Improved Impact Energy Absorption


The Horne Group reports positive market acceptance of its improved Technogrid energy absorption system, widely used for arresting failed conveyor belt counterweights, runaway gantry cranes, mine cages in over-wind or under-wind conditions, and runaway underground trains.

The improved product, introduced in 2011 and a development of the original South African design, is smaller and lighter, with a higher energy absorption per unit mass.

Recent sales have included several hundred units to platinum mines in South Africa, with further orders received from mines in Mongolia and Mexico.

Technogrid functions by absorbing a moving body’s kinetic or potential energy through deformation of a metal grid of known design and characteristics.

The product compromises a series of multi-bar unites connected in a staggered grid shape, which, upon impact, allow the metal bars to yield and deform under double curvature bending, opening up the units and absorbing the impact energy through strain hardening.

The product is easy to install, maintenance free, and can absorb any impact as long as the catch framework is designed to put the grid into tension.

In the case of a conveyor counter-weight, for example, the Technogrids are simply positioned vertically next to or below the counter-weight with a catch frame attached to their lower ends and positioned just below the lowest point of normal vertical movement. Should the conveyor belt fail and the counterweight fall into the catch frame, the Technogrids will stop its fall, absorbing all impact energy.

Individual Technogrid units can be designed to absorb energies from 24kJ to over 40,000kJ, and impact speeds of up to 120km/h.

Safe deceleration and high-end forces can be calculated for a wide range of energies, allowing optimum unit configuration for a specific application by combining the grids in series or parallel according to the requirement and space constraints.