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Belt Conveyor Transfer Points Transfer Point Upgrades of Belt Conveyor Systems

| Author / Editor: Elizabeth Allen* / Dominik Stephan

The terminal operator Kinder Morgan has announced completion of a load-out hopper and four belt conveyors carrying 1500 tonnes per hour of mineral ore concentrate, complete with five transfer points that comply with the company’s “zero spill” principle. The new transfer points provide the benefits of minimising aeration and preventing buildup within the chute.

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Fig. 3: Martin ApronSeal Skirting is a dual-sealing system, with a primary seal clamped to the steel skirtboard and an “outrigger” strip to capture fines and dust.
Fig. 3: Martin ApronSeal Skirting is a dual-sealing system, with a primary seal clamped to the steel skirtboard and an “outrigger” strip to capture fines and dust.
(Picture: Martin Engineering)

The entire system of chutes and transfers at Kinder Morgan’s North Vancouver (BC), Canada, facility was designed by Martin Engineering, custom-engineered and modelled in 3-D. These confine the material stream and reduce air entrainment, while directing the material onto the receiving belt with minimal impact to reduce spillage, abrasion, dust and premature wear. This control also helps ensure that material is centre-loaded on the belt, avoiding mis-tracking and fugitive dust.

Four of the new transfer points employ a “hood and spoon” transfer, with the hood discharge chute at the top of the system and a spoon receiving chute to place material onto the belt being loaded. These engineered flow chutes employ special geometries that capture and concentrate the material stream as it travels through the chute. The fifth transfer point required a heavy-duty impact area at the bottom of a hopper to handle cargo from two front loaders.

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Particular Attention on Dust Reduction of Belt Conveyors

Environmental stewardship and safety are among Kinder Morgan’s core principles. From the outset, company officials knew that particular attention would be needed on the five conveyor transfers in order to prevent the escape of dust. “When we spent some time reviewing the existing transfer points, it became apparent that there was now better technology available, and we wanted equipment that could elevate the performance and containment to a new level,” said Kinder Morgan Engineering & Project Development Manager Al Price-Stephens.

During initial meetings, the Martin Engineering team introduced a variety of new technologies to improve efficiency and dust containment. To address the site’s specific requirements and design the optimum containment, a site survey was conducted, followed by a conveyor risk assessment. The strategy that emerged gave Martin Engineering responsibility for the design and fabrication of the five transfers, as well as supervising the installation by an outside contractor.

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