Our philosophy/approach to developing and producing Blast-Hole Liners (BHL) is based on the concept of Quality, Safety, Survivability and Advancement (QSSA). The concept of QSSA is derived from our background in the field Geo-membranes (Synthetic Lining/Containment Systems). It was developed to ensure installation and long-term survivability of these critical systems. The QSSA initiative has been applied to our SAFETY-BLASTÔ product line as follows:
All of the Layfield Group Limited manufacturing plants are ISO 9002 certified and accredited. ISO (International Organization for Standardization) is renowned for being the world’s foremost authority for quality standards. In a nutshell, we only ship product that meets or exceeds the agreed upon or published specifications. We test at every step along the manufacturing process, including incoming raw materials, for conformance. Every liner produced is assigned a unique identification number. Additionally we insert an operator quality identification tag in every BHL pocket that identifies 5 quality operator checks, as well as shift, date and operators initial. This audit trial initiative allows us to back track production and test data specific to any liner produced at our factory.
To illustrate the quality/effectiveness of our product, we have large surface, deep hole/angled hole mining customers that shifted from using emulsion and blend products to 100% ANFO in combination with our SW and DW liners.
LPF has conducted extensive research in the area of anti-static control. Our products are specifically formulated to reduce levels of static build-up that could potentially ignite a methane pocket within a blast-hole.
As product survivability is a key component to performance, LPF has over the years studied, trialed, and tested many adaptations of what has evolved to be our current product line. The basic platform is built on Single (SW) and Double Wall (DW) BHL technology.
· LPF only uses first quality grade virgin raw materials and additives in producing our BHL’s. Our BHL product blend has been specifically engineered for optimum strength, tear and puncture resistance. Because polyethylene derives strength through orientation, we extrude our film to optimum blow-up ratios, meaning we choose the best die path to optimize ratios (we have 5 extrusion lines).
· Our DW Liners are similar in concept to the Double Hull construction used in Oil Tankers – a tank within a tank – a tube within a tube. The outside liner protects the inner liner throughout the rigors of the down-hole installation process ensuring integrity of the inner liner. The concept of independent layers versus homogeneous structures has been proven far superior. Because of its effectiveness the concept is adapted to many different design applications. In the 1970’s ICI’s Canadian Division, then named CIL, developed a double wall polyethylene shipping sack for export shipments. Testing showed a 35% + increase in puncture strength versus a single layered film of the same resin blend & equal combined gauge. More importantly it confirmed film propagation (when scored PE film is prone to propagate in the machine direction) was greatly reduced.
· DW liners come complete with 2 bottom seals plus a fold over and a 3rd seal on the inside liner (staggered for shock absorption) to optimize loading survivability. Our SW liners come with 2 seals staggered again to optimize load survivability
· SAFETY-BLASTÔ DW BHL’s are designed for high performance in demanding environments (deep holes, long sleep times, wet conditions) and our Single Wall for moderate sleep times in dryer - wet conditions.
As a company that prides itself in innovative thinking, LPF’s always searching for better solutions in all areas including product development and manufacturing.
1.) To enhance our liner performance we have recently developed a pocket that will ensure the liner is not left hanging above hole-bottom, when anchored, therefore subjecting the bottom of the liner to supporting loads in excess of 10,000 lbs. (for a 200’ + deep hole). This pocket configuration allows for liner & pocket bottoms to concurrently reach bottom. In studying installation methods, we have identified this as a key issue for potential liner failure. We have in the past tried to overcome this issue through on site awareness and education. Because our BHL’s are exact in length we have printed increments on the liners (for some of our clients), therefore, allowing for quick calculation to determine required slack in hole prior to anchorage. Again, in this case, we have drawn on our geo-membrane know-how to assess the issue and to build a better system.
2.) We are in the process of developing a DW BHL with leak detection capabilities by applying conductive material to the inside liner. This innovation will create a better tool for managing blast performance.
3.) We have developed a liner for coal blasting operations c/w tear away, allowing for removal of material in the area being stemmed, hence preventing potential for contamination.
1.) LPF is in the midst of a $5 million capital project that entails the turnkey installation of a new multi-layered co-extrusion line for our Vancouver plant (slated for completion in the fall of 2004). The new line will give us the capability to produce ultra high strength film structures. As an example, we are targeting to produce a 4 mil Double Wall BHL with equivalent or greater strength characteristics to that of our current 8 mil Double Wall product. The economic and performance opportunities of this undertaking are very exciting.
2.) LPF has developed & perfected proprietary inline automated manufacturing processes to produce both SW & DW BHL’s. We have recently increased capacity for SW & DW BHL to service our USA initiative.