Where steel valves do not meet mines’ process requirements, engineering consumables and components distributor BMG says thermoplastic valves, such as those of UK-based manufacturer SAFi Thermoplastic Valve Solutions (SAFi), can be offered instead.
BMG is the sole thermoplastic industrial valve distributor of SAFi, typical applications in the mining sector being heap leaching, electrowinning, solvent extraction and acid plants.
BMG National Industrial Valves product manager Willie Lamprecht tells Mining Weekly that SAFi products have a niche market in South Africa, especially the flanged two-piece ball valves, which are designed and manufactured with the mining industry in mind. The valve is robust in construction and can withstand harsh environments and elements.
BMG has, since last June, supplied SAFi valves to several clients, including platinum miners Lonmin’s and Impala’s processing plants, as well as diversified miner Vedanta’s Skorpion zinc mine, in Namibia.
Lamprecht mentions that BMG has seen increased use of thermoplastic valves in the mining industry, especially propylene valves and propylene valves with glass reinforcement.
“It is part of BMG’s strategy to continuously enhance its fluid-technology division, introducing new products that meet market demand,” Lamprecht points out, adding that care is taken to supply premium brands, as well as ensure product reliability, standardi- sation, flexibility, low maintenance and extended service life.
BMG’s products are supported by a 24-hour process support service for production efficiency and maintenance queries. “With broad technical capabilities, the technicians are able to solve problems in applications where conventional components have failed after short periods of service.”
SAFi thermoplastic valves include ball, butterfly, diaphragm and nonreturn valves, as well as strainers and tank fittings – all manufactured from noncorrosive materials.
“SAFi’s lightweight polymer materials are integrated with a robust valve design to also handle abrasive materials in other demanding industries . . . such as chemical plants, water treatment, transport, marine, food production, energy and agriculture.”
Lamprecht further highlights that a critical advantage of thermoplastic materials is resistance to corrosion of the most aggressive chemicals, compared with unlined metal, which is susceptible to cracks and easily eroded.
The lightweight properties of the thermo- plastic valves also allow for installation and maintenance that are easier, safer, and cost effective.
BMG, in conjunction with SAFi, will host training and workshops in the coming months to educate and familiarise staff and customers with the advantages of thermoplastic valves in the mining and industrial sector.