Salmo River Valley Historical Mining Exhibit
Typically made of cast iron or steel, flywheels were large, heavy discs mounted on a shaft and connected to the machinery via a belt or chain drive system. Their primary function was to regulate the rotational speed of engines, pumps, crushers, and other mechanical devices used in mining operations.
Flywheels were commonly used in conjunction with steam engines or internal combustion engines to convert intermittent power sources into steady rotational motion. By storing energy during periods of excess power and releasing it during periods of high demand or fluctuating power supply, flywheels helped to stabilize the operation of machinery, reducing vibration, and ensuring smoother operation. Additionally, flywheels acted as a mechanical buffer, absorbing and dampening sudden changes in load or torque, thereby protecting the machinery from damage and prolonging its lifespan.
One of the significant applications of flywheelswas in stamp mills used for crushing ore. In a stamp mill, flywheels were often connected to the cams or eccentric shafts that lifted and dropped heavy stamps onto the ore to crush it.