How to prevent tyre fires as a hidden hazard on mining sites

Each year, mines across the country experience multiple stoppages in production due to ‘hot tyre’ events. Tragically these stoppages have led to personal injury and loss of life and are still a major safety risks associated with mine sites around the country – particularly in hot climate.

Conventional practices have not managed to eliminate this risk and in recent years, 17 incidents have occurred resulting in multiple deaths and a huge loss of machinery.

Answering the call, Pulford Air & Gas, a leading Australian air compressor and gas company, recognised nitrogen to eliminate the risk of explosion from internal and external heat sources and from electrification.

The NitroPlus systems from Pulford were born out of this safety need and today the company offers nitrogen Tyre inflation for improved safety, increased efficiencies and significant cost savings on the mine; Pulford have already installed these systems in multiple locations around Australia.

Nitrogen brings with it a host of benefits for clients when compared to conventional inflation methods. These systems are specifically designed to meet every mine site’s unique requirements and are suitable for all types of tyre filling.

Nitrogen inflation = air with a reduced oxygen level – O2 triangle

By making use of nitrogen, Pulford can remove the oxygen (to less than 5.5 per cent) and prevent a fire or explosion from occurring. The NitroPlus system from Pulford Air & Gas is custom designed, installed and commissioned for each site.

The team at Pulford takes into account every client’s environmental aspects and as such, no one system is exactly the same! The system purity is designed to a minimum of 98 per cent allowing for only one fill per tyre and 24,000 litre nitrogen tanks gives instant inflation with maximum energy and pressure.

The system and tank are containerised to provide complete flexibility and Pulford’s team of experts works closely with clients on each mine to ensure a successful implementation and on-site training.

Nitrogen generation systems have been extensively tested in Europe and the United States under stringent standards, and while it’s a global product, these systems are designed and developed by Pulford with Australian conditions in mind. Here, they have kept the hot climate, length of truck haul runs and surface conditions of mines in mind. Clients around Australia include Rio Tinto, Anglo American, BHP, Glencore and others.

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