Taurus Mining Solutions is designing smarter and lighter mining equipment with Hardox® wear plate
Using the right high-performance steel from SSAB, Australian Taurus Mining Solutions has managed to lower the weight of its mining buckets while still keeping their durability and increasing the capacity by up to 10 percent. This translates into cost savings for customers, and Taurus’s production also benefits.
Formed through a joint venture, Taurus Mining Solutions brings together design expertise and substantial experience from manufacturing and aftermarket services. The result is high-quality mining equipment, such as truck trays, excavator buckets, loader buckets and dozer blades.
“We believed there was a void in the market where we could give the customers lighter and smarter products, using smarter materials,” says Oliver Sabu, one of Taurus’s owners.
Taurus aims to increase customers’ production rates, reducing overall operating costs and improving safety. So, it was natural that the company chose Hardox® wear plate and Strenx® performance steel from SSAB for its buckets.
Lighter and stronger parts
“It was a good mix because our idea of coming up with innovative products was to have lighter and stronger parts that are hard-wearing,” Sabu says.
The result is a mining bucket that weighs one ton less compared to the previous model. This translates into four loads to fill a mining tray instead of earlier five loads. It also means Improved bucket life and decreased downtime.
For the bucket’s wearing areas, Taurus, a Hardox® In My Body customer program member, mainly uses Hardox® 450 steel. The sheet sizes vary. Sidewalls are usually around the 25-millimeter range and the cheeks around 80 to 100 millimeters.
“On the internal, we use Hardox wear plate on the floor and sidewalls,” explains Travis Van Rooy, fabrication and workshop leading hand at Taurus. “On the external, we use them on the floor as well, and if it’s required, on the external of sidewalls and cheeks.”
Withstanding the weight
Some Strenx® performance steel is also used in the bucket, at high-stress points such as the hitch and the torque tube areas, to withstand the weight of the bucket and the operational forces of the machine.
Taurus has also built liner-less buckets, where the floor of the bucket itself is a liner plate. By reducing the number of separate liner plates the bucket becomes much lighter.
The Taurus buckets are mainly used for loading and transporting coal and dirt. The company’s biggest bucket is for 5600-model excavators, carrying roughly 36 cubic meters of product.
Up to 10 percent increased load
When using a Taurus bucket, Sabu explains, the forces are distributed better.
“There is not much drag in the bucket, so you extend the lifetime,” he says. “Any extra extended hours of bucket use translate into money, so essentially that’s a big cost saving for the customer.”
The minimum productivity gains that Taurus has given customers for buckets and trays are increased capacity of around 6 to 10 percent.
“The buckets are about 10 percent lighter, so the machines aren’t working so hard,” says Sabu. “The result is increased productivity, lower fuel use, and less wear and tear on machines.”
As an example, a mine site in north Queensland, Australia, is currently using a bucket and tray combination that improves productivity by 10-18 percent.
How does the use of Hardox® wear plate benefit Taurus’s production process?
“When designed right, and processed right, and all the parameters are maintained, the weldability of Hardox is excellent,” Sabu says. “The strength of the material is without comparison, and it’s always consistent, which are the reason we use SSAB steel in our buckets.”
Do you find the Hardox® and Strenx® steels user-friendly?
“The Hardox steel works beautifully with the operator, whether it is a wear plate or a structural plate,” Van Ryke says. “The Hardox material has a better through hardness than other materials. The Strenx material also performs well.”
About Taurus Mining Solutions
- Formed through a joint venture of Beetle Bodies Australia and BAE Engineering Pty Ltd.
- Offices in Australia and Indonesia.
- The business brings together innovation and manufacturing of mining equipment.
- Products include buckets, bodies and various attachments.
SSAB steel used in Taurus mining buckets