Mining is doubtless one of the world’s oldest industries, tracing its roots back to those prehistoric days when someone grabbed a digging instrument and started burrowing into the bottom. In the numerous millennia since, mining has grown into one of many world’s most necessary and widespread business enterprises, with operations spread across the globe whereas tasked with recovering an virtually inexhaustible listing of valuable commodities.
In reality, based on the World Mining Congress’s World Mining Data 2020 report, 17.7 billion metric tons of mined products were recovered in 2018, up from 11.3 billion metric tons in 2000 and practically double the 9.6 billion metric tons in 1985. Asian nations accounted for fifty eight p.c of the 2018 manufacturing, with North America second at 15.1 percent, followed by Europe (8 percent), Oceania (6.8 percent), Latin America (6.three percent), and Africa (5.three percent). Individually, China (23 percent), the United States (12.1 percent), Russia (9.2 percent), and Australia (7.2 percent) had been probably the most prolific producers, with their complete 51.1 p.c of production greater than the rest of the world combined.
This implies that the mining trade is a robust one, with solid growth anticipated to continue in the coming years in plenty of regions of the world. It additionally signifies that mining operations will continue to rely on pumping technologies that provide strong, dependable, and safe service in a quantity of critical liquid-handling operations. This white paper will illustrate why constructive displacement air-operated double-diaphragm (AODD) pumps could be your finest option for a lot of of those purposes.
While mining would possibly look like nothing more than a rough-and-tumble operation—holes are dug by heavy equipment or with explosives, opening the hidden ode to entry from above—there are, in reality, many advanced and typically delicate operations that must be carried out correctly if the mining operation is to perform at its highest stage of efficiency.
From a macro standpoint, this requires a pumping know-how that can function reliably in harsh and remote areas, even when submerged, or when tasked with dealing with particulate-laden liquids or toxic/corrosive merchandise, and in addition one which is ready to be maintained and repaired just so downtime is lessened. The pumps should also be gentle sufficient to be manually moved from location to location throughout the mine itself.
For a few years, a popular selection to be used in these conditions was centrifugal pumps. While centrifugal pumps are able to create the excessive flow rates which are required, they’ve a variety of operational “pain points” that hamper their use in mining applications: an incapability to self-prime or run dry; particular seals needed to forestall leaks; particular linings needed to handle solids; excessive motor speeds of up to 1,800 rpm; and relatively high maintenance necessities and costs, especially when charged with transferring solid-heavy liquids.
Another popular selection has been the progressive cavity pump, however, like centrifugal pumps, they have a selection of operational shortcomings. These embrace an incapability to consistently handle liquids with excessive levels of abrasives, which outcomes in elevated upkeep prices, put on on expensive stators and rotors that will eventually must be changed, and overall larger purchase, working, and repair/replacement costs.
Here are a few of the specific liquid-transfer operations that take place in a mine and the ways that some pump applied sciences can fall brief in satisfying them:
Mine dewatering: Removing extra produced water from the mine is a important 24/7/365 operation and the water that is recovered is commonly stuffed with particulates that can be as large as 0.12 to 0.sixteen inches in measurement. If used in this utility, centrifugal pumps require special materials of construction, which may be price prohibitive, to protect against impeller wear caused by the abrasive particles. Centrifugal pumps are also not dry-run capable, which adversely impacts their stage of performance on this utility.
General service: For common liquid-handling applications, you need an easy-to-operate pump that reliably can run dry, strip strains, function at low speeds while still delivering high flow charges, and be straightforward to maintain up and repair. Centrifugal pumps merely don’t possess these capabilities.
Corrosive liquids: Much like solid-laden liquids, corrosive ones can wreak havoc on the wetted parts of centrifugal and progressive cavity pumps. This typically demands a need to make use of particular mechanical seals, which may result in exorbitant maintenance, repair, and alternative costs.
Press filter: Press filters are used to scrub the liquids which are produced in the mines and, again, centrifugal pumps can fall brief on this software because the solid-laden liquid can injury the pump’s internals until special, costlier materials of building or linings are used. Also, the character of press-filter operation creates a strong discharge-pressure variation that may pressure the centrifugal pump to operate away from its finest efficiency point (BEP), resulting in high vibration and radial hundreds that may result in shortened service life. A solution to that is the incorporation of variable frequency drives (VFDs) and controllers, but these are expensive and might negatively affect the cost-effectiveness of the operation.
Product switch: This is out there in all varieties in a mining operation, from loading and unloading from transport vehicles with new and used oil for the heavy equipment, recent and fouled water, and any chemical substances which are required. In every occasion, there is the chance that the pump might be pressured to run dry because the truck or storage vessel is emptied, whereas discharge-pressure variation can also generate excessive vibration and radial masses. As beforehand illustrated, centrifugal pumps can’t run dry, so that they want safety from this situation or the addition of special seals. However, all of these upgrades still can’t completely defend towards a catastrophic failure.
While centrifugal pumps—despite their popularity—have proven to not be the simplest resolution in lots of liquid-handling purposes in mining, one pump expertise that has confirmed to be an optimum alternative is AODD—in terms of maximizing reliability, cost-effectiveness, ease of operation and upkeep, and safety for mining personnel and the surroundings.
AODD pumps are capable of carry out effectively in mining purposes because their technique of operation permits them to easily handle variable circulate rates and pressures, whereas being dry-run and line-stripping capable, and nimble enough to transfer liquids that are shear-sensitive or high-viscosity, in addition to slurries laden with rocks, pebbles, and different particulates.
