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Weir Minerals Australia, a leading provider in the mining and resources sector, faced challenges with the wear and tear of steam turbines, a critical component in their operations.

Steam turbines are essential for converting thermal energy from pressurised steam into mechanical work, driving electricity generation or machinery.

Over time, components like bearings and seal journals degrade due to friction, high temperatures, and corrosion, leading to reduced efficiency and potential failures.

Challenge

The primary challenge Weir Minerals Australia faced was the deterioration of bearings and seal journals within the steam turbines due operational stress these components are under.

These stresses not only threatened the operational efficiency of the turbines but also posed risks of unexpected breakdowns and increased maintenance.

Given the criticality of these turbines, Weir Minerals Australia require a reliable and sustainable refurbishing solution.

Solution

We implemented our refurbishment process that involved a comprehensive approach utilising High Velocity Air Fuel (HVAF) technology to apply Tungsten Carbide, Chrome Carbide and 420 Stainless Steel materials.

We selected these materials because of their exceptional hardness, wear and corrosion resistance properties.

Our refurbishment processes encompassed:

  • Inspection and Assessment: Thorough examination of the turbines to assess the extent of wear and damage. 
  • Repair or Replacement: Decision-making on whether to repair the existing components or replace them entirely. 
  • Surface Treatment: Utilising HVAF technology for applying Tungsten Carbide, Chrome Carbide and 420 Stainless Steel coatings to enhance durability and resistance. 
  • Alignment and Balancing: Precise reassembly of the turbines to ensure optimal performance post-refurbishment. 
  • Machines like lathes, HVAF systems, and cylindrical grinders played pivotal roles in this process, ensuring that each component was restored to meet or exceed original specifications. 

Outcome

The refurbishment not only restored these components of their steam turbines to their optimal operational efficiency but also significantly extended their service life.

The use of advanced materials and techniques resulted in components that were more resistant to wear and corrosion. Weir Minerals Australia benefited from:

  • Reduced Operational Costs: By refurbishing instead of replacing components, significant cost savings were achieved. 
  • Increased Efficiency: Restored turbines operated more efficiently, contributing to overall productivity. 
  • Sustainability: Extending the life of existing components reduced waste and the need for new parts, aligning with sustainability goals. 
  • Our fast turnaround times ensured they had limited or no downtime 

“Valuing the trust and collaboration that has flourished for over two decades, we are proud to partner with A1 Metallising for our reclamation and refurbishment work. This enduring relationship stands as a testament to our shared commitment to excellence and innovation in the industry.”  

David Westwood, Customer Service Manager – Rotating Equipment, Weir Minerals Australia

Conclusion

For over 20 years, Weir Minerals Australia has trusted our expertise to refurbish steam turbines, performing numerous refurbishments per year.

This another example of our commitment to delivering high-quality, sustainable solutions that enhance the efficiency and longevity of industrial machinery.

Through innovative techniques and advanced materials, we ensure that critical components like bearings and seal journals withstand the rigors of operation, providing our clients with the reliability and performance that drives their success.

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