Authors: Pearce, RT; Revell, MB

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Pearce, RT & Revell, MB 2021, 'Steel wire reinforced composite polyethylene pipe: the new technology for paste reticulation', in AB Fourie & D Reid (eds), Paste 2021: Proceedings of the 24th International Conference on Paste, Thickened and Filtered Tailings, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 287-298,

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Since the introduction of paste backfill into underground mining operations in the 1990s, transport of paste underground has been primarily completed using steel pipes. Steel pipes have been required due to the relatively high friction loss of the thick paste material and therefore the moderately high operating pressures realised through the piping system. Steel pipes are both heavy and rigid which results in them being labour intensive to install in the underground environment. In most other underground mine applications high density polyethylene pipe (HDPE) is used, however its use in paste backfill is limited due to the low maximum allowable operating pressures (MAOP) of HDPE. To overcome the short comings of steel and HDPE pipe for paste fill transport, a new technology known as steel wire reinforced composite polyethylene pipe (SRCP) is now becoming widely used. SRCP pipe technology provides the high pressure benefits of steel piping, along with the low weight, corrosion resistance and flexibility properties of HDPE. This paper outlines the history of SRCP, the products details, how SRCP is used in a modern paste fill system and a number of case studies of its use in Australian and African underground mining operations.

Keywords: paste, reticulation, SRCP

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