Underwind And Overwind Protection Systems With Enhanced Self-Sufficiency

Burger, N. D. L.
Organization: The Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 6
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2004
Underwind and overwind protection system concepts for mine hoist shafts were developed in conjunction with and for the Safety in Mines Research Advisory Committee (SIMRAC). End-of-wind operation of mine hoists is the most hazardous aspect of mine hoisting, carrying the highest risk of loss of life, injuries to workers and loss of production. Systems operating mechanically and with local actuation were developed. This was done in order to remove the increased risk associated with dependency on remote or external energy and information supply associated with most existing protection systems. The proposed underwind protection system concept absorbs the energy of motion of a conveyance overrunning the design lower limit of travel by drawing a metal strip through a set of rollers. This action causes dynamic cyclic plastic bending of the strip material that converts the kinetic and potential energy of the conveyance into strain energy of the metal. In the concept design a pair of steel wire rope slings attached to the strips catch the overrunning conveyance and transfer the retardation force. The proposed overwind protection system concept absorbs the energy of motion of a conveyance overrunning the design upper limit of travel by early detaching of the conveyance from the hoist rope. This detaching is carried out via an additional detaching hook activation mechanism fitted at a sufficient height below the spectacle plate to allow the conveyance to retard to standstill under gravity before it would crash into the spectacle plate. The conveyance so brought to rest is prevented from falling by means of jack catches on the conveyance interacting with a rack (toothed profile) fitted on the guide rails in the retardation zone. Scale models (1:10 scale) of both protection systems were designed to conform to established retardation standards. The retardation standards were limited by the requirement of passenger safety in retarding cages. The models were then built and tested in a1:10 scale shaft model. Retardation performance close to the required levels was achieved. The retardation distance required should allow such systems to be retrofitted in most existing shafts. Given the simplicity and robustness of the designs, further development was recommended because of their enhanced self-sufficiency and reduced risk of malfunction. Keywords: underwind, overwind, deceleration, mineshafts, hoisting.
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