News

Bulk Materials Handling Course

TUNRA Bulk Solids will be delivering their Storage, Feeding, Transfer and Belt Conveying Short Course in an online environment from 9th – 13th November. The course program will include sessions on:

  • Basic principles of handling plant design
  • Bulk solid flow properties and application to design
  • Mass flow and funnel flow
  • Transfer chute design and modelling with Discrete Element Method (DEM)
  • Dust control for transfer chutes
  • Belt conveying – overview of various types of conveyors, bulk solids and conveyor belt interactions, design procedures and future developments
  • Wall loads and quaking
  • Feeders and dischargers
  • Stockpile design

To register for the event please contact Danielle.Harris@newcastle.edu.au or download the brochure here

Transfer Chute Design 3-Day Short Course

TUNRA Bulk Solids will be running an online short course on Transfer Chute Design from 21 – 23 September 2020.

Key learning outcomes:

  • Design principles for favourable transfer chute design
  • Bulk solid material properties and testing procedures required for design and flow analysis
  • Application of material properties in the design process including liner selection
  • Influence of bulk solid material and conveyor belt interaction prior to and post transfer
  • Transition zone and discharge trajectory considerations
  • Chute flow problems due to adhesion and wear
  • Dynamic modelling of transfer chute components for optimum accelerated flow
  • Optimising transfer chute design for feeding and transfer
  • Practical implementation of continuum mechanics analysis
  • Dust control during the transfer and redirection process
  • Optimising chute geometry for controlled wear in the flow zone and at the belt feed point
  • Overview of the principles of DEM analysis
  • Application of DEM and other modeling techniques
  • Close the gap in knowledge set of the analysis tools and techniques
  • Obtain specific problem solving skills for transfer chutes

For further information on the event please contact Danielle.Harris@newcastle.edu.au

Digital Masterclass – August 2020

In partnership with , TUNRA Bulk Solids have developed a new Digital Masterclass on bulk solids handling. The course teaches participants how to make materials handling decisions based on minerals characterisation. Commencing on 6 August, the course will run for two weeks consisting of two live webinars and an in-depth discussion with our industry experts. Head to AusIMM’s website for more information or to enrol now click here.

TUNRA Bulk Solids commissions new DEM testing equipment

Over the past decade, there has been an increased focus on environmental and health concerns related to dust emissions in mining and mineral processing activities. Understanding the behaviour of dry bulk materials in different handling operations is of utmost importance for the design of ‘dust-free’ facilities such as transfer chutes, train load outs and stockpiles. One of the methods used for characterising bulk materials is the Australian Standard AS4156.6, typically known as the “Dustiness” or “Dust Extinction Moisture (DEM)” test, whose main aim is to determine the relationship between moisture content and dustiness levels.

TUNRA Bulk Solids has seen a significant increase in demand for DEM testing over the recent years, which has led to the recent commissioning of its 3rd DEM machine to meet this demand. The new machine, which is now undergoing the final testing phase, has shown very good results in comparison with TBS’s other two machines and is now being incorporated to our suite of testing. Contact us for further information on how TUNRA Bulk Solids can help with your dust-related challenges.

 Online Short Course 25th – 29th May

TUNRA Bulk Solids will be delivering their Storage, Feeding, Transfer and Belt Conveying Short Course in an online environment from 25th – 29th May. The course program will include sessions on:

  • Basic principles of handling plant design
  • Bulk solid flow properties and application to design
  • Mass flow and funnel flow
  • Transfer chute design and modelling with Discrete Element Method (DEM)
  • Dust control for transfer chutes
  • Belt conveying – overview of various types of conveyors, bulk solids and conveyor belt interactions, design procedures and future developments
  • Wall loads and quaking
  • Feeders and dischargers
  • Stockpile design

To register for the event or for further information please contact Danielle Harris or download the course brochure here

COVID-19 Update: The University of Newcastle Reseach Associates Limited (TUNRA)

TUNRA remains focused on protecting the health, safety and wellbeing of our team and the community around us. We have put in place measures to reduce the potential health and business impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak, aligned with recommendations from government health authorities. In addition, we have put in place a number of measures to support the continued provision of services by our team that include the ability to work remotely and isolation protection for our staff who need to remain in our laboratories and provide the testing services. These measures will be updated as required. We are focused on the continuation of our quality service provision to the full extent that the current situation allows.

TUNRA is located on campus at the University of Newcastle, and, as a controlled entity of the University, have implemented all of the same measures rolled out by the University, which has a dedicated website that is being used to communicate strategies on COVID-19, this website is being continually updated by the Serious Incident Committee. More information can be found on https://www.newcastle.edu.au/covid-19

In addition to the above, TUNRA has put in place extra measures that include:

  • No visitors on-site to TUNRA premises
  • Segregation of TUNRA staff from University staff and students
  • Segregation of staff in the TUNRA team to minimize disruption should one of our staff members need to be quarantined (in line with the close contact versus casual contact as defined by NSW Health)

We continue to actively monitor government information and take advice from relevant authorities on measures to protect the health, safety and wellbeing our team and the community.

Please contact us should you require any further information, and thank you for your continued support through this period.  ​

Bulk Materials Handling Workshop in Muswellbrook 

The storage, handling and transportation of bulk solid materials are major activities for a vast number and variety of industries throughout the world. These range from the gentle handling of very small quantities of material in the pharmaceutical and chemical industries to the vast quantities handled and processed by the mining and mineral companies. This diversity is particularly evident in Australia where the wide-ranging nature and scale of operations is somewhat unique.

Considerable advances continue to be made in research, development, application and implementation of the technologies associated with various aspects of bulk solids handling.

TUNRA Bulk Solids are pleased to present a free one-day workshop in Muswellbrook which will provide delegates with an overview of current state-of-the-art materials handling techniques and their application to industry. For further information regarding the workshop please contact Danielle Harris or download the brochure here

2019 Bulk Materials Handling Forum in Wuxi China

Dr Bin Chen and Shaun Reid travelled to Wuxi City, China, to attend and present at the “Digital Scene Construction and Intelligent Services Forum for Bulk Material Handling”. This engagement was at the invitation of the forum organisers, Wuxi Boton Technology. The audience consisted of senior representatives of various local and international staff, clients and suppliers of Boton. Shaun gave an overview of TUNRA’s capabilities and our place in the industry followed by Bin’s presentation, which contributed to the forum’s theme of innovation by presenting the latest developments in the Rail Conveyor technology developed by the bulk solids group at the University of Newcastle.

