Copper is thought to be the first metal used by humans, prized for its malleability and later, its ability to conduct electricity. It can be beaten into sheets or moulded into a thin wire without fracturing, and can be found in construction, plumbing components, industrial machinery, cars and other electronics.

Australia is a major contributor to the international copper market, with several mines located across the Northern Territory and Queensland. CBC works alongside their customers in this sector to determine the best suited machinery parts, including power transmission belts, built to withstand the harsh underground mining environments.

“Usually we will visit a site and do a complete drive analysis to assess the specific fitting requirements,” explains Rob Michelson, National Product Manager for Belts at Motion Australia. “We recently recommended the Gates Super HC® to one of the copper mine customers in Townsville, because they are extremely compact and best suited to the challenges of that particular setting.”

According to Sam Wilkinson, Motion Australia’s Mining Manager for North Queensland, the longstanding and collaborative relationship with Gates as a supply partner significantly benefits the end-line users.

“When Gates and CBC are both involved in a design, the longevity of the drive system increases dramatically,” he says. “From the installation to the ongoing maintenance – whether it is a pump, crusher, conveyor or fan, it is much more likely to supersede the original wear life.”

He elaborates by saying, “Gates has incredible technical support in Australia, and will always go above and beyond to work with us on supply solutions. They are not just a basic commodity manufacturer – they will incorporate the engineering and design of their products into the service offering as an ongoing point of reference for us as the supplier, and the customers.”

The Super HC® narrow, cross‑section v-belts are capable of transmitting up to three times the amount of power as classical cross‑section systems. They are also extremely compact and lightweight, constructed with fibre‑loaded compound for improved stability.

“We have changed out a lot of classical v-belts for these Super HCs®, because they run on the same style pulleys,” explains Rob. “This can reduce the number of belts required on one wedge pulley by four or five, which obviously minimises the overall cost of the drive. There also is not as much overhang load on the drive shafts – it is a more spatially conservative application that also has greater weight bearing limits.”

“When we make a selection on the Super HCs®, we know that they have lifespan capacity in excess of 25,000 hours,” he continues. “They are designed to keep performing in dusty, dirt-ridden and gritty environments – these belts boast a lot more than what it might look like on first impression.”

The innovative Super HC® v-belt design runs on a wedge-shaped pulley system, transmitting power through tension to drive a pump, gearbox or similar machinery on-site. According to Rob, Gates has pioneered this design for heavy industries, and it is now the most popular v-belt solution in the Australian mining market.

The Gates Curves technology allows full contact with the pulley grooves for the uniform loading of cords, resulting in even wear and extended product life. The Flex-Weave patented fabric cover offers increased heat protection and resistance against oil and dirt. Additionally, the material is non self-igniting, meaning the belt will not catch on fire due to severe slippage or heat build-up.

“We have had nothing but excellent feedback on these belt products from customers in the mining industry,” concludes Rob. “The simple fact that they return to us for servicing and replacements is a good sign that the belts are excelling in terms of performance and reliability.”