Australia’s iron ore producers asked for a flame-resistant vibrating screen panel that could reduce the risk of fire from hot work on screen decks. Multotec developed a rubber panel composition that it claims will self-extinguish within 60 seconds. (Photo: Multotec)

Multotec now offers a range of flame-resistant rubber screen panels that the company claims will self-extinguish in less than 60 seconds, significantly reducing the risk of fire and loss of valuable production time.

The panels, said the company, were designed to meet a challenge facing iron ore producers in Australia – find a rubber screen media solution that negates the risk of fires associated with hot work on screen decks.

According to Multotec, the flame-resistant panels were developed in collaboration with international academic institutions and raw material suppliers. The product has been tested under controlled laboratory conditions and certified accreditation trials, as well as on a number of sites in real world conditions.

Shawn Faba, product manager-screening media at Multotec, said, “When we consider an interruption to any production environment, the downtime could easily translate in revenue losses that run into millions of dollars. For example, in Australia, mining houses are tonnage-driven, meaning when you have unplanned downtime of two hours, it could translate to the loss of millions. Fires in the plant can shut down whole modules for weeks at a time. Australia’s miners operate in campaigns – for instance, they’ll operate for three months and then they’ll do maintenance. They don’t stop haphazardly.

“Our product has undergone rigorous testing and has been confirmed to operate continuously to fit existing shutdown campaigns, meeting the mining industry’s stringent requirements.

“To make the rubber screen panels flame-resistant, we modified the chemical composition of the raw materials used to manufacture the panels. However, the flame-resistant screen panels can be used without compromising on efficiency, compared to conventional rubber screen media,” added Faba. The flame-resistant screen panels can be used in all screening applications for a variety of duties, both wet and dry.

“While we currently supply the flame-resistant rubber screen panels for iron ore screening applications in Western Australia, these panels can also be used in all mineral processing applications, such as coal, iron ore, copper, platinum, diamonds, manganese, and zinc, among others.

The flame-resistant panels, said Multotec, also increase optimal screening performance and plant availability, are available in hard (PD70) and soft (PD45) durometer rubber and are reliable under the toughest mining conditions.