Using Hardox® wear plate and Strenx® performance steel from SSAB, Australian Taurus Mining Solutions has managed to lower the weight of its mining buckets, increasing the capacity of the buckets by up to 10 percent while still keeping their durability. This translates into cost savings for customers. 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.
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 also, in some chosen parts, Strenx® performance steel from SSAB for its buckets.
“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,” says Oliver Sabu, one of Taurus’s owners.
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. 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.
The Taurus buckets are mainly used for loading and transporting coal and soil. The company’s biggest bucket is for 5600-model excavators, carrying roughly 36 cubic meters of product. 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.”
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.
The use of Hardox® and Strenx® steels also benefits Taurus’s production process by improved fabrication times and less pre-heating.
“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.”