OKO – the tire sealant for Mining operations
Around the world, mining companies face similar problems. Vehicle operations in particular are very difficult. The challenges include –
- extremely rough terrain
- hard or impossible access for repairs
- high operating temperatures
- massive cost of downtime
For many mining vehicles the pneumatic tyre/tire has been, and will remain, the main wheel-ground interface. This means that operators have to pay thousands of dollars to replace one of their huge tires, which are in short supply globally.
The high cost of tires and the frequency of punctures has led to the introduction of solid fill products, which do eliminate most puncture issues, and leave some degree of movement within the tire. But they do have problems – they make the ride very harsh, so are unpopular with drivers: they significantly increase the weight of the wheel/tire combination, enough to break axles in some cases: they cannot be used at road speeds: they are very expensive: and once installed, they cannot be removed to permit tire retreading or repairs.
These factors cause many fleet managers to avoid solid fill. They may instead use a tire coolant liquid. This is poured inside the tire before fitting it onto the wheel rim. Its functions are to cool the running temperature of the tire, so as to lengthen its life: to act as an anti-rust medium to protect inside the wheel: and to show up wheel rim/tire bead leaks (the colored liquid seeps out).
But what until recently has not been seriously considered by many mining professionals is the third option – tire sealant. Why? Because the sealants that were available until now were not considered powerful enough to cope with the large holes and slits that are suffered in mining environments. And it was felt that sealant did not do a good job of cooling tires because there was less liquid involved than with a cooling-only product (which is incompatible with sealant).
This was a challenge for the OKO chemists – how to create an extra heavy duty Mining sealant that would be fit for purpose. Analysing competitive products showed that they did not live up to their extravagant claims. The OKO solution had to be significantly better than anything currently on the market.
The results of the development were tested at (among others around the world) the Managem Mine in Morocco, where a 20mm metal spike was constructed to test the sealant’s capabilities on an old worn set of tyres (see the pictures here). It passed with flying colors.
The Better Puncture Proof Solution
Now that OKO Mining is in everyday use worldwide, it has proved itself to be the best solution for the majority of vehicles in mines and quarries (and increasingly it is being used in the most severe of construction sites).
- The vehicles that travel most slowly and face the very worst underground mining conditions continue to use solid fill.
- The bulk of the vehicles that still need to be puncture proof are converted to use OKO Mining tire sealant.
What about tire cooling? Well, the problem in the past has been that sealants have been sold at high prices and the quantity used in the tire has been minimized. OKO Mining is sold through national authorized distributors at highly competitive prices per gallon / per litre, and the recommended quantities in the tire are larger: comparable to those used with tire coolant.
OKO also contains anti-corrosion agents as well as the same sort of anti-freeze products that help to cool tire temperatures, so its cooling effect is not significantly less than a tire coolant product – but crucially, the operator also gets protection against the vast majority of flat tire situations, which occur in the tread area where the OKO puncture seal performs again and again for the whole life of the tire. So it’s ‘win-win’ for mining companies.
Bottom line? OKO Mining just makes total sense – and makes a big positive impact on your bottom line. Ask us for your OKO Distributor’s details.