The debate continues regarding the use of the newer Continuous Vulcanized (CV) cured rubber or the older lead cured rubber in the construction of mining cables, with mixed results. In recent times there has been a strong push to bring CV cured jackets into the mining industry for a number of reasons including its characteristics for obvious environmental reasons.
Although there are differences, they both have their pros and cons as we will discuss in some detail below.
The most common styles or classes of mining cables are Type W, G, GG-C, SHD-GC, MP-GC and at times Welding Cable. Mining cables are designed to supply portable power for heavy duty temporary or permanent use where maximum resistance to flex fatigue is required. They are used in extremely demanding and hostile environments for applications including mobile mining equipment as well as cutters, loaders, conveyors, drills, pumps and other deep mine machinery. Mining cables are rated at 90 degrees Celsius and are not to exceed 2000 volts.
One of the most important characteristics for Mining Cables is its ability to take a beating during normal operation, or abrasion resistance. This means that the mining cables are typically in motion moving and flexing at great length across rough terrain in both wet and dry environments. Abrasion resistance is the area where the lead cured product seems to have a slight edge over the CV cured rubber.
Where the lead cured rubber falls behind is in the fact that it is cured on a reel during the autoclave process. Meaning that the cable will memorize the coil shape of the reel it is cured on. This memorization of the reel can eventually cause cable damage due to the cable binding when reeled and unreeled or dragged as with many mining applications. The CV curing process of mining cables reduces the stress and torque put on the cable by being vulcanized and cooled in a natural relaxed position along the cables axis. Therefore when reeled and unreeled or drug in a typical mining application there is no binding or stress put on the cable.
Finally, where the CV mining cable pulls away in terms of functionality is in two key areas. The first is that it is very clean or environmentally friendly. And Secondly, it is simply more cost effective. On average CV cured rubber products are approximately 30-40% cheaper than its Lead Cured predecessor.