In underground mining operations, the use of flexible cables is essential for powering the mine’s electrical system. There are two main types of flexible cables commonly employed:
Trailing cables are designed to supply three-phase alternating current (a.c.) power within the mine. They typically consist of five cores, each serving a specific function. These cores include three power cores for the three-phase a.c. supply, a pilot core, and a fifth earth core for safety grounding. To ensure reliable performance and protection, the cores are insulated with synthetic materials like C.S.P. (Ethylene Propylene Rubber) or E.P.R. (Ethylene Propylene Rubber) insulation. In some cases, two layers of insulation may be used for added durability.
Flexible Wire Armour Cable
Flexible wire armor cable is another type of cable commonly found in mines. It offers robust protection due to its construction, which includes a layer of wire armor surrounding the conductors. This wire armor provides excellent mechanical strength and resistance to damage, making it suitable for rugged mining environments. Flexible wire armor cables are used for various applications in mines, including power distribution, control circuits, and communication systems.
Both trailing cables and flexible wire armor cables play vital roles in ensuring the reliable and safe operation of electrical systems within mines. They are specifically designed to withstand the demanding conditions found underground, including exposure to moisture, abrasion, and mechanical stresses.
It is crucial to select the appropriate type of cable based on the specific requirements and regulations of the mining operation. Following industry best practices and adhering to safety standards will help ensure the effective and efficient functioning of the electrical infrastructure in mines, contributing to a secure working environment for miners and overall operational success.
This post was written by Justin Tidd, Director at Becker Mining Communications! For over 15 years, Becker Communications has been the industry’s leader in increasingly more sophisticated electrical mining communication systems. As they expanded into surface mining, railroads, and tunneling they added wireless communication systems, handheld radios, tagging and tracking systems, as well as gas monitoring.