Electromagnetic testing of wire ropes - New Developments

CIM Bulletin, Vol. 96, No. 1074, 2003

L.B. Geller, K. Leung, J.E. Udd, F. Kitzinger

Sixteen miners died tragically at the Paymaster gold mine in Timmins, Ontario, in February 1945 when a badly corroded hoist rope broke. The investigation of the Royal Commission that followed arrived at a number of recommendations (The Legislative Assembly of Ontario, 1947) aimed at avoiding future disasters of this kind. One consequence was the development and legislated use in Canada, several decades ago, of powerful electromagnetic (EM) instruments for the non-destructive testing of mine shaft wire ropes. The authors have been involved for many years in the design, production, and testing of EM instruments (Geller and Udd, 1990, 1992; Geller and Kitzinger, 1991; Geller et al., 1992). Since the mid-1990s, particular attention was paid to the design and operational results obtained from the computercontrolled portable MagnographTM II wire rope tester (Geller et al., 1995, 1998). In the present paper, the authors summarize further hardware- and software-related developments of this instrument. Further, an account is given of the results obtained from the most recent design known as the Perma-ScanTM testing system. This is also a computerized dual-function system. In it, however, the sensor head is designed primarily, if not solely, for permanent installation and for remotely controlled operation. This represents a basic departure from traditional designs, which were intended for ad hoc temporary installations. The remote-controlled instrument described in this paper has now been in operational use for more than four years.
Keywords: Remote-controlled instrument, Wire rope tester, Underground mining, Corrosion, Fatigue, MagnographTM II, PermaScanTM.