3 years ago

MOTOREX Magazine 2016 107 EN

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  • Motorex
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  • Tungsten
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  • Alpine
  • April
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  • Lubrication

MAINTENANCE Deep beneath the earth’s surface, near Mittersill, close to Austria’s High Tauern National Park, is a scheelite mine. Scheelite is a calcium tungstate mineral, used as a raw material in the production of tungsten carbide, which is used in turn to make a wide range of products. TUNGSTEN MINING: VERY HARD When it comes to hardness, tungsten carbide has similar properties to diamond. This is why it is used as the basis for producing modern drilling and cutting tools, for example. Mining Europe’s biggest tungsten deposit in Mittersill, in the Austrian state of Salzburg, demands maximum performance from man and machine alike. The tungsten deposit was discovered in 1967. Wolfram Bergbau- und Hüttengesellschaft m. b. H. was founded in 1975 after costly exploration work. The company also built a smelter in St. Martin, Styria. Open-pit mining ceased completely in 1986, when all activities including hoppers, crushers, workshops and crew quarters were moved underground. Today’s Wolfram Bergbau und Hütten AG has been part of the internationally known Sandvik® Group since 2008. VERSATILE TUNGSTEN Today’s high tech industry wouldn’t exist without tungsten. It’s immensely versatile. Anyone whose cellphone vibrates has been in indirect contact with tungsten, which is used as a damper in phones. Tungsten is also frequently used in aviation, automobiles, sporting goods and medical devices. It is perhaps best known as a component of lighting equipment such as incandescent bulbs and halogen lamps. Here just five kilograms of tungsten is enough to produce an impressive 600,000 kilometers of light bulb filament. COMPLEX MINING OPERATIONS Mining tungsten in the form of scheelite involves a number of challenges. Geologists take core samples to determine whether the rock in a given location is “worth” mining. Then the necessary infrastructure has to be set up underground. After that an average of 400,000 to 500,000 tonnes of ore are mined annually 16

Valuable tungsten carbide raw material fluoresces beautifully under short wave UV light. At 3422 °C it has the highest melting point of any metal. MOTOREX has developed lubrication plans for the entire vehicle and machine pool. Oil analyses deliver valuable information on unit conditions. by means of drilling and explosives. Conveyor belts and huge loaders with hoppers carry the ore to the storage bunkers, from where it is transported to the underground crushers. After crushing, the ore is carried to the staging areas the environmentally friendly way, on 3.5 kilometers of conveyor belts. It’s all hard, dusty work! SMELTING IN ST. MARTIN The extracted scheelite concentrate is taken for further processing to the St. Martin smelting plant, where it is refined around the clock into tungsten carbide, tungsten oxide and metallic tungsten powder of the highest purity. St. Martin’s production output caters for some 14 % of global demand and is shipped to satisfied customers all round the world. Tungsten carbide, which accounts for about two-thirds of the volume, is used to produce tool steels. The plant also recycles secondary raw materials. and competent one-stop solution for extreme lubrication challenges. Detailed lubrication plans were developed by the local MOTOREX representative and Technical Customer Service in Langenthal as a basis for supplying the entire machine pool. So far the various MOTOREX motor oils, transmission and hydraulic fluids, greases and care products have successfully proven their quality under the most grueling conditions. Because when you’re underground, very little is worth more than a smoothly functioning machine … • HEAVY-DUTY LUBRICATION For the past two years, MOTOREX lubricants have been used for a wide range of applications at the Mittersill mine. The switch was a response to the need for a quick An extremely varied vehicle and machine pool demands many specific lubrication solutions. MOTOREX MAGAZINE 107 I APRIL 2016 17



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