In addition to the technical forum, a visit was organised to Boton’s headquarters which included their laboratory, condition monitoring centre and one of their production plants.  TUNRA’s experts also gave a brief presentation on TBS capabilities with a focus on transfer chutes and belt conveying.

TUNRA’s visit to China demonstrates our engagement in the field and exhibits our collaboration with bulk materials handling companies worldwide.

 

 

Bulk Solids Words of Wisdom – “Wall Loads and the Silophone”

Emeritus Professor Alan Roberts has been conducting research and consulting in the field of bulk solids handling for more than 58 years. He has been a leading educator and expert in the field who has published five design manuals and over 400 research papers on various aspects of bulk solids handling, all the while working to build the research and consulting capabilities of TUNRA Bulk Solids. TUNRA is a world leader in consulting services and cutting edge research and technological developments in the many areas encompassed by bulk solids handling, processing and conveying.

Despite having formally retired, Em Professor Alan Roberts remains an active contributor to the operations of the business and can generally be found in his office each day. Click here to listen to some “bulk solids words of wisdom”

HunterNet Future Leaders Program 2019

Congratulations to our Engineering Manager Dr Bin Chen and Team HealthPort for winning the HunterNet Future Leaders Program for 2019. The winners were announced at a gala dinner in Newcastle on Friday 25 October.

The program was delivered across 12 sessions by current leaders and professional practitioners over a 6-month period and was designed to equip future leaders with core business and team leadership skills. The final weeks of the Program involved a team based project which was supported by an experienced Industry mentor (Ian Winn for Team HealthPort).

The project brief had to include two key aspects;

  1. To develop an identity and positioning concept for the greater Newcastle region which promotes it as a global city; and
  2. Identify an ASX-200 listed company which the team believes should establish a new headquarters in Newcastle with the aim to improve the economic diversity of the region.

Under the supervision of their mentors, each team was required to produce a twenty-five page report and deliver a thirty-minute presentation to the judging panel.

The Health Port team’s project centred around attracting health and technology companies to Newcastle to promote economic growth, sustainability and diversity through the establishment of three interconnected innovation precincts.

The winning team, HealthPort, consisted of:

  • Dr Bin Chen from TUNRA Bulk Solids,
  • Sam Noakes from Port Waratah Coal Services,
  • Nicholas Oliveri from Bohemia Interactive Solutions,
  • Chanel Egan from Forsythes Technology,
  • Brodie White from NAB,
  • Andrew Fisher from Ampcontrol, and
  • Ian Winn from One Clan who acted as team mentor.

 

Celebrating 50 Years of TUNRA

The University of Newcastle has a global reputation for world-leading research and innovation, with an exceptional record for achieving research outcomes with enormous potential for industry. These partnerships advance business and industry solutions while being anchored in research and best practice.

In 1969, The University of Newcastle Research Associates (TUNRA) was formed as a vehicle to build and promote applied research opportunities for both the University and industry. TUNRA recently celebrated their 50th anniversary with an event held at Merewether Surf house with the participation of the Vice-Chancellor and Chancellor and other University of Newcastle dignitaries, former and current TUNRA and Newcastle Innovation staff and board members, industry partners and other associated entities.

The evening commenced with a welcome from Professor Kevin Hall, Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor & Vice-President Global Engagement & Partnerships & TUNRA Chair. Professor Hall gave an official welcome to all of the guests and reflected on the history and achievements of TUNRA over the last 50 years and the diversity of successes over this time.

The University of Newcastle Vice Chancellor and President, Professor Alex Zelinsky AO, provided an overview of the new strategy the University is developing for 2020 – 2025. Professor Zelinsky spoke of the four main engagement domains, being Next Generation Resources, Growing Industries, Connected Communities and Better, Healthier Living, and how both business and community engagement underpins each of these domains. Professor Zelinsky acknowledged the significant contribution TUNRA has provided to the University in its 50 years, and the important role it has in the University strategy into the future.

The Chancellor, Mr Paul Jeans, spoke to the history of TUNRA and how it has maintained an outstanding reputation in industry since its inception in 1969, including worldwide recognition for best practices in high-level engineering and design in the field of bulk solids handling. Mr Jeans also recognised the outstanding contribution that Emeritus Professor Alan Roberts has made to TUNRA, including being the Founding Director of TUNRA Bulk Solids and serving on the TUNRA Board for over 30 years. Emeritus Professor Alan W Roberts, the founding Director of TUNRA Bulk Solids (est 1975),Mr Jeans presented a prestigious award for his outstanding service and lifetime contributions to TUNRA, and in recognition of his ongoing support to the University and translation of research into industry.

Professor Roberts gave a moving speech in acknowledgement of the University’s support and encouragement to the establishment of TUNRA and more specifically TUNRA Bulk Solids.

The night concluded with TUNRA’s General Manager, Dr Tim Donohue, speaking to guests about the future of TUNRA. This included a discussion of the current business activities of TUNRA, which while centred on engineering projects it was also acknowledged that there are also other exciting projects in health, medicine and physics. Dr Donohue spoke to the importance of TUNRA as a vehicle to link industry with research and the appetite of TUNRA to further serve the needs of both through increased engagement.

The evening once again demonstrated the valuable relationships shared between TUNRA and the industry partners. The main theme on the night was how TUNRA is a means to apply world leading research, but secondary themes included research support, industry engagement to define research, and the support of TUNRA in work integrated learning. The significant support of industry partners in attendance was a testament to TUNRAs unique position and provided an opportunity to converse on strategies to continue connecting research and industry going forward. TUNRA is looking forward to delivering a range of services to customers both in Australia and overseas for another 50 years.

