A Newbie’s Guide To Pumping Slurry

If you happen to’ve ever pumped slurry, you know that it might be probably the most challenging fluids to move. It is abrasive, thick, generally corrosive, and accommodates high quantities of solids. No doubt about it, slurry is hard on pumps. However the more you understand about what you are pumping, the better your pump choice becomes, setting you up for longer mean time between failure.

WHAT IS A “SLURRY”?

Slurry is any mixture of fluid, like water, and a pulverized solid. Slurries are used as a handy way to deal with solids in bulk in mining, metal processing, foundries, power generation, and most not too long ago, the Frac Sand mining industry. Slurries typically behave the identical way as thick, viscous fluids, flowing under gravity, but also pumped as needed.

Slurries are divided into normal classes: non-settling or settling. Non-settling slurries encompass very fine particles, which give the illusion of elevated apparent viscosity. These slurries normally have low wearing properties, however do require very careful consideration when choosing the correct pump because they do not behave in the same method as a traditional liquid does.

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

Choosing the proper pump for slurries is critical to get essentially the most bang to your buck. Primary pump elements, such because the impeller size and design, materials of construction, and discharge configurations must be considered to ensure the pump will hold up towards the wear caused by an abrasive slurry. Slurry pumps are typically bigger in size when compared to low-viscosity liquid pumps and often 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, similar to how a water-like liquid would move by a normal centrifugal pump.

f you’ve gotten expertise pumping slurries, you know it’s not a straightforward task. Slurries are heavy and tough to pump. They cause extreme 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 problem to make slurry pumps last for a reasonable quantity of time. But, there are a couple of things you are able to do to increase the life of your slurry pump and make pumping slurry less of a challenge.

Find the candy spot that enables the pump to run as slow as doable (to reduce wear), however fast sufficient to keep solids from settling and clogging the lines

To reduce wear, lower the pump’s discharge pressure to the bottom level doable

Comply with proper piping rules to ensure a continuing and uniform delivery of the slurry to the pump

Pumping slurries poses a number of challenges and problems, but with proper engineering and equipment choice you can experience a few years of worry-free operation. It’s important to work with a qualified engineer when deciding on a slurry pump because slurries can wreak havoc on a pump if not properly selected.

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