The easy design of the AODD pump features few moving parts and comparably decrease speeds than different pump technologies, which improves reliability and simplifies upkeep, whereas the pump’s seal-less building leads to fewer leaks, which is a critical consideration when handling the many hard-to-seal, corrosive, or hazardous liquids that are prevalent in a mining operation. AODD pumps can be found in both metal (most commonly aluminum, ductile iron and cast iron) and plastic (polypropylene and PVDF) housing constructions, while a broad selection of elastomers can be used in the diaphragms, which eliminates many chemical-compatibility concerns.
A extensive number of AODD pump configurations provide operational flexibility that can additionally lead to optimized performance at many levels. The ability to characteristic AODD pumps in a extensive range of purposes, from primary general use to delicate chemical-handling processes, permits operators to more cost-effectively outfit their mines. AODD pumps can additionally be less expensive to function, particularly those models which would possibly be outfitted with a next-generation mechanically actuated air distribution system (ADS). At their most simple, AODD pumps excel within the typical rugged and harsh operating conditions found in the world’s mines, which reduces breakdown incidents along with corresponding downtime and repair costs.
Specifically, Wilden, whose founder, Jim Wilden, conceived the AODD pumping precept sixty-five years in the past, has been dedicated to growing technologies that meet the wants of mining operations. Today, Wilden offers three AODD pump fashions which are built to excel in mining applications, obtainable in ductile iron, cast iron, aluminum, polypropylene and Kynar materials of building:
Brahma® Series: The Brahma pumps, which feature a bolted configuration, have been constructed to be used in applications that require the handling of liquids that includes large solids. The Brahma pumps have a unique top-inlet/bottom-discharge circulate orientation and flap valves that permit the passage of huge solids with no danger that damage will occur on account of product entrapment or the settling of solids within the pump’s inside flow paths. Brahma pumps are available in two models—PS810 (2-inch) and PS1510 (3-inch)—that are outfitted with the revolutionary Pro-Flo® SHIFT ADS, which has been designed to reduce air consumption by as much as 60 percent. The T810 and T1510 fashions are powered by the Turbo-Flo™ ADS, the industry’s first air motor for AODD pumps. The flow-rate vary for the four Brahma pumps is 166 to 258 gallons per minute at pressures up to one hundred twenty five psi with solids-handling functionality starting from 2 to three inches.
Stallion® Series: The Stallion pumps characteristic a clamped design with carrying handles for light-weight portability. Their design features massive inner clearances and flow-through paths for straightforward passage of huge solids with no chance for clogging. An altered ball/seat check-valve assembly additional permits solids passage, while a polyurethane display base at the inlet increases the pump’s sturdiness. The PS4, PS8, and PS15 (1.5-, 2-, and 3-inch) fashions are powered by a Pro-Flo SHIFT ADS, with the T4, T8, and T15 (1.5-, 2-, and 3-inch) pumps that includes the Turbo-Flo ADS, Wilden’s most strong ADS design for the hardest environments. Flow rates amongst the six fashions vary from fifty seven gallons per minute to 232 gallons per minute at working pressures up to a hundred twenty five psi. Solids sizes that could be dealt with vary from half of to 1 inch.
Pro-Flo SHIFT Series: Pro-Flo SHIFT pumps characteristic clamped or bolted configuration. Their design options different chamber materials, including steel and plastics, even Kynar, which is able to handling high levels of abrasive supplies. The Pro-Flo SHIFT can be the most environment friendly AODD pump in the market, able to decreasing up to 60 p.c air consumption. This makes it the best option for dealing with corrosive and abrasive merchandise in mining processes. The pumps have a product range that goes from 1.5 to three inches and flows from 2 to 271 gallons per minute.
All of the Brahma, Stallion, and Pro-Flo SHIFT pumps are in a place to be outfitted with a broad selection of diaphragm styles—including the newer Chem-Fuse, EZ-Install, and Reduced-Stroke models—in a varying array of materials, such as Wil-Flex™ (Santoprene®), Geolast®, Polyurethane, Buna-N®, EPDM, Neoprene, FKM, and PTFE. This diaphragm vary provides users the widest number of diaphragms available on the market, all of which are capable of providing prolonged imply time between failure (MTBF) for optimized uptime with reduced maintenance, restore, and substitute costs.
All of these capabilities make AODD pumps the ideal alternative for the aforementioned widespread liquid-handling functions in mining: dewatering, common service, corrosive-handling, filter press, and every day product switch.
In summary, Wilden AODD pumps are the greatest choice for mining purposes as a result of they provide considerable operational benefits, like comparable low-speed operation, dry-run, line-stripping, self-priming, and deadhead capability, along with elevated operational security and a discount in maintenance/repair costs that could be incurred by pumps that are not designed to deal with abrasive/corrosive or solid-laden liquids.
Wilden AODD pumps additionally outperform different AODD applied sciences in other significant ways: easy design with the lowest variety of elements for quicker, less complicated, and safer repairs and the lowest variety of spare elements to stock; recent improvements in materials of construction that enhance the pump’s MTBF; and improved efficiency via using the Pro-Flo SHIFT ADS, which in the end ends in faster product transfer with lower air consumption. Wilden additionally continues to innovate through the development of the next-generation Chem-Fuse and EZ-Install diaphragms, each of which improve service life and security whereas not compromising the dealing with of challenging liquids.
Fernando Meneses is the regional supervisor North Latin America for Wilden, a quantity one producer of air-operated double-diaphragm (AODD) pumps. He can be reached at Wilden is a product model of PSG®, a Dover firm. PSG is comprised of เกจวัดแรงลม of leading pump corporations, together with Abaque®, All-Flo™, Almatec®, Blackmer®, Ebsray, em-tec®, Griswold®, Hydro™, Mouvex®, Neptune®, Quantex™, Quattroflow®, RedScrew™, and Wilden®. For more information, go to or