The University of Newcastle Vice Chancellor and President, Professor Alex Zelinsky AO and Dr Tim Donohue, General Manager TUNRA 

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Emeritus Professor Alan Roberts and Chancellor, Mr Paul Jeans 

 

Vice Chancellor Professor Alex Zelinsky AO, Emeritus Professor Alan Roberts and Dr Tim Donohue, General Manger TUNRA 

  TUNRA Bulk Solids Engineering Team and Emeritus Professor Alan Roberts

Former and current TUNRA, Newcastle Innovation and TUNRA Bulk Solids Staff

Dr Jafar Zanganeh – Project Manager VAMSP, Trevor Clarke – AC Whalan Composites Pty Ltd, Mohammed Al-Zuraiji​ – University of Newcastle 

Tom Cason and Robert Raines – Schenck Process

Professor Mark Jones – Head of School of Engineering, University of Newcastle and Gary James – EMtek

 Professor Jennifer Martin – Chair of Clinical Pharmacology, University of Newcastle and Dr Soozy Smith – CEO Breast Cancer Trials 

Yvonne Wong, Professor Darren Shafren and Min Yuan Quah​, University of Newcastle 

Dr Tim Donohue – General Manager TUNRA, Marianne Cummings – Austmine and Isaac Court – Austrade​

3-Day Short Course in Perth

TUNRA Bulk Solids will be running a 3-Day Short Course at The Mercure Perth from 12th – 14th November.

The course program will include sessions on:

  • Basic principles of handling plant design
  • Bulk solid flow properties and application to design
  • Mass flow and funnel flow
  • Transfer chute design and modelling with Discrete Element Method (DEM)
  • Dust control for transfer chutes
  • Belt conveying – overview of various types of conveyors, bulk solids and conveyor belt interactions, design procedures and future developments
  • Wall loads and quaking
  • Feeders and dischargers
  • Stockpile design

For further information regarding this course please contact Danielle.Harris@newcastle.edu.au or download the course brochure here

Graduation

Jens Plinke from TUNRA Bulk Solids and Jiahe Shen from The Centre for Bulk Solids have both recently graduated from The University of Newcastle receiving a degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Mechanical Engineering.

Jens completed his PhD research titled ‘The Integration of Reflectance Spectroscopy and Bulk Flow Characterisation to Evaluate the Handleability of Cohesive Iron Ore’ The research project was conducted as part of the ARC Research Hub for Advanced Technologies for Australian Iron Ore. The University of Newcastle and the Iron Ore Hub’s industry partners identified a need to expand on existing methods for the characterisation of cohesive ores as well as the opportunity to implement real-time handleability assessments in the conveying chain. As a result, models for the prediction of handleability based on optical reflectance spectroscopy were developed.

Jiahe completed his PhD research titled “The Numerical and Experimental Investigation of Dynamic Belt and Bulk Material Interaction in Belt Conveyor Systems in February 2019. In his study, he developed a coupled model of the Finite Element Method (FEM) and Discrete Element Method (DEM) to describe the dynamic interaction and the resultant flexure of belts and bulk materials with variable operation conditions. Furthermore, he also provided an innovative method to experimentally measure the dynamic belt flexure and validate the developed model. His research work enabled accurate predictions of the flexure resistance and offered a high potential for improvement in belt conveyor designs.

 

Australian Grains Industry Conference 2019

Dr Bin Chen and Dr David Bradney travelled to Melbourne in late July to attend the Australian Grains Industry Conference (AGIC) 2019. Over 450 delegates attended this conference with a focus on navigating the future and providing a roadmap for 2025 for the Australian Grains Industry. The conference covered a variety of important areas and addressed the challenges currently facing the grains industry. It also attracted 50 exhibitors from a range of fields including grains testing and handling & storage equipment suppliers. Many exhibitors recognised the TUNRA brand and its value to the industry, some of which whom had previously worked with TUNRA. The TBS Engineers took the opportunity to engage with delegates and exhibitors to further develop relationships with new and existing clients in the Australian grains industry.​

Transfer Chute Upgrade at Hunter Valley Coal Mine

TUNRA Bulk Solids along with a collaboration of Newcastle businesses, including Hic Services and Lindsay Dynan Consulting Engineers, worked together to upgrade a transfer chute at a prominent Hunter Valley coal mine by using 3D modelling technology. Transfer chutes play a critical role in production and if not designed appropriately may present as bottle necks that limit plant capacity. In this project TUNRA contributed its experience in Discrete Element Modelling (DEM) and fundamental transfer chute design to develop a conceptual chute design that was delivered successfully by HIC services and Lindsay Dynan, resulting in increased throughput for the end user. For further reading on this interesting case study please click here

ICBMH 2019

As proud sponsors of the upcoming International Conference on Bulk Materials Storage, Handling and Transportation, TUNRA would like to announce that members of their Engineering team will be attending the event on Queensland’s Gold Coast form 8-11 July. The papers being presented by the materials handling specialists are:

  • Roy Hill: A Case Study on the Path to 100% Reliability, presented by Dr Tim Donohue
  • Evaluation of Test Methods for the Determination of Belt Cover Wear Resistance, presented by Shaun Reid
  • A Case Study of Stacker Chute Analysis using both DEM and Scale Modelling, presented by Professor Alan Roberts
  • Investigation of Loads Acting on Flow Isolating Gates in Bulk Solids Storage Bins, presented by Emeritus Professor Alan Roberts

With 100 presentations and over 150 delegates, the conference will provide a forum to review the state-of-the-art with respect to research and development and promote the exchange of ideas and experiences between researchers and practitioners.

TUNRA’s Engineers will be on the Gold Coast from 8-12 July so feel free to contact the team at the event.

Download the latest program for the event here

Site Tour

As proud sponsors of the ICBMH 2019 we are pleased to share with you that the organisers of the conference have scheduled a site tour on Monday 8th July to the Condong Sugar Mill and the Stone and Wood Brewery in Murwillumbah (1 hour drive south from the Gold Coast). The Condong Sugar Mill sits on the banks of the Tweed River and has been crushing cane since 1880. The Condong Sugar Mill tour will consist of a visit to a sugar cane farm and the processing mill.  Following this, a tour of the Stone and Wood facilities including some tastings of the locally brewed beer will finish off the day before heading back to the Gold Coast before the Welcome Reception. If you are interested and would like to book your place please contact Danielle Harris or Michael Carr as places are limited so book in fast to avoid missing the tour.

