February 25

Why Industrial Plastics are Important in the Mining Industry

The mining industry is tough as nails, calling for robust equipment that can stand up to the gritty nature of the tasks at hand. There’s no compromising on quality, which means industrial plastics are essential when building mining safety equipment and other mining infrastructure.

Why? Not only do plastics need to endure exposure to heavy-duty wear and tear while in operation, but they also need to resist high-pressure impact and stand up against harsh weather. Temperatures in Kalgoorlie and the Pilbara, two of the biggest mining hubs in Western Australia, can often top 40 degrees Celsius plus, so equipment must have a high UV resistance. Plastics are also exposed to abrasive and corrosive materials used to operate machinery and extract resources.

Want to know more about how plastics make the mining industry tick? Here’s a glimpse at how plastic is used within the mining industry and why it needs to be so tough.

Custom-Made Covers

All mining sites are different, which means custom equipment is often necessary. Plastic covers are an affordable and effective way of protecting valuable equipment, machines and other infrastructure against deterioration from wind, rain, UV damage and chemicals.

Liners & Wear Plates

HDPE (high density polyethylene) is a durable, versatile, low-cost, abrasion- and chemical-resistant plastic material often used in liners and wear plates. UHMW (ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene) is an extremely tough, abrasion-resistant, low-cost plastic that’s used for a wide range of wear applications. This can be used in mining applications where there is a lot of wear and tear.

Safety Equipment

Protective hard hat, headphones, gloves and glasses on wooden background, copy space, top view

Safety is a top priority for mine sites and industrial plastics play an important role in protecting workers. Most sites feature mining safety equipment made from plastic materials manufactured with Fire Retardant Anti Static (FRAS) additives that significantly reduce the risk of fire.

Guards

Safety Glasses

Replacing glass with transparent plastics, such as polycarbonate, which is 250 times stronger, is a clever way to enhance the safety of mine sites. Polycarbonate can be used to manufacture anything from protective glass walls to safety glasses.

Chemical Troughs

From separating minerals from ore to blasting tunnels, chemicals play a central role in mining operations. Transporting and storing chemicals calls for specialised equipment, specifically chemical troughs made with industrial plastics that are resistant to corrosion caused by toxic chemicals.

Mechanics

Specialty grade plastics with high pressure velocity and superior wear and tear resistance are becoming increasingly popular for manufacturing mechanical products, such as bearings and bushings. They require little to no lubrication, which minimises maintenance and extends longevity.

Cheap Plastics Aren’t worth the Risk

Cheap Plastic Broken Hard Hat

Mining sites often operate in remote conditions, meaning equipment malfunction or failure can be expensive and timely to fix. This is why it’s so important to invest in high-quality plastics designed to withstand the tough conditions of mine sites.

Want to ensure your mining equipment is up to the job? Get in touch with our team here at BCJ Plastics, one of Australia’s top suppliers of plastics in the mining industry. We’ve worked closely with a host of mining equipment companies to develop safe, effective and durable materials. Get a quote online or call us on (08) 9353 3477.


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