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News / Application stories / Customised hydraulic breaker from Chicago Pneumatic chosen for high temperature application at Chilean copper mine

Customised hydraulic breaker from Chicago Pneumatic chosen for high temperature application at Chilean copper mine

2014-07-01

A customized RX22 hydraulic breaker from Chicago Pneumatic has been chosen for use in a demanding kiln cleaning application at a leading copper mine in Chile. The rig-mounted hydraulic breaker, which is modified to withstand temperatures of over 1000°C, was supplied by specialist mining contractor Servicios Nettle Hermanos for use at the Caletones copper mining settlement operated by state-owned Chilean mining company CODELCO.

RX22 in use at Chilean mine
Chile is well known around the world as a leading mining country and producer of copper. The mining process involves extracting copper from the earth and subsequently melting it inside a kiln at over 1000°C in order to separate it from the rock. The copper is then turned to fill a large pot in a process known as a charge. Following this, the kiln must be cleaned using a hydraulic breaker to prepare it for the next charge. In order to effectively perform this essential cleaning operation, Servicios Nettle Hermanosturned to a robust and efficient RX22 hydraulic breaker from Chicago Pneumatic, customized to provide reliable performance in a demanding high temperature application.

Prior to opting for the RX22, the customer used a smaller 1000kg hydraulic breaker which suffered from availability issues and low hitting power due to the high temperatures involved. This meant that frequent hose changes were required, and led to Servicios Nettle Hermanos recommending the use of a customised medium sized 1500kg RX22 hydraulic breaker from Chicago Pneumatic, with extra large moil points, as a solution to the problem.

Hydraulic breakers from Chicago Pneumatic are designed with moil points that have a strong focus on the optimal transfer of energy. The moil point of a hydraulic breaker must be capable of withstanding strong stresses, as when it receives the piston impact it is required to transfer the energy back to break the material. One key factor is to have an optimised moil point length, balancing the useful length (the longer the better) and the resistance to bending stresses (the shorter the better).

In special applications, such as the high temperature working conditions experienced in the Chilean mine, a longer moil point can increase the productivity of a hydraulic breaker. After receiving the request for an RX22 with a longer working moil point, capable of operating in high temperatures, an analysis was done for feasibility. Engineers at Chicago Pneumatic confirmed it was possible, due to the low material resistance to break, and that volumes were sufficient to produce a bespoke solution for the customer. 
 
Commenting on the on-going successful operation of the RX22, James Nettle, Marketing Manager for Servicios Nettle Hermanos, said: ”Today the breaker is working at optimum condition without problems, and our customer is very happy as a result. Since switching to the RX22 the wear of the breaker box has decreased, as well as hose consumption, and the hydraulic breaker now performs more efficiently with less parts used in the process.”