ICBMH 2019

The ICBMH is soon approaching and we are putting together a high level program for all those interested in Bulk Materials Storage, Handling & Transportation. We have confirmed fantastic Keynote and Plenary Speakers. Register here for the 3-Day Conference to recieve your early bird discount.

Confirmed Plenary Speakers

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Storage, Flow and Belt Conveying Short Course, 8-10 May

The TBS 3-day short course will conclude today, 16 delegates from industry including five international delegates from Indonesia have participated in an intensive 3-day program with sessions on:

  • Basic principles of handling plant design
  • Bulk solid flow properties and application to design
  • Loads on bin walls – symmetric, eccentric discharge – shock loads and silo quaking
  • Stockpile design incorporating draw-down, live capacity, base loads and locations of reclaim hoppers, feeders and tunnels
  • Loads on buried structures in bins and stockpiles
  • Chute design for feeding and transfer
  • Belt conveying – overview of various types of conveyors – bulk solids and conveyor belt interactions – review of basic design procedures and future developments

Emeritus Professor Alan Roberts, Professor Mark Jones, Dr Tim Donohue, Professor Craig Wheeler and other members of the TBS team have once again delivered a high-level training course helping industry to overcome their material handling problems. For further information regarding courses please contact Danielle Harris.

 

3-Day Short Course

The first day of the TUNRA Bulk Solids Storage and Handling short-course has ended with an exciting tour of TBS’s comprehensive laboratory facilities, located at the NIER site, University of Newcastle. The 16 delegates were accompanied by TUNRA’s General Manager, Dr Timothy Donohue, TBS Laboratory Manager, Eric Brooker and TBS Consulting Engineers. The course will continue for the next two days with sessions on belt conveying, transfer chutes, dust, bin and stockpile design, silo wall loads and quaking, feeders and discharge. Contact Danielle Harris for more information on our comprehensive training programs.

International Conference on Bulk Materials Storage, Handling and Transportation ICBMH 2019

TUNRA Bulk Solids are proud sponsors of the 13th International Conference on Bulk Materials Storage, Handling and Transportation (ICBMH 2019). The storage, handling and transportation of bulk solid materials are major activities for a vast number and variety of industries throughout the world. These range from the gentle handling of very small quantities of material in the pharmaceutical and chemical industries to the vast quantities handled and processed by the mining and mineral companies. This diversity is particularly evident in Australia where the wide-ranging nature and scale of operations is somewhat unique.

This 13th International Conference on Bulk Materials Storage, Handling and Transportation follows in the tradition of the previous series of very successful events. The conference will be held at The Mantra on View, Surfers Paradise, located on Queensland’s Gold Coast from 9 – 11 July 2019.  The call for papers is now open and papers are invited on the following subjects:

Storage and Handling

  • Bin, hopper, chute and stockpile design
  • Structural design aspects
  • Feeding and weighing
  • Discharge control systems
  • Heavy mobile machines
  • Conveyors and elevators
  • Blending and sampling

Transportation

  • Belt, pneumatic and hydraulic conveying
  • Road and rail transportation
  • Ship loading and unloading
  • Systems studies in handling and transportation

Energy, Resources and Environment

  • Storage, feed and transportation of biomass, agricultural and waste materials
  • Characterisation
  • Waste utilisation opportunities
  • Dust and particulate characterisation
  • Environmental factors

Related Areas

  • Characterisation of bulk solids
  • Instrumentation for bulk solids handling applications
  • Education and research in materials handling
  • Life cycle costing and maintenance of material handling systems
  • Mixing, blending and segregation
  • Materials handling challenges

Please download a copy of the brochure for more information regarding the conference here. There are also a variety of sponsorship packages available if your organisation is interested in sponsoring the ICBMH 2019.

3 Day Short Course 8th – 10th May 2019

TUNRA Bulk Solids will be running a 3-Day Short Course at The University of Newcastle in N.S.W from 8th – 10th May 2019. Register now for the early bird discount, for further information regarding this course please contact Danielle.Harris@newcastle.edu.au ​​

Topics to be covered over the three days include:

  • Flow properties
  • Mass flow & funnel flow
  • Stockpile design
  • Wall loads & quaking
  • Transfer chutes continuum
  • Transfer chutes DEM
  • Dust control

To register for the course download the course brochure here

13th International Conference on Bulk Materials Storage, Handling and Transportation, ICBMH 2019

The storage, handling and transportation of bulk solid materials are major activities for a vast number and variety of industries throughout the world. These range from the gentle handling of very small quantities of material in the pharmaceutical and chemical industries to the vast quantities handled and processed by the mining and mineral companies. This diversity is particularly evident in Australia where the wide-ranging nature and scale of operations is somewhat unique.

TUNRA Bulk Solids would like to announce that they are a sponsor of the 13th International Conference on Bulk Materials Storage, Handling and Transportation ICBMH 2019, which will take place from the 9th to 11th July 2019 on Queensland’s Gold Coast, Australia.

Considerable advances continue to be made in research, development, application and implementation of the technologies associated with various aspects of bulk solids storage, handling and transportation. This conference will provide a forum to review the state-of-the-art with respect to research and development and promote the exchange of ideas and experiences between researchers and practitioners. For more information regarding the conference please contact Danielle.Harris@newcastle.edu.au

Advancements in the Materials Handling Industry a TUNRA Perspective

The ASBSH will be hosting an event in Perth on Thursday 21 February from 6 pm – 7 pm. Guest speakers Dr Tim Donohue and Prof Craig Wheeler will focus on recent advancements in the materials handling industry that have come out of TUNRA and the University of Newcastle. The areas that will be covered in this presentation include;

• New conveyor belt cut and gouge test

• Calculation of belt flexure resistance using the new indentation rolling resistance Australian Standard

• Advancements in DEM/FEM conveyor belt simulation and verification testing

• Development of a 3 parameter materials handling index to classify cohesive materials

• Update on the DEM calibration process and relationship to physical testing

Click here to register for the event

ICBMH 2019

TUNRA Bulk Solids are proud sponsors of the 13th International Conference on Bulk Materials Storage, Handling and Transportation ICBMH 2019, from 8-11 July 2019 on Queensland’s Gold Coast.

