The in-situ solution for mining repairs

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The in-situ solution for mining repairs

Excavator and truck on construction site

Components face tremendous and sometimes constant stressors in off-highway vehicles. From the growing size of the equipment to the unpredictable field conditions, it’s no wonder large components experience wear on hydraulic systems, transmissions, and final drives.

Frequently the size and location of the areas needing repair prohibit engineers from using traditional methods such as welding, sleeving or thermal spray – all of which require machining and are difficult to accomplish in-situ. But what if there was another way? Selective plating is used to apply adherent, high- quality deposits onto localized areas and to achieve precise deposit thicknesses.

Unlike thermal spray, which is a mechanical bond, selective plating is an atomic bond that is not compromised by severe, cyclical temperature fluctuations or by sharp, direct impact. Also, deposit thicknesses are accurately controlled allowing parts to be plated to size, without the need for post-machining. What’s more, is selective plating is carried out at room temperature, and unlike thermal spray or welding, doesn’t pose any risk of distorting the part or component. And the prized feature of the process is that it’s portable. Selective plating can be performed in the shop, or on the job site. Whereas, thermal spray is typically limited to a shop with ventilation features for operator safety.

In the following example, we show what selective plating in the mining industry could look like.

The bearing bores on a cast iron, differential housing component on an off-highway vehicle were out of round. While initially thermal spray was considered to repair the bores, several issues arose. Not only would the build-up needed on each bore be time consuming, but due to the critical alignment during assembly with the differential housing gear, the risk for mis-machining the component was too high.

The solution for a wear resistant finish with no risk for misalignment was selective plating. Each bore was first built up with Copper 2050 and capped with Nickel 5644, for a final build-up of 280mm.  The circumference of the inner diameter was maintained using a self-made expander plate with an abrasive pad.  The unique aspect about this repair was that the plating was carried out with the clamps fully torqued.

By using the SIFCO Process® of selective plating, this major aftermarket mining company was not only able to plate the bore to size without post machining, but they were also able to return the vehicle to service with minimal downtime compared to the alternative repair methods.

The SIFCO Process® can be used in other areas of the mining industry including:

  • Pumps
  • Valves
  • Propulsion Components
  • Electrical Components
  • Structural Components
  • Hydraulics

For more information on the SIFCO Process®, contact info@sifcoasc.com or call us at 800-765-4131.