DuPont™ Kevlar® in Mining Provides Increased Productivity, Reduced Cost

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Today's Announcement Demonstrates How Advanced Material Used in Conveyor Belts Enables Dare Bigger™ Performance

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The belts can run faster with less wear and tear, enabling mining companies to break boundaries – to Dare Bigger™ in terms of their capacity.

DuPont Protection Technologies today announced that DuPont™ Kevlar® use in mining conveyor belts has demonstrated increased productivity and reduced annual maintenance costs. Data collected in a field trial with one of the world’s leading copper mining companies, Codelco (National Copper Corporation of Chile) through Plants Management of the Andina Division, demonstrated a capacity increase of over 18 percent with a 60 percent reduction in annual maintenance costs.(1)

“The lightweight strength, durability and performance of this advanced material in extreme conditions make it an ideal choice in this application,” said William F. Weber, vice-president, Kevlar®, DuPont Protection Technologies. “The belts can run faster with less wear and tear, enabling mining companies to break boundaries – to Dare Bigger™ in terms of their capacity.”

Dare Bigger™ is the new brand platform for DuPont™ Kevlar®. It represents inspiration for those who rely on the safety and performance of Kevlar® brand fiber. The science behind the advanced material, coupled with its strength and durability, allows us to push boundaries, defy limits and challenge the conventional. From athletes to astronauts, first responders to industrial workers, Kevlar® enables anyone with an imagination and a job to do to Dare Bigger™.

“In mining, conveyor belts must go down into the bowels of the earth. Copper ore is sharp and hard on equipment used to extract it,” said Patricio Porta, Analyst Specialist-Operations, Management of Plants, Codelco Andina Division. “The belts we have installed with DuPont™ Kevlar® fiber are durable and strong; they make a great impact on our production.”

DuPont™ Kevlar® fiber helps enable conveyor belt manufacturers to offer lighter, more flexible and longer life solutions to mining companies, increasing throughput and reducing operational costs associated with installation, maintenance, replacement and energy consumption. The advantage of lightweight, thin and strong belts using Kevlar® include:

  •     Ease of installation – belts made with Kevlar® fiber are easy to integrate into an existing setup because, unlike polyester/nylon or steel, belts made with Kevlar® can go on almost any size pulley or system without reconfiguration. [Codelco Andina Division replaced a 48-meter conveyor belt containing a 5-ply conventional nylon/polyester (EP) cord carcass made with a comparable belt containing a single-layer DuPont™ Kevlar® Advanced Performance™ (AP) fiber.]
  •     Productivity improvements – Belts made with Kevlar® fiber are lighter and can run at higher speeds, are stronger and therefore help reduce maintenance downtime, and are more flexible so they allow a greater trough angle preventing materials from sliding off, even at higher speeds. [At Codelco Andina Division, throughput increased 3,000 tons per day.]
  •     Energy savings –Kevlar® can offer tremendous cost savings in terms of decreased power consumption – DuPont has developed an energy calculator to help belt manufacturers and mining companies evaluate the benefits of adding Kevlar® brand fiber for lower energy per ton of material conveyed.
  •     Reduced maintenance – Despite their flexibility, belts made of Kevlar® fiber exhibit very low creep. Since they hardly stretch, once installed, belts containing Kevlar® rarely require re-splicing, a process which typically consumes a whole day. This stability, combined with the toughness of Kevlar® fiber, helps reduce maintenance outages to a bare minimum. [At Codelco Andina Division, maintenance was required only a third as often and the yearly maintenance cost dropped from 14 cents to 5½ cents per ton.]

The breadth and versatility of the Kevlar® technology platform helps enable customers to design products that make a difference when performance and safety are crucial. Best known for its use in ballistic and stab-resistant body armor, Kevlar® has helped to save the lives of thousands of people around the world. The use of Kevlar® has been extended to everything from fire fighter and industrial protective clothing to vehicles, fiber optic cables, to commercial aircraft and city roads. Kevlar® fiber also is used in many consumer products such as mobile phones, tires, and high-performance sporting apparel and equipment. To view a video about the use of Kevlar® in mining, click here.

DuPont™ Kevlar® is a proud sponsor of the ESPN X Games. Athletes from around the world Dare Bigger™ with Kevlar® in high-performance sporting equipment to help them perform at their peak just as Kevlar® helps enable peak performance in the mining industry.

DuPont Protection Technologies is a leader in technologies and products that protect people, the environment and critical assets worldwide. For additional information, please visit DuPont Protection Technologies.

DuPont (NYSE: DD) has been bringing world-class science and engineering to the global marketplace in the form of innovative products, materials, and services since 1802. The company believes that by collaborating with customers, governments, NGOs, and thought leaders we can help find solutions to such global challenges as providing enough healthy food for people everywhere, decreasing dependence on fossil fuels, and protecting life and the environment. For additional information about DuPont and its commitment to inclusive innovation, please visit http://www.dupont.com.

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9/25/14

The DuPont Oval Logo, DuPont™, Kevlar® and Dare Bigger™ are registered trademarks or trademarks of DuPont or its affiliates.

(1) DuPont™ Kevlar® Case Study - Codelco

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Sandra K. James
DuPont
302-999-3813
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