There is a rapidly growing need to optimally manage the integrity of physical assets over their entire life cycles, from design to decommissioning. This requires maintaining assets in a fit-for-service condition while simultaneously extending the remaining useful lives of such assets. Enterprises University of Pretoria's Research Solutions, through the University of Pretoria's Centre for Asset Integrity Management (C-AIM) unit, has the ability to address these needs and is currently involved with international projects on an advisory basis.
C-AIM was recently contracted to assist with the instrumentation and data logging of the strain response of acid tanks that form part of the ore beneficiation process in Namibia. Concerns were raised that the geometry of the tank was not within specifications, which could give rise to high stresses that might have put the tank at risk of damage.
A team from the C-AIM group was sent over to perform the instrumentation and measurements over a period of two weeks while the tank was being subjected to a hydro test. Measurements and data processing was done successfully, resulting in the proposal of efficient remedial measures that allowed the tanks to approach an operational state in a safe and efficient manner, without the risk of permanent deformation or damage to the tank’s welds.
In another international project, a design company approached C-AIM to assist with the structural design of a crusher complex in a copper mine in Zambia. The unit also had to assist with the instrumentation and data logging of the vibration response of a building that houses the secondary crusher complex which contains Metso MP2500 crushers – among the largest cone crushers in the world. Excessive vibration was encountered due to suspected improper connection between the crushers and the concrete monoliths, which was rectified.
Vibration measurements were taken over a one week period by a team from C-AIM for various operational circumstances and processes to characterise the overall building response, displacement magnitudes as well possible relative movement between the crusher and the foundations. The project was completed successfully and production was resumed without risk to the structure and crusher.
For more information on Enterprises UP’s Research Solutions visit http://www.enterprises.up.ac.za/research-solutions/
and for more information on C-AIM, visit http://www.enterprises.up.ac.za/the-centre-for-asset-integrity-management/