A Beginner’s Guide To Pumping Slurry

If you happen to’ve ever pumped slurry, you know that it might be one of the crucial challenging fluids to move. It’s abrasive, thick, sometimes corrosive, and comprises high amounts of solids. Little doubt about it, slurry is tough on pumps. However the more you understand about what you are pumping, the better your pump choice turns into, setting you up for longer mean time between failure.


Slurry is any mixture of fluid, like water, and a pulverized solid. Slurries are used as a convenient way to handle solids in bulk in mining, steel processing, foundries, energy generation, and most not too long ago, the Frac Sand mining industry. Slurries generally behave the identical way as thick, viscous fluids, flowing under gravity, but additionally pumped as needed.

Slurries are divided into general classes: non-settling or settling. Non-settling slurries include very fine particles, which give the phantasm of increased apparent viscosity. These slurries normally have low wearing properties, however do require very careful consideration when choosing the best pump because they don’t behave in the same manner as a standard liquid does.

Settling slurries are fashioned by coarse particles that are likely to type an unstable mixture. Particular attention must be given to flow and energy calculations when selecting a pump. The majority of slurry applications are made up of coarse particles and because of this, have higher wear properties.

Choosing the right pump for slurries is critical to get essentially the most bang to your buck. Primary pump elements, such as the impeller dimension and design, materials of building, and discharge configurations should be considered to make sure the pump will hold up against the wear caused by an abrasive slurry. Slurry pumps are typically larger in dimension when compared to low-viscosity liquid pumps and usually require more horsepower to operate because they’re less efficient. Bearings and shafts have to be more rugged and rigid as well.

Many types of pumps are used for pumping slurries, however the most typical slurry pump is the centrifugal pump (pictured above). The centrifugal slurry pump uses the centrifugal force generated by a rotating impeller to impact kinetic energy to the slurry, just like how a water-like liquid would move by way of a normal centrifugal pump.

f you could have expertise pumping slurries, you know it’s not a straightforward task. Slurries are heavy and tough to pump. They cause excessive wear on pumps and their elements and are known to clog suction and discharge lines if not moving fast enough. Most importantly, it’s a challenge to make slurry pumps last for a reasonable quantity of time. But, there are a number of things you can do to extend the lifetime of your slurry pump and make pumping slurry less of a challenge.

Discover the candy spot that enables the pump to run as sluggish as attainable (to reduce wear), but fast enough to keep solids from settling and clogging the lines

To reduce wear, lower the pump’s discharge pressure to the lowest level attainable

Observe proper piping principles to ensure a relentless and uniform delivery of the slurry to the pump

Pumping slurries poses several challenges and problems, however with proper engineering and equipment choice you can experience many years of worry-free operation. It’s necessary to work with a certified engineer when selecting a slurry pump because slurries can wreak havoc on a pump if not properly selected.

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