The Mining Industry involves the discovery, processing and development of a variety of minerals. The minerals are subsequently used by many different industries like in energy production and construction.
Materials recovered by mining include base metals, precious metals, iron, uranium, coal, diamonds, limestone, oil shale, rock salt and potash. Mining, in a wider sense, comprises the extraction of non-renewable resource. For this reason, modern mining has recently been concerned with minimising the negative environmental impacts of the practice by adopting new regulations, more efficient techniques and better ‘clean-up’ processes.
Mining today is largely able to profitably and safely recover minerals with little negative impact to the environment.
Use of Stainless Steel in the Mining and Minerals Industry
Mining is another industry where stainless steel has made life so much easier and more profitable. From use within the construction of a mine and piping, to workbenches and the utensils in mess, they are all made from stainless steel nowadays.
Stainless steel has been used in the mining industry for many decades as it has a plethora of characteristics that make it perfect for use in mining environments. For example, it is light in weight but also strong and durable; it is resistant to corrosion and doesn’t rust; it is easy to clean; and finally, it is a very sustainable material.
What’s more, stainless steel has the ability to be alloyed with many different elements which means it can take on different properties and thus be even more versatile. This versatility means that it can be used in many different applications.
There are five main types of stainless steel:
• Ferritic: Ferritic steels have a high chromium level and low carbon content which gives it good ductility as well as resistance to corrosion and stress corrosion cracking.
• Austenitic: Austenitic steels are the most widely used grade of stainless steel and have good formability and resistance to corrosion.
• Martensitic: Martensitic stainless steels can be hardened and strengthened by heat treatment. This gives them improved toughness, weldability and corrosion resistance.
• Duplex: Duplex stainless steels have approximately equal proportions of ferritic and austenitic phases. This chemical composition gives it better strength, weight saving, greater corrosion resistance and a better price stability.
• Precipitation Hardening (PH); PH stainless steel can be heat-treated which generates incredible tensile and yield strengths.
As you would expect, an expansive array of advanced equipment and machinery is required in the mining industry. It needs to be able to withstand harsh environments and consistently perform.
It is probably unsurprising then that stainless steel has emerged to be the metal-of-choice for so many professionals in the mining industry. This is because of its low cost, high strength, low weight, ability to resist corrosion, durability and sustainability. Interestingly, stainless steel is also known for being very easy to clean due to its smooth surface and is consequently used to store substances as it reduced the risk of contamination. There is a growing demand for duplex steel in this environment as well as it has a higher strength than carbon steel and an extremely high level of corrosion resistance.
Stainless steels can used for many things, such as:
– Drill rigs
– Demolition equipment
– Grinding media
– Mining screens
– Fluidized bed boilers
– Heat exchangers
– Cathode plates
– Mass excavators
– Structural components
Special Piping Materials and the Mining Industry
Special Piping Materials’ products are used in a huge range of mining. Apart from corrosion resistance our Duplex, Super Duplex stainless steel pipes and flanges are strong, easy to clean, durable and flexible.
We have been supplying stainless steel products to the mining industry for many years. This is because we work closely with our clients to ensure that we understand their requirements and are able to meet whatever testing specifications they have. We are confident that our stainless-steel products will continue to be a vital part of the mining industry for many years thanks to the durability, quality and longevity of the materials we source and supply.