This 13th International Conference follows in the tradition of the previous series of very successful events and will provide a forum to review the state-of-the-art with respect to research and development and promote the exchange of ideas and experiences between researchers and practitioners.

Over 100 abstracts have been received from both Academia and Industry on topics in the following areas;

In addition to sponsoring the conference, TUNRA’s highly skilled engineers will be presenting papers on their areas of expertise. Register now online to receive your early bird discount.

3 Day Short Course

TUNRA Bulk Solids will be in Perth from Monday 12th to Friday 16th November presenting their 3 day short course on “Storage, Feeding, Transfer and Belt Conveying” at the Mercure Hotel. We are very pleased to announce that the course has a full capacity of delegates with 35 people from industry registered. Emeritus Professor Alan Roberts, founding director of TBS along with Dr Tim Donohue, manager of TBS,  Daniel Auslilng and Associate Professor Craig Wheeler will be sharing thier expertise in materials handling. Our engineers would be delilghted to meet with you whilst they are in Perth to discuss any materials handling inquiries.

17th ACPS Conference

Dr Tim Donohue and Jens Plinke attended the ACPS 17th Conference in Brisbane on the 12th – 14th September. This conference series is aimed at optimising the utilisation of coal resources and operations, with a particular focus on coal preparation plants. The conference included a number of outstanding papers including case studies, advances in technologies, and ongoing research projects. In addition to the conference series, there were also over 40 exhibitors showcasing current equipment and services as well as new emerging technology developments.

CHoPS 2018 Alan Roberts Lecture Theatre

The team at TUNRA Bulk Solids and The Centre for Bulk Solids attended the 9th International Conference on Conveying and Handling of Particulate Solids (CHoPS 2018) at Greenwich Maritime Campus, London, last week. CHoPS is one of the largest international conferences devoted to all aspects of particulate solids technology.

In order to acknowledge the outstanding contributions to the field of materials handling, a lecture theatre was named in honour of Emeritus Professor Alan W Roberts AM for the CHoPs Conference. Emeritus Professor Alan W Roberts AM has been a leading engineering educator and expert in the field of bulk solids handling over the past 50 years. Professor Roberts was the Dean of Engineering at The University of Newcastle from 1974 to 1993; he is the founding director of TUNRA Bulk Solids and the former Director of The Centre for Bulk Solids & Particulate Technologies. One of the many examples of recognition of his dedication and commitment to disseminating knowledge in this field is “The Professor Alan Roberts Shaping Futures Scholarship”, which was established in 2011 by one of Professor Roberts’ former students at the University of Newcastle.

For more than four decades, he has championed industry collaboration and innovation in the field of bulk solids handling. He has received numerous awards in recognition of his work, including an Order of Australia for his contributions to technology, research and education in mechanical engineering. He has received the prestigious Peter Nicol Russell Memorial Medal from the Institution of Engineers Australia for his outstanding service to engineering and has been elected to learned scientific and engineering academies.

Professor Roberts officially retired from the University of Newcastle over 20 years ago in December 1993; however, his commitment to students is unwavering. At 88 years of age, he still attends the University virtually every day to mentor, teach and guide students and research at The Centre for Bulk Solids, as well as contribute to consulting projects along with the engineering team at TUNRA Bulk Solids.

3-Day Short Course

Storage, Feeding, Transfer & Belt Conveying Course, Perth, Western Australia

TUNRA Bulk Solids will be running a 3-Day Short Course at the Mercure in Perth, WA from 13th – 15th November 2018. Register now for the early bird discount, for further information regarding this course please contact Danielle.Harris@newcastle.edu.au 

TBS Visit to Queensland Mining Exhibition, Mackay

Shaun Reid and Dr Bin Chen travelled to Mackay in late July to attend the Queensland Mining and Engineering Exhibition (QME). The event attracted more than 200 exhibitors from a range of fields in the industry including miners, suppliers and engineers. Several thousand visitors attended the event over three days, a variety of seminars were also presented at the exhibition that provided insight into QLD coal mining and the latest developments in the industry.

Our TBS Engineers took the opportunity to converse with approximately 40 exhibitors, many exhibitors recognised the TUNRA brand and its value to the industry. In general the event provided a good opportunity to further develop relationships with new and existing clients and to stay up to date with the latest developments and innovations in the industry.

Iron Ore Workshop

As part of the Iron Ore Conference in Perth form 22-24 July, TUNRA Bulk Solids will be running a 3-hour workshop on 21 July at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre.

TUNRA Bulk Solids – Iron Ore: How to make materials handling decisions

This workshop would cover the following:

  • The importance of materials testing
  • Materials testing available for iron ore
  • What “good” and “bad” iron ores look like
  • Testing outcomes and their interpretation
  • Benefits of specific ore testing in the design process

Click here to find out more and register for the event

Mining Equipment, Technology and Services (METS) Doctoral Training Centre (DTC)

New research projects and opportunities for industry collaboration were showcased in Muswellbrook on Wednesday 6th June at an event hosted by the University of Newcastle’s Mining Equipment, Technology and Services (METS) Doctoral Training Centre (DTC). Dr Tim Donohue, manager of TUNRA Bulk Solids, had the opportunity to speak about TBS’s involvement as an industry partner of the Advanced METS Doctoral Training Centre.

Led by Associate Professor Kenneth Williams, from the Centre for Bulk Solids and Particulate Technologies (CBSPT), the DTC is focused on supporting the Mining Equipment, Technology and Services (METS) sector by fostering collaborative PhD projects. The DTC is aimed at delivering innovative and transformational technologies and developing skilled innovators of the future and to enhance the success of the sector by building a collaborative research platform with academia.

