filters and reverse osmosis (RO) filters.

A laboratory investigation conducted to determine the effect of RO-filtered water on carbon steel piping and case histories that demonstrate the impact of corrosion on various longwall components (chain splice links and AFC conveyor pans) will be presented.