Slurry Pump Installation

Some Typical Applications for a Slurry Pump Installation

In the course of their activities, a surprisingly wide range of industries either produce or involve the use of a fluid-like mixture that is generally described as a slurry. Depending upon just how viscous a given mixture may be, it may either be left to flow under the action of gravity or, if sufficiently thin, some sort of pump installation may be used to transport it. The latter process offers a quicker and more efficient option where these are necessary requirements.

There are numerous applications in which it is necessary to handle these fluid mixtures and, because they tend to vary quite widely in terms of their consistency and their chemical composition, the design of the equipment required to handle them is also inclined to vary. For instance, in the construction industry, a mixture of cement, paste, and coloured pigment suspended in water forms a gel-like mixture that sets quickly and this is useful for making repairs to or smoothing the surfaces of vertical structures.

The coal mining industry produces millions of tonnes of coal slurry each year as a result of both the extraction and washing of coal. As it collects, this waste material must then be transferred to dams for storage and to transport it requires the use of a suitable pump installation.

One application in which the solid component of the fluid mixture may be recovered and re-used following the dewatering process is sewage purification. After the suspension has been pumped to large settlement tanks, it is allowed to separate and then suitably treated. In the process, the resulting sediment of sludge is subjected to bacterial decomposition which deodorises it and renders it suitable for use as a source of natural fertiliser.

Because of their thick consistency, keeping these semi-fluid mixtures on the move poses a number of problems. Apart from wear and tear on moving parts, there is a tendency for both suction and discharge lines to become blocked. Because they vary so much in their consistency, if it is to provide good service, it is important that a slurry pump installation is up to the job. Also, their performance can be improved with a couple of simple precautions. To reduce the risk of wear, they should be run as slowly as possible. However, running them too slowly can lead to settling out and cause clogging, so careful adjustment is necessary to strike a balance. Lowering the discharge pressure and adhering strictly to recommended piping principles will also help to slow the rate of wear and tear on the equipment.

Of the various types of machine that can be used for this purpose, the one that is most commonly employed to handle slurry is the centrifugal pump, which uses a rotating impeller to transfer energy to the suspended mix, first drawing it into the system and the propelling it onwards via the designated output line. Sometimes, two or more impellers may be mounted in series to increase handling capacity.

Water Pump Group is an expert in the supply and installation of high-performance pumps suitable for mining, construction, and dewatering of wastewater and sewage, offering units with flow rates of between 10 000 and 1,5 million litres per hour.



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