The Role of Hydraulics in Underground Mining Machine


Underground or subterranean mining is an important sector worldwide. It helps mine natural resources including ore present below the earth’s surface. Vertical or horizontal tunnels help reach the underground region.

The mining sector is vital for the economic development of a country. Hydraulics make the process of mining easier and faster. Hydraulic systems have other benefits that make them ideal for use in underground mining.

The Hydraulic System and Its Components


A hydraulic system functions by using a pressurized fluid. The fluid enables the system to perform various tasks like

  • Lifting heavy loads
  • Drilling holes with precision
  • Shaft turning, and more

Founded by Joseph Bramah, this system uses Pascal’s law. The hydraulic fluid in the system uses Pascal’s law to send energy from one point to another. As the fluid is incompressible it can send power instantly.

The chief components of a hydraulic system are

1. Reservoir

The reservoir serves many functions:

  • It holds the fluid
  • Transfers heat from the hydraulic system
  • Allows solid contaminants to settle
  • Facilitates the release of moisture and air from the fluid

2. Pump

The main function of the pump is to convert mechanical energy into hydraulic power. The fluid movement inside the system works as a medium for energy conversion. Many types of pumps are present like piston, vane, and gear pumps.

Each type has different subtypes that help in a specific application. For instance, the piston pump works as a bent-axis pump. A vane pump acts as a variable displacement pump. But the basic principle used by the pumps is the same. It displaces fluid volume against a resistant pressure or load.

3. Actuator (Motor, cylinder, etc.)

The actuator converts the hydraulic energy to the initial mechanical energy. A hydraulic cylinder converts the energy into linear motion.

Or, a hydraulic motor helps to convert the energy into rotary motion. Many subtypes are present in the hydraulic motors and hydraulic cylinders. Each subtype works on a specific design application.

4. Valves

Valves help to start, halt, and direct the flow of the fluid in the system. They have spools or poppets actuated by using manual, mechanical, electrical, pneumatic, or hydraulic energy.

5. Hydraulic fluid

The fluids have many functions. They provide energy transmission via the system. It is their key function. The fluids serve as a lubricant and aid in the transfer of heat and communication control.

How Hydraulics Help in Underground Mining


Hydraulics are used prevalently in mining due to their heavy-load lifting capacity. They generate a huge amount of force which helps in lifting very heavy loads. With hydraulic mining, the powerful fluid jet helps dislodge minerals in unconsolidated material. Some of the materials include placer deposits, laterites, alluvium, mine tailings, and more.

In gold mining, the powerful water stream and mineral fragments enter into sluices. The gold settles behind baffles flushing out the lighter waste material. In coal mining, the water jet breaks down the coal and washes it to the gathering point.

The jets act on the coal seam, break it up, and take the slurry to the collection area. Hydro monitor is the name given to the high-pressure water nozzle used in the system. When water at high pressure helps in gas and oil drilling, the process is called hydraulic fracturing.

How the hydraulic system works

Large and small cylinders are linked via a hydraulic fluid that exerts a similar amount of pressure on the two cylinders. The force on the small cylinder is just a small amount but generates a massive force that can lift heavy objects present on the other side of the big cylinder.

In mining, the hydraulic pump plunders move large rocks using the cylinders. The plunger works back and forth allowing the movement of oil inside the cylinder resulting in a pressure build-up.

Many benefits are present when hydraulics are used in mining such as

  • The mining equipment can function at a particular pressure taking advantage of the force exerted by the cylinder. This helps in acquiring a massive force that enables heavy load lifting.
  • Double-acting cylinders give more control to the operator, especially while moving objects or rockets downwards.
  • If the mining site load descends at a rapid rate, the pump supplies the hydraulic oil to counterbalance the valves. This avoids overruns. A jack presses down automatically preventing the automatic lowering of the load accidentally.

How Quality Influences the Mining Performance


As mining is a demanding process, it requires reliable equipment for digging, lifting, and moving huge particles of rock and other objects. With hydraulics, an improved process is possible as the components in the system are durable and operation is simple.

When used in the right method, the hydraulic system-powered mining equipment can help in lifting heavy loads to the surface from under the ground. The system multiplies force to give a big output. Further, systems like the Jinan Fucheng hydraulic equipment provide benefits like

  • Accurate control of the machinery
  • Easy operation and maintenance
  • Reduce hydraulic losses and improve the maneuverability of the machine

The design of the hydraulic system aims at dealing with the harsh conditions present in mining regions. All cylinders in the system have metal guard rings to minimize contamination and ensure a clean system.

Hydraulics Make Underground Mining More Efficient

Hydraulic systems need to create plenty of force to help in lifting heavy objects. With the right hydraulic components like the Fucheng hydraulic pump and other components, the actuator speed is controllable. The components do not radiate excessive heat and the oil temperature is under control resulting in longer life for the hydraulic fluid.

The various components like the hydraulic pump, hydraulic valve, and motor are tailor-made to suit the specific needs of customers. With an optimized design and weight, the system can perform well without worries of broken hoses or joint leaks. The various components including the hydraulic pump require minimal maintenance.

Due to the ability to control the operation speed, these systems are versatile.  In addition to providing operation accuracy, efficiency, and higher horsepower, there are other benefits. Better controllability, environment protection, safety of operators, and serviceability are possible by using top-quality equipment like those from Fucheng.

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