Valve maintenance key to mining fire protection

Every year the South African mining industry reports fires caused by equipment malfunction, electrical faults, spontaneous combustion, frictional ignition, lightning, and other causes. Whilst misaligned or damaged conveyor belts are often the source of frictional heating that leads to fires, some fires, especially in coal mines, are hard to detect. “Often mined areas in a coal mine form a zone of broken rock rubble and the spontaneous heating of coal in these areas are not easily detected. Mechanical Rotating Solutions (MRS) has for over a decade serviced the coal mining industry with solutions addressing the threat fires pose to the coal mining industry.

Whilst an optimal fire protection system is key to any mining operation the inspection and maintenance of its various parts is of equal importance. Fire protection valves, especially pressure reducing valves used for fixed fire suppression systems on mines are an indispensable part of any fire protection system. Says Franscois Steenkamp Managing Director of MRS.

Whilst pressure control valves and pressure control deluge valves are a critical component of any mine fire protection system, the cost of replacing damaged valves are extremely high. In addressing the high cost of replacement, MRS has been servicing this industry with cost effective solutions with regards to the refurbishment and repair of these types of valves.

In a recent project MRS refurbished a 10” Bermad FP 720-UL Pressure Reducing Valve showing signs of cavitation around the valve seat causing valve failure and a subsequent threat to the fire protection systems’ integrity.


Bermad FP 720-UL Pressure Reducing Valve showing extreme cavitation damage


Cavitation damage is a form of hyper-erosion that can destroy both control valves and piping, which can result in unacceptable process failures and also significantly shortening the lifespan of the valve and fire protection system. MRS addressed the cavitation issue by refurbishing their clients’ pressure reducing valves by using a combination of Belzona 1321 (Ceramic S-Metal) and Belzona 1111 Super Metal epoxy.

Having gained extensive experience servicing collieries around the Mpumalanga province MRS has frequently made use of Belzona® 1321 (Ceramic S-Metal), a two component high strength coating for the protection and refurbishment of metal surfaces subject to severe erosion-corrosion as found in coal mines. Typical applications of this innovative protective coating includes impellers, water box ends and flange faces.

“We found that the combination of a Belzona 1321 coating, and Belzona 1111 to rebuild the damaged areas, to be the most suitable in refurbishing the areas most affected by cavitation on the Bermad FP 720-UL Pressure Reducing Valve. Belzona 1111 Super Metal epoxy is well known for its high resistance to heat and wear. Belzona 1111 (Super Metal) is a cold-curing 100% solids epoxy composite reinforced with silicon steel alloy. This material can be used for various applications including bonding, shimming, forming, rebuilding, wrapping, patching, sealing and filling. A fully refurbished pressure reducing valve needs to meet the high demands associated with a new product whilst saving on replacement costs. The system needs to ensure a reduction in high, unstable upstream pressure to maintain precise stable downstream pressure, regardless of changing upstream pressure or flow, and requires only existing line pressure to operate.


The fully refurbished Bermad FP 720-UL Pressure Reducing Valve

Mechanical Rotating Solutions (MRS) is a leading South African supplier of mechanical seals, pumps, integrated pump systems and complementary pump products. Drawing upon some of the most well-known and proven brands worldwide such as AESEAL mechanical seals and support systems, STRAUB pipe couplings, Belzona industrial protective coatings, Labtecta Bearing Isolators, and KSB and HPC pumps amongst others, MRS sets the standard in terms of reliability, innovation and world class customer service. Working within the guidelines of

ISO 9001:2000, and ISO 14001:2004 quality and environmental standards as well as the OHSAS 18001:1999 Occupational Health and Safety standards, MRS offers a complete turnkey supply and service of pumps. The company further specialises in complementary pump products including floatation devices, complete pump refurbishment, valve refurbishment and repair, mobile dewatering solutions and proven water and energy saving solutions.


The Model FP 720-UL Pressure Reducing Valve reduces high, unstable upstream pressure to maintain precise stable downstream pressure, regardless of changing upstream pressure or flow, and requires only existing line pressure to operate.