The underground mining/boring industry has always employed some of the most creative, hands-on workers. One entrepreneur in Missouri used a rolled and welded plate cylinder as the base ring for a 36″ diameter drill bit for underground directional boring. Welding hardened steel cutting teeth to the ring made the product very cost effective. The 3/4″ x 12″ plate provided plenty of stiffness and the Grade 50 steel added extra strength to the equipment.
Another example of creativity in the underground mining industry involves underground metal chutes.
A mine required materials to create a chute that would carry ore from one level down to a rail car on a lower level. Although the chute needed to be long, there were limitations on how large a tube could be brought down into the mine on the elevator. Previous solutions proved impractical particularly in regards to cost.
Working with the customer, Chicago Metal Rolled Products developed several designs before settling on the best. The successful design involved curving 1/4″ thick plate into a 5 ft diameter cylinder 2 ft long and then welding it on the longitudinal seam. Next was to fit two angle flanges that had been rolled and welded to fit on the outside of the top and bottom of the cylinder. The angle rings were then submerged-arc welded to each end of the cylinders. These angle rings become mating flanges pre-punched with slotted bolt holes for ease of connection in the close confines of the mine. The new design provided significant cost savings for the mine operator. Again, a tribute to those who work in the underground mining industry.