• Short case studies of solutions delivered across a range of industries

    agriculture food

Fertiliser Star





Fertiliser plants face significant wear-related problems in the form of abrasion, corrosion, and impact, where the fertiliser stars, in particular, are impacted. Wear of fertiliser stars can drastically decrease the efficiency of overall operations and eventually cause the plants to halt work, thereby increasing plant downtime and costs.

At Welding Alloys, we offer extensive knowledge of wear problems, and we can develop tailored solutions to address specific wear problems within fertiliser plants.

When we were approached by an Argentinian customer operating in the fertiliser industry, they told us that they were referred to us by one of our existing customers because of our technical expertise, which was a great compliment.


The customer was very knowledgeable about their own operational processes and very successful in the fertiliser industry, but experienced extreme wear on their new fertiliser stars used for preparation of raw materials during the crushing stage. From previous experience and similar projects in the fertiliser industry, we understand that the lifetime of the star crushers can be significantly reduced as a result of abrasion impact and the highly corrosive nature of materials the star may come in contact with.

After the initial session to understand the customer requirements and challenges, our technical experts in Argentina conducted a full assessment on the star crusher. Our team determined that the working environment was highly corrosive due to the star crusher being subjected to sulphuric acid diluted with water – pH1 and fluorosis acid diluted with water – pH3. This was causing the arms of the star to deteriorate rapidly over only a 7 – 10-day period of daily use, which was extreme but by no means the worst level of corrosion our teams have encountered.

After a thorough analysis by our technical teams, they documented their findings and proposed two viable solutions for dealing with the excessive wear experienced on the crusher star. The first of which was also proposed by the customer during our first meeting, when they requested that we simply repair and protect the current star crusher using one of our specially manufactured wires.


Rapid deterioration of fertiliser star arms


Restoration of the crusher star using wire from Welding Alloys hardface range


Doubled the lifetime of the fertiliser stars

The second solution proposed by our team was more extensive and involved the manufacturing of new stars, which would then be protected by our specialist wire, called HARDFACE STAINCARBW. This option has been proved to greatly prolong the life of crusher stars within the fertiliser industry and reduce the effects of wear to a minimum.

On this occasion, the customer opted to proceed with repairing the original crusher star through the use of our Cast NICI wire as a buffer layer and finishing with our HARDFACE NICARBW wire, featuring a composite deposit containing tungsten carbide particles in a nickel-boron-silicon matrix. This product has been proven to be highly effective where abrasion and corrosion are combined mechanisms of wear and used on many of our projects within the fertiliser industry. This particular wire is designed with tungsten carbide grains embedded in a corrosion-resistant, nickel-based matrix for maximum protection against corrosion. The surface of the wire then roughens under the effects of wear, which protects the deposit from attack by coarser particles.

The newly repaired and protected star was put back into use which resulted in the lifespan doubling to that of the original star, from 7 – 10 days to 20 – 25 days. The customer was very impressed with the new resistance to wear of their component, the improved lifetime, and reduction in downtime and related costs.

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