By harnessing existing capacity and research excellence established through the Newcastle Institute for Energy and Resources (NIER), the DTC will contribute to the development and production of new ideas, technologies and products that will support the METS sector into the future.

In his address, Dr Tim Donohue explained why TUNRA Bulk Solids is highly supportive of this initiative as it represents a step forward towards engagement between industry and academia, which has always been TBS’s core value since its inception with Emeritus Professor Alan W Roberts, in 1975.

TUNRA Bulk Solids works closely with CBSPT in forming a highly effective research translation mechanism by which the University of Newcastle leverages research excellence and capability into high impact industry engagement.

Short Course News

TUNRA Bulk Solids were pleased to present their 3-Day short course to industry from 22nd – 24th May. This course was presented to delegates from various companies ranging from Queensland to Victoria.

The topics covered over the three days were:

  • Flow properties
  • Mass flow & funnel flow
  • Stockpile design
  • Wall loads & quaking
  • Transfer chutes continuum
  • Transfer chutes DEM
  • Dust control
  • Belt Conveying of bulk solids
  • Feeder interfacing and design

The course was led by Emeritus Professor Alan Roberts, who has combined a glittering academic career and the publication of seminal technical papers with an almost uncanny ability to solve industry problems. Over his career, Emeritus Professor Alan Roberts has published five design manuals and over 350 research papers on various aspects of bulk solids handling, all the while working to build the research and consulting capabilities of TUNRA Bulk Solids.

The course was held onsite at The University of Newcastle’s NIER precinct, where TUNRA Bulk Solids is located. This was a great opportunity for delegates to see TBS’ comprehensive laboratory and test facilities, which overall made the course a great success.

Emeritus Professor Alan Roberts presenting at the 3-day short course

 

Associate Professor Craig Wheeler presenting at the 3-day short course

25th October 2017

As part of their overriding commitment to health, safety and the environment, NIER (Newcastle Institute for Energy and Resources) have recently hosted their inaugural Health, Safety & Environment Awards.  TUNRA Bulk Solids is pleased to announce that Paul Whitworth won the category of “Individual Excellence in Individual HSE Practice”. Paul’s efforts in promoting and enforcing safety amongst his colleagues have no doubt been responsible for preventing injuries in TBS’s high risk environment and will also have had positive effects on the wider NIER site. Congratulations to Paul and all other award recipients!

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​22nd September 2017

3-Day Short Course – Storage, Feeding, Transfer & Belt Conveying Course, Perth, Western Australia

TUNRA Bulk Solids will be running a 3-Day Short Course at the Mercure in Perth from 14th – 16th November 2017. For further information regarding this course please contact Danielle.Harris@newcastle.edu.au 

21st September 2017

TUNRA Bulk Solids were pleased to present an overview of current state-of-the-art materials handling techniques and their application to the coal industry. TBS designed a one-day conference specifically for Glencore to examine industry issues and solutions to help provide Glencore with unique insights and opportunities as leaders in their field.

The topics that were covered on the day were;

  • Flow property testing
  • Effect of moisture and clay content on flowability
  • Proper design of bins and hoppers for mass flow
  • An overview of the custom designed impact wear and abrasive wear testers at TUNRA Bulk Solids
  • Analysis methods and best practice for transfer chute design
  • The latest testing available for the correct selection of conveyor belts and idlers.

The TUNRA Bulk Solids team of Engineers were in attendance all day providing expert advice on current bulk handling issues. Presenters included A/Prof Craig Wheeler (belt conveyors), Dr Tim Donohue (mass flow and funnel flow), Dr Bin Chen (transfer chutes and DEM), Dr Paul Munzenberger (conveyor belts and idlers), Daniel Ausling (Flow properties) and Bipin Pal (wear testing).

A keynote address was given by Professor Alan Broadfoot, Executive Director of the Newcastle Institute for Energy and Resources (NIER). NIER brings together The University of Newcastle’s leading researchers working in the area of energy and resources.

29th August 2017

TUNRA Bulk Solids, in conjunction with The University of Newcastle, recently ran a 3 day short course at Northeastern University that was attended by both undergraduate students and engineers from Industry. The short course was primarily focussed on belt conveying but also covered material properties, transfer chutes and principles of mass flow and funnel flow. The course was delivered by A/Prof Craig Wheeler, Dr Tim Donohue and Dr Bin Chen. TUNRA Bulk Solids has a long standing relationship with North Eastern University through Prof Song as he has spent some time in Newcastle previously and the fact that Dr Chen is a previous student of North Eastern University. Through our association with the University, one of the underlying mandates for TUNRA Bulk Solids is for the continuous education of engineers across the world in the area of bulk materials handling – this is based on the pioneering work of the our Founding Director Prof Alan Roberts.

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19th May 2017

TUNRA Bulk Solids: Case Study Presentation and Tour of Laboratory Facilities, The University of Newcastle, NSW, 24th May 2017

TUNRA Bulk Solids and the Centre for Bulk Solids & Particulate Technologies at the University of Newcastle, welcome members of the Australian Society for Bulk Solids Handling to a case study presentation and laboratory tour on Wednesday 24th May 2017 from 5:45 pm – 8:00 pm. Dr Bin Chen and Dr Paul Munzenberger will present “A Case Study of Steel Silo Failure under Eccentric Discharge Conditions.”  More information regarding the event can be found here. ASBSH—2017-TBS-Lab-Tour

15th May 2017

2-Day Pneumatic Conveying Course

TUNRA Bulk Solids in conjunction with the Centre for Bulk Solids & Particulate Technologies will be running a 2-Day Pneumatic Conveying Course at The University of Newcastle from 10th – 11th July 2017. Professor George Klinzing from the University of Pittsburgh will be a special guest presenter. For Further information please contact Danielle.Harris@newcastle.edu.au 

10th May 2017

2-Day Grain Handling Course

TUNRA Bulk Solids will be running a 2-Day Grain Handling Course at The University of Newcastle from 26th – 27th July 2017.  For Further information please contact Danielle.Harris@newcastle.edu.au

​24th of November 2016

11th Australian Bulk Handling Awards 2016

The 11th annual Bulk Handling Awards was hosted by the Australian Bulk Handling Review on the 24th November, culminating in a gala evening and gathering of some of our industry’s finest practitioners to recognize and celebrate outstanding achievement.  TUNRA Bulk Solids won the Innovative Technology category at the 2016 Australian Bulk Handling Awards for its Rail Conveyor Technology. The new conveying technology, developed by TUNRA Bulk Solids, provides a highly energy efficient and cost effective method for transporting bulk commodities.  The Rail Conveyor merges the benefits of both belt conveying technology and rail to produce a low rolling resistance bulk material transportation system.  A demonstration Rail Conveyor system was recently built in China (see pictured). The system is 150 m long and was built by Libo Heavy Machinery Company who has licensed the Rail Conveyor technology in China.

