Mining is amongst the world’s oldest industries, tracing its roots again to those prehistoric days when somebody grabbed a digging instrument and started burrowing into the bottom. In the numerous millennia since, mining has grown into one of the world’s most essential and widespread commercial enterprises, with operations unfold throughout the globe while tasked with recovering an nearly inexhaustible list of useful commodities.
In truth, based on the World Mining Congress’s World Mining Data 2020 report, 17.7 billion metric tons of mined products have been recovered in 2018, up from eleven.three billion metric tons in 2000 and almost double the 9.6 billion metric tons in 1985. Asian nations accounted for 58 p.c of the 2018 production, with North America second at 15.1 p.c, adopted by Europe (8 percent), Oceania (6.eight percent), Latin America (6.3 percent), and Africa (5.3 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 % of manufacturing more than the the rest of the world mixed.
This implies that the mining industry is a strong one, with stable growth expected to continue within the coming years in lots of regions of the world. It also implies that mining operations will proceed to depend on pumping technologies that offer strong, dependable, and protected service in numerous important liquid-handling operations. This white paper will illustrate why positive displacement air-operated double-diaphragm (AODD) pumps could be the solely option for many of those functions.
While mining would possibly appear to be nothing greater than a rough-and-tumble operation—holes are dug by heavy equipment or with explosives, opening the hidden ode to access from above—there are, in reality, many complex and sometimes delicate operations that should be carried out properly if the mining operation is to carry out at its highest level of efficiency.
From a macro standpoint, this requires a pumping technology that can function reliably in harsh and remote locations, even when submerged, or when tasked with dealing with particulate-laden liquids or toxic/corrosive products, and also one which is ready to be maintained and repaired simply so downtime is lessened. The pumps should also be light enough to be manually moved from location to location throughout the mine itself.
For many years, a well-liked choice to be used in these conditions was centrifugal pumps. While centrifugal pumps are in a place to create the excessive flow rates which are required, they’ve a number of operational “pain points” that hamper their use in mining functions: an incapability to self-prime or run dry; particular seals wanted to prevent leaks; particular linings wanted to deal with solids; excessive motor speeds of as much as 1,800 rpm; and comparatively high upkeep requirements and costs, particularly when charged with transferring solid-heavy liquids.
Another well-liked selection has been the progressive cavity pump, but, like centrifugal pumps, they’ve numerous operational shortcomings. These embrace an inability to constantly handle liquids with excessive levels of abrasives, which leads to increased maintenance costs, put on on expensive stators and rotors that can finally have to be changed, and general higher buy, working, and repair/replacement costs.
Here are some of the specific liquid-transfer operations that take place in a mine and the ways that some pump applied sciences can fall short in satisfying them:
Mine dewatering: Removing excess produced water from the mine is a crucial 24/7/365 operation and the water that’s recovered is commonly full of particulates that can be as giant as zero.12 to zero.sixteen inches in dimension. If used on this utility, centrifugal pumps require particular materials of development, which may be price prohibitive, to protect towards impeller put on caused by the abrasive particles. Centrifugal pumps are also not dry-run succesful, which adversely affects their stage of performance on this utility.
General service: For widespread liquid-handling applications, you want an easy-to-operate pump that reliably can run dry, strip strains, function at low speeds while nonetheless delivering high flow rates, and be straightforward to hold 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 usually demands a need to use special mechanical seals, which might result in exorbitant upkeep, repair, and substitute prices.
Press filter: Press filters are used to scrub the liquids which are produced within the mines and, once more, centrifugal pumps can fall short in this software because the solid-laden liquid can damage the pump’s internals except special, more expensive supplies of building or linings are used. Also, the nature of press-filter operation creates a robust discharge-pressure variation that may force the centrifugal pump to operate away from its finest efficiency level (BEP), leading to excessive vibration and radial masses that may result in shortened service life. A solution to that is the incorporation of variable frequency drives (VFDs) and controllers, however these are expensive and might negatively affect the cost-effectiveness of the operation.
Product transfer: This is available in all forms 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 that are required. In every instance, there is the risk that the pump will be forced to run dry as the truck or storage vessel is emptied, whereas discharge-pressure variation also can generate excessive vibration and radial loads. As previously illustrated, centrifugal pumps cannot run dry, in order that they want protection from this situation or the addition of particular seals. However, all of these upgrades nonetheless can not completely defend in opposition to a catastrophic failure.
While centrifugal pumps—despite their popularity—have confirmed to not be the simplest resolution in many liquid-handling purposes in mining, one pump technology that has proven to be an optimum selection is AODD—in phrases of maximizing reliability, cost-effectiveness, ease of operation and upkeep, and security for mining personnel and the setting.
AODD pumps are capable of carry out successfully in mining purposes because their method of operation permits them to easily handle variable move rates and pressures, whereas being dry-run and line-stripping succesful, and nimble sufficient to transfer liquids which are shear-sensitive or high-viscosity, as well as slurries laden with rocks, pebbles, and different particulates.
The easy design of the AODD pump options few transferring components and comparably decrease speeds than other pump technologies, which improves reliability and simplifies maintenance, while the pump’s seal-less development leads to fewer leaks, which is a crucial consideration when dealing with the various hard-to-seal, corrosive, or hazardous liquids which may be prevalent in a mining operation. AODD pumps are available in both metal (most commonly aluminum, ductile iron and cast iron) and plastic (polypropylene and PVDF) housing constructions