Material selection for ‘mining’ buckets Essay Example

Material selection for ‘mining’ buckets

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In many industrial applications material selection and handling forms a critical component of the operations involved. Material selection is therefore one of the many challenges that managements in industries have got to deal with. Mining can be ranked as an industry that requires care material selection and handling processes. Material selection for various equipment components used in mining is a topic that has been traditionally addressed with the focus that is primarily aimed at operating cost reduction in the entire production process. Currently, the state of material selection and the techniques and considerations involved are subjected to critical analysis. The planning process of mining operations is evaluated in order to determine the influence of material selection in mining.

Materials chosen for use

The choice of materials for mining bucket cable construction is influenced and affected by several factors. These factors include the nature of base metal that is used in the construction of bucket framework. The choice of base metal, in turn, majorly affects the selection of materials for use in the buildup of the bucket. Such materials include manganese steel whose application for use is employed due to the fact that the mining bucket component is subjected to high impact loading during its operations. The other material that is chosen for use in the construction of this mining component is carbon and alloy steel which is used in manufacture of parts that are further rebuilt with the use of weld deposits of low alloy steels. (A.G.I, 2003, 71)

Two grades of steel that are involved in the material selection mining bucket cable construction are compared ad contrasted. Medium carbon steel whose percentage by mass ranges from 0.3% to 0.6% depending on individual component application such as the crank pins, connecting rods and drop forgings. This medium carbon grade steel is tempered and hardened through heat treatment process and has a yield tensile strength of 670 Mpa. High carbon steel on the other hand has got percentage by mass in the range of 0.6% to 0.8% and finds its application in individual components such as drop forging dies, crowbars as well as rivet sets. It is also brittle and hard with a yield tensile strength of 560 Mpa as a result of heat treatment. (François, 2008, 187)

Reason for choosing these materials and not others

The selection of the above described materials for use in the manufacture of mining bucket components and no other materials is really due to the functionality and application of the mining buckets as they are used in the mining activities. The choice of these materials is made with regard to the type and magnitude of wear that is expected on the mining bucket component. This involves frictions resulting from metal to metal rapid and repeated contact, severe impact which could result in squashing or gouging of the surface of the mining equipment component, severe abrasion which could result from moderate impact or heavy compression as well as metal to earth abrasion (François, 2008, 205).

Testing done on the chosen materials and their use examples

The materials test that is done on the chosen materials includes the spark testing which is performed generally on the ferrous materials like the manganese steel (Heping, 1999, 658). The test involves subjecting a piece if material under test to a wheel that grinds so as to make observation of the emission of sparks. The emitted sparks are then subjected to comparison against others from test samples that are known or a classification chart. The use of such tests allows for ferrous material sorting and establishing grounds for corrects material specifications selection. Examples of other applications where selected materials are used include components such as wear pads for stock, mill plows; dump shoes as well as small parts so as to prevent high localized heating.


In conclusion the choice of material selection is as important as the industrial application for which it is used. Wrong choice of material would mean that the application fails to achieve its intended functionality and results. The process of material selection for mining buckets is clearly expected to take into consideration the material characteristic tests.


American Geological Institute, 2003, Dictionary of Mining, Mineral, and Related Terms,

Birkhäuser, New York.

Heping, Xie, Tad S. G., 1999, Mining Science & Technology, A.A. Balkema, Rotterdam.

François, C., 2008, Materials Handbook: A Concise Desktop Reference, Springer, New York.