When a conveyor belt failed at a large potash mine in the last week of April, it was a Technogrid system developed and manufactured by Horne that immediately caught the multi-ton counterweight and prevented its fall.
Counterweights are needed to maintain belt tension on conveyors. Attached to the belt and suspended below it, the counterweight has the potential to damage equipment and structures should the belt fail.
The Technogrid is designed to prevent such a fall, and the mine concerned has 40 of them fitted beneath belt counterweights throughout the facility.
The device comprises a series of multi-bar units connected in a staggered grid shape which, upon impact, yields and deforms under double-curvature bending. It is the yielding of the bars that allows the unit to open up and stroke, and it is the strain hardening of the material that absorbs the impact energy.