Transport Moisture Limit (TML) Testing
Since 1988 over 20 incidents of liquefaction of solid bulk cargoes in transit are suspected of having caused bulk carriers to capsize. The resulting loss of lives and resources called for a review of the international maritime legislation concerning the export of metal ores and concentrates.
In 2011, ATC Williams was contacted by exporters of metal ores and concentrates to perform testing to determine the Flow Moisture Point (FMP) and identify the Transportable Moisture Limit (TML) of materials that the International Maritime Organization (IMO) had recently listed as Group A cargo (cargo which may liquefy in transit) in the International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes (IMSBC) Code.
Our laboratory has worked toward perfecting and further developing the Flow Table and Proctor/Fagerberg tests outlined in the IMSBC code. NATA accreditation was obtained for in-house developed test methods while testing a wide range of ores and concentrates, such as iron ore fines, copper, zinc, lead, nickel, gold, bauxite, manganese, mineral sand concentrate, and coal.
Routine TML testing on samples of iron ore fines for several iron ore exporters is conducted. Testing has included the determination of Particle Density (SG) in accordance with AS1289 and the Proctor/Fagerberg C and D hammer procedures to determine the TML in accordance with Appendix 2 of the IMSBC Code.
ATC Williams proudly contributed to developing the Modified Proctor/Fagerberg D Hammer Test, which is now the accepted method for determining the TML of iron ore fines in accordance with IMSBC Code – Appendix 2.
Laboratory testing programs investigate the TML of manganese ore, typically classified by the Particle Size Distribution (PSD), Particle Density (SG), Proctor/Fagerberg TML and the Flow Table FMP and TML tests. Samples tested include various material types from ‘run of mine’ to fine-grade material. Flow Table and Proctor/Fagerberg TML tests have allowed a better understanding of the material’s behaviour under different density conditions.
In 2014, a proficiency testing program assisted in the development of a laboratory test method for the determination of the TML of Coal. The Modified Proctor/Fagerberg Method for Coal was completed and submitted to the Australian Maritime Safety Authority, and added to Appendix 2 of the IMSBC Code.
ATC Williams now performs TML testing for commercial coal exporters and holds NATA accreditation for the Modified Proctor/Fagerberg Method for Coal.
The development and receipt of NATA accreditation for the new TML test methods assist our clients in safely transporting valuable mineral resources worldwide. This contributes to economic growth, saving lives, and protecting our marine environment from potential contamination.