Erlau chooses bauma 2013 to mark the 70th year since tyre protection chain invention
Erlau's advanced all-round protection
Erlau has chosen bauma 2013 to mark the 70th year since Erlau TPC says it invented the tyre protection chain.
A small drawing registered by Erlau in 1943 marks a pivotal moment in the history of bulk materials handling.
At that time mining methods were changing as the lumbering steam shovels, rope-operated excavators and horse-drawn rail tubs, which had themselves superseded the pick and shovel, were being replaced by wheeled, hydraulic loading shovels and tipper-bodied trucks.
Based on the technology recently developed for agricultural tractors, these new and highly-manoeuvrable multi-tasking machines were already being used in operations such as sand and gravel extraction.
Over the decades the loaders have become larger, more sophisticated and standard equipment on many sites.
Initially, because pneumatic tyres were easily damaged by abrasive or sharp materials, hard rock miners found that due to unacceptably high tyre replacement costs, they were denied the advantages of their soft-rock cousins.
With new compounds and steel cords, tyre technology advanced to accommodate ever-larger machines, but the inherent flexibility of the tyres continued to make them vulnerable to harsh conditions.
Already well-known for its round-link industrial chains, German company Erlau was inspired to adapt its snow-chains to overcome the problem of premature tyre loss from heavy abrasion and sidewall damage: thus, it says, were born the first, albeit crude, tyre protection chains (TPCs).
According to the company, Patent Application, 04.01.1943, describes the very first chain link designed for tyre protection.
Once TPCs were established as a cost-effective solution for mining loaders, other applications quickly followed. As well as mining and quarrying, Erlau tyre protection and traction chains can also be found protecting tyres in tunnelling, pipelaying, scrap metal handling, demolition, steel-making, forestry and the military.
Among its products are Terraplus, a lightweight traction chain with toothed links that give extra bite and safe travel over soft ground and ice-covered site roads, and Easylock, which is designed to make TPC installation and removal fast, safe and economical.