Home > Alimak Hek engineers stainless steel cable trolleys to combat erosion at Orica ammonium nitrate plant

Alimak Hek engineers stainless steel cable trolleys to combat erosion at Orica ammonium nitrate plant

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article image Alimak Hek replaced galvanised steel cable trolleys with stainless steel systems to combat corrosion
Alimak Hek  engineered unique stainless steel cable trolleys for the tower lift at Orica’s Kooragang Island ammonium nitrate plant. The stainless steel construction helps to combat deterioration caused by the highly corrosive nature of ammonium nitrate produced at the plant.

Located in the NSW Hunter River, Orica’s Kooragang Island ammonium nitrate plant produces ammonium, nitric acid and ammonium nitrate for use in the manufacturing of mining explosives. An Alimak SE 1500 SP was installed at the facility in June 2002 to assist with personnel and equipment access to the five landings of the 55m prill tower.

The SE 1500 has been used as the primary means of access to the tower for over 10 years, allowing operators to complete general maintenance on the tower on a daily basis, and accommodating extra personnel and equipment during heavy-usage shutdown periods.

However, the galvanised steel cable trolleys employed to keep trailing cables under tension could not withstand the corrosive nature of the ammonium nitrate produced at the plant, consequently oxidising and deteriorating at a rapid rate. Though the cable trolleys were replaced in 2010, the accelerated corrosion caused by a high concentration of ammonium nitrate required the cable trolleys to be replaced again in 2012.

Alimak Hek decided to replace the galvanised steel cable trolleys with 304 stainless steel cable trolleys and cable guides. Stainless steel offers high resistance to the corrosive properties of ammonium nitrate, guaranteeing a longer life expectancy for the replacement cable trolleys.

Installed in April 2012, the new cable trolley and cable guide system has proven highly resilient in the corrosive environment of the ammonium nitrate facility. Alimak Hek has decided to employ this stainless steel system on future projects where lifts operate in extremely corrosive environments.

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