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(left to right) TUNRA team – Ken Williams, Mal Coble, Danielle Harris, Craig Wheeler, Alan Roberts, Michael Carr and Bin Chen

 

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Demonstration unit in China

 

16th of November 2016

Engineers Australia Presentation in Perth, WA

TUNRA Bulk Solids is proud to have been invited by Engineers Australia to give a presentation on numerical modelling in Perth, WA on the 16th of November. Our Engineering Manager, Dr. Tim Donohue was responsible for this presentation, whose title is: “The role of Numerical Modelling in the Design of Materials Handling Equipment: A pragmatic approach”.

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Tim’s lecture on Discrete Element Modelling

3rd of November 2016

TUNRA Bulk Solids specialists hold the first Bulk Solids Storage and Handling Master’s subject in Brazil through the MoU with University of São Paulo

From the 3rd to the 5th of October 2016, TUNRA’s Director, Prof Mark Jones, and TUNRA’s General Manager – Research, Dr. Kenneth Williams, held for the first time the course Bulk Solids Storage and Handling at USP (University of São Paulo). This course was taught as a condensed Master’s subject within the Mining Engineering post-graduation program and is a result of the MoU signed between the University of Newcastle and USP in 2015. The course had 14 participants, all of which from the industry, and during these three days students had a chance to discuss practical applications of bulk solids handling systems and handling issues commonly found in the industry.

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Ken’s lecture on Discrete Element Method (DEM)

 

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Ken and Mark’s closing remarks – USP Bulk Solids Storage and Handling course

 

Students’ feedback after the course was very positive, which is a great encouragement to continue this type of work both in Brazil and in other countries.  This course showed, once again, TUNRA’s commitment to sharing the knowledge in bulk solids handling worldwide especially by combining academic knowledge with years of practical experience from our highly qualified staff.

29th of August 2016

Team ARNUT wins Inaugural Hunter Valley Hackathon

Over the weekend of 26th – 28th August the inaugural Hunter Valley Hackathon was held in Newcastle. Hackathon events are run by Unearthed, with this program starting in 2015 with 5 events nationwide, with the basic premise being to solve industry defined challenges over a 54 hour time period. This year, this successful program has been expanded and even includes three international locations. The focus of Unearthed can be described as “Accelerating innovation in the resources sector”. Our team (“ARNUT”), comprised of Dr Wei Chen, Dr Tim Donohue and Mr Jeremy Miller from TUNRA Bulk Solids, took on arguably the most difficult of the 3 challenges. Our challenge was to “Automate image analysis of Hylogger drill core data”, and after an intense weekend of development, we were very proud to be awarded first prize.

Our prototype is able to cross-correlate three-band RGB high resolution drill core images with hyperspectral line scanning, resulting a visual mineral mapping directly overlaying on top of the drill core image. The motivation for this work is to lead to more accurate, accelerated and efficient mineral mapping for large mineral deposit exploration, which has the potential to significantly increase the return of investment for the A$600 million exploration cost annually in Australia.

The event itself was really well run, and was both fun and challenging to be involved with. The mentorship provided with regard to the challenge and interpretation of data was outstanding, and the assistance and advice provided by the Unearthed team was excellent. The event is really a great place to test your skills, and we would encourage anyone else considering entering in the future to have a go!

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Team “ARNUT” with judge and mentor Dr Chris Yeats (Chris is the Executive Director of Geological Survey NSW)

9th of August 2016

DEM7 Conference in Dalian, China

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Three of our Engineers, Dr Tim Donohue, Dr Bin Chen and Dr Wei Chen, attended the 7th International Conference on Discrete Element Methods (DEM) which was held in Dalian, China from the 1st – 4th August 2016. Dr Tim Donhue, our engineering manager, also had the privilege of serving on the International Advisory Committee for this conference series. The topics of the presentations presented by TUNRA Bulk Solids ranged from a fundamental study on the uniaxial compression test to more application based work including the prediction of wall loads during eccentric discharge and applications of a coupled DEM – multi body simulation method. The conference was attended by 250 delegates from 22 countries, many of those being global leaders in DEM leading to many interesting discussions alongside the 220 formal presentations. This conference series covers the state-of-the-art developments in DEM and it is vital that TUNRA Bulk Solids participates in this series to ensure our applied research work includes the most up to date advancements in this method. TUNRA Bulk Solids is looking forward to participating again at the DEM8 conference which will be hosted by the University of Twente in the Netherlands!

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(left to right) Dr Wei Chen; Dr Bin Chen and Dr Tim Donohue

6th of July 2016

TUNRA Bulk Solids participates in Bulk Material Forum  – Turkey

TUNRA Bulk Solids participated as a sponsor at the Bulk Material Forum in Turkey, which was held for the first time. The conference, which took place in Istanbul in June 2016, will become one of the most relevant in the materials handling industry in Turkey.  TUNRA is proud to be a leading player in the development of the bulk materials handling industry in Turkey and, as part of our commitment to this industry, our Business Development Officer in the region, Kerim Turkdogan, presented two technical lectures during the conference:

1)    Design of Silos According to Material Flow Properties:

  • Modes of Flow
  • Direct Shear Tests & Internal Friction
  • Effects of Time Consolidation
  • Wall Friction
  • Case Studies
  • Other Topics related to the Silo/Feeder interface

2)    Transfer Chute Design with DEM Modelling:

  • Why is transfer chute design so important?
  • Purpose of DEM
  • DEM calibration methods
  • Case Studies

Both topics generated a lot of interest from the audience and TUNRA’s booth was visited by members of leading companies in the Turkish market including Nuh Cimento, Sisecam, İsDemir, Promel, Sandvik and Bursa Cimento.

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1st of June 2016

TUNRA Bulk Solids seals partnership with Brazil #1 University

The University of Newcastle through TUNRA Bulk Solids has signed an MoU with USP (University of São Paulo), the Number 1 ranked University in Brazil (Times Higher Education World Universities Ranking 2016). This MoU will enable collaboration on specific areas especially focused on the mining, minerals processing and materials handling field and will be managed by Dr. Ken Williams, TUNRA’s General Manager-Research.

This relationship started early in TUNRA Bulk Solids’ presence in Brazil, in 2014, when TBS’ General Manager, Dr. Tobias Krull, visited Brazil to participate as a keynote speaker in the ABM symposium (Brazilian Association of Metallurgy, Materials and Mining) and met Prof. Arthur Pinto Chaves, one of the key names for Materials Handling in the Brazilian industry. Being a retired professor in USP, Prof. Arthur passed on the management of this agreement to Prof. Ana Carolina Chieregati, who specializes in sampling of bulk solids and is now responsible for the MoU.

In 2015, TUNRA Bulk Solids and USP organized the first Bulk Solids Handling Workshop, which gathered approximately 60 people from the mining, steel and grains industry for over 20 presentations on bulk solids handling related topics, including international speakers from Australia, Chile and Italy.  The event, which had the presence of TUNRA Bulk Solids’ Engineering Manager, Dr. Tim Donohue, proved to be a success and both parties are looking forward to other initiatives, which may include courses and joint research projects.

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(left to right) Priscilla Freire (TUNRA’s Business Development Officer/Brazil); Prof. Arthur Pinto Chaves (USP) and Prof. Ana Carolina Chieregati (USP)

 

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Tim Donohue – TUNRA’s Engineering Manager during the Bulk Solids Handling Workshop

11th of March 2016

TUNRA Bulk Solids will be presenting at the International Powder and Bulk Solids Conference and Exhibition in the US in May 2016. Check out the full program at http://event.powderbulksolids.com

As part of our commitment to education in the field of bulk solids handling, TUNRA will be presenting three Technical Workshops during the conference:

Tuesday 3rd May 2016: 10:15am – 11:45am

TECHNICAL WORKSHOP 
Troubleshooting Pneumatic Conveying:  
Pneumatic conveying offers few visual signs to help engineers understand what drives system performance. This session will explore dos and don’ts for conveyor design while taking into consideration the layout of your factory floor to help maximize your system’s output and efficiency.

Prof Mark JonesDirector of TUNRA Bulk Solids Handling Research, Head of School Mechanical Engineering, UNIVERSITY OF NEWCASTLE

 

Tuesday 3rd May 2016: 3:15pm – 4:45pm

TECHNICAL WORKSHOP Successful Transfer Chute Design the First Time:

  • Selecting the most favorable wall lining material based on flow property testing results
  • Minimizing impact angles between flowing/discharging material stream and transfer chute geometry
  • Favorable chute cut-off angles to guarantee flow at specified rate under all conditions
  • Reducing impact wear

Dusan Ilic, Ph.D., Senior Consulting Engineer, TUNRA BULK SOLIDS

 

Thursday, May 5th, 2016: 10:15am – 11:45am
:

TECHNICAL WORKSHOP 
Conveyer Selection Criteria for Mechanical Handling Systems
: This session will identify key selection and performance criteria when specifying mechanical handling equipment (ie. belt conveyors, screw conveyors, chain conveyors, etc.). Case studies will focus on the main issues that influence selection and providing a sound basis for selecting equipment.

Co-Presenters:

Prof Mark JonesDirector of TUNRA Bulk Solids Handling Research, Head of School Mechanical Engineering, UNIVERSITY OF NEWCASTLE

Prof Alan RobertsEmeritus ProfessorUNIVERSITY OF NEWCASTLE

8th of February 2016

TUNRA Bulk Solids’ was recently visited by the Hon. Anthony Roberts MP, NSW Minister for Industry, Resources and Energy along with Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter Scot MacDonald MLC. The visit was part of a wider tour of the Newcastle Institute for Energy and Resources (NIER) Precinct and the University of Newcastle. During his time visiting the laboratory of TUNRA, Minister Roberts spent time discussing two innovative projects that are being driven through engagement with Industry;

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(left – right) Dr Alan Broadfoot (NIER Director), Mr Scot MacDonald (Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter), Hon. Anthony Roberts (NSW Minister for Industry, Resources and Energy) and Dr Ken Williams discussing the effectiveness of the large impact wear tester (shown in the background)

 

Dr Ken Williams spent time discussing a new innovative test rig that is able to quantify impact wear in wall liners. The information measured with this test rig can be applied to the mining, mineral processing, agriculture, energy and process industries. The assessment and selection of effective wear resistant materials is central equipment life when handling particulate materials associated with these industries. As such, TBS have designed, built and operated innovative wear assessment equipment for use by industry to accurately assess wear liner effectiveness. When you consider that a simple transfer chute may take 1-2 days to reline with new wear liners, at modern tonnage rates of 5000 to 10000 tonnes per hour, the financial gains derived from the life cycle improvements and maintenance planning derived from these tests are obviously substantial.

 

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(left – right) Hon. Anthony Roberts (NSW Minister for Industry, Resources and Energy) and Dr Tim Donohue discussing the 1/5th Scale Train Load-Out developed in conjunction with Schenck Process (shown in foreground)

 

Dr Tim Donohue spent time discussing a 1/5th scale model of a Train Load-Out. The motivation behind this scale model, which has been developed through a collaborative research partnership with Schenck Process, is to develop a real time weigh system to track the mass of product loaded into each rail wagon as it is being loaded. This new technology offers opportunities to maximise the mass in each wagon while not exceeding weight limits and represents a step change, as current systems can only weigh the loaded wagons downstream with no opportunity for mass optimisation.