Homem manipulando um robô que está em cima de uma mesa à frente dele. Ele usa máscara e blusa preta. Ele está em um laboratório.

Photo: Institutional Collection

The search for safer and more sustainable mining is part of our essence

For this reason, one of our priorities is to acquire new knowledge and, based on them, develop solutions used in the mining chain. Our projects stand out for the health, safety and integrity of people, for productivity with energy efficiency and reduction of CO² emissions.

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Use of iron ore tailing as co-product for building construction

Foto de um banco para sentar de concreto e madeira com duas pedras ao lado.

Photo: Institutional Collection

Iron ore concentration processes generate large volumes of tailings containing predominantly quartz and clay minerals. In this project, our research aims to find industrial applications that can transform the tailings into co-products used in construction materials. Enabling these applications, it is expected to provide a new scenario of circular economy and industrial symbiosis in the mineral and construction industries.

Shipping support

Imagem digital de uma embarcação de cor azul escuro e vários tracejados coloridos sobre ela que representam a velocidade: Magnitude (m/s) e a Pressão (Pa).

Photo: Institutional Collection

We support Vale’s shipping area in technical and economic feasibility analyses of alternative fuels and rotor sails on ships. The main objective is to improve the energy efficiency of vessels through hydrodynamic optimization and reduction of barnacle formation.

Support and maintenance

Foto de uma prensa de rolos (HPGR) com destaque para os pinos de teste.

Photo: Institutional Collection

Through the production of roller press studs (HPGR) by precision casting, which is less costly than the manufacturing process currently used, we work on reducing the wear of the studs and the operating and maintenance costs of the HPGR roller press. In another initiative, we have developed steels with higher impact and wear resistance than conventional materials currently used for the segments of the MSR roll crusher designed to the fragmentation of jaspelite ore with increasing the useful life of the segments. Another project offers support and improvements in the process of changing belt conveyor idlers and other maintenance demands.

Railway components

Foto de um trilho ferroviário.

Photo: Institutional Collection

We have developed a rail quality index, which allows a quantitative and technical approach for rail purchase. In addition, we are working in determining criteria for the evaluation of railroad crossties in the Vitória-Minas Railroad (EFVM), and increasing the lifetime of steel sleepers.

Chutes and belt conveyors

Montagem com duas imagens de amostras de ferro fundido branco.

Photo: Institutional Collection

We strive to increase the operational efficiency of Vale’s belt conveyor systems. For this purpose, we create subsidies to reduce failures and increase the useful life of conveyor belts and transfer chute linings. We work to increase safety and optimize the belt splicing process. With regard to chute lining plates, we have developed procedures for selecting and developing materials that are more appropriate for Vale’s operations. In this way, we extend the useful life of the equipment, reducing maintenance costs.

Grinding media

Fotografia de corpo moedor (bola de aço) com um furo no centro.

Photo: Institutional Collection

In this project, we have developed new materials to manufacture of low-cost grinding media, which maintain or improve performance with quality compatible with the standards required by Vale. We are also working to increase the wear resistance of this component by improving its chemical composition and heat treatment processes.

Control and optimization in mining chain phases

Imagem digital que mostra uma simulação de otimização de uma das etapas de mineração. Na imagem, há algumas caixas que estão identificadas como “alimentação”, velocidade, nível on/off ALs e produto.

Photo: Institutional Collection

On this front, we research and apply new control strategies, simulations, and solutions to improve the performance of operations in mines, power plants, and ports. The resulting solutions are implemented in automation systems and processes integrated with operations to make them easier to use and maintain.

Process Automation

Foto de um lugar externo onde há terra, uma superfície e ferro e, ao centro, o ROSI, robô para serviços de Inspeção.

Photo: Institutional Collection

We design procedures for the machine (mobile or fixed) and laboratory instrumentation. In this way, we seek to implement techniques for instrument analysis and control of the manipulator’s arms. We also work in the search for advances in teleoperation and operator-friendly interfaces.

Advanced instrumentation

Imagem gráfica de um dos sistemas inteligentes para a coleta de dados.

Photo: Institutional Collection

Through this work, we propose the creation of smart systems for collecting unusual data in several situations. The tools developed are employed in several stages of the mining chain, seeking to improve further our knowledge concerning the ore that is being processed and, thereby, searching for better results in metallurgical recovery.

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