Cutting Machines

Greene, Prescott
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 11
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1982
AVAILABLE MACHINES Machines discussed in this section include only rubber tire mounted kerf cutting machines of a self¬propelled electrically powered design. Such machines handle bars up to 4.6 m (15 ft) in length, cutting kerfs of from 115 to 191 mm (4.5 to 7.5 in.). The basic design concept of all machines currently in production is very similar. The chassis features dual driving wheels on the cutter-bar end, fixed directly to the main frame. The steering wheels on the outby end of the frame are articulated in some manner to keep all four wheels on the floor over uneven bottom. Machine power for tramming, and all other functions except powering the cutting chain, is furnished from a pump motor that drives the specific pump or pumps required by a given machine. The cutter chain is driven through a mechanical drive train from a separate electric motor having no duty other than driving the chain. The general arrangement of a cutting machine is shown in Fig. 1; two types of machines, with their specifications are shown in Figs. 2 through 5. A hydraulically powered cable normally is included to eliminate the need for manual cable handling and make this a one-man machine. A bug duster, though optional, is needed for most applications. The bug duster is an hydraulically driven scroll conveyor located directly behind the cutter chain drive sprocket. Its function is to move the cuttings away from the sprocket to prevent them from packing up in this area and consuming a lot of machine power to further pulverize them. Available machines vary from models 610 mm (24 in.) high that can cut horizontally only from 203 mm (8 in.) below ground line to 229 mm (9 in.) above, to machines 1143 mm (45 in.) high that can cut in any plane from 178 mm (7 in.) below the ground line to 3.7 m (12 ft) above it. Most currently manufactured machines fall in the 17 200 to 20 400 kg (38,000 to 45,000 lb) weight range, but can be dis¬assembled for underground installation where weight and size are a problem. Maximum teardown results in all pieces having a weight of 5400 kg (12,000 lb) or less and a size allowing passage through a 1.2 x 2.1-m (4x7-ft) opening. Further reduction in either size or weight of the parts becomes a serious problem. Machines currently being manufactured are avail¬able for use with power supplies of 250 v dc; 500 v dc; 440, 550, or 950 v ac (60 Hz). Also available are machines for use on 415, 500, and 950 v 50 Hz. De¬signs to allow operation on other voltages of either 50 or 60 Hz can be made available without any serious problems. As of September 1977, a typical medium-seam ma¬chine without the extra options needed for unusual conditions, but fully equipped to operate, was selling for about $185,000. CAPABILITIES Materials That Can Be Cut The problem of deciding before a machine is put on the job whether it can work effectively is an old one that has never been completely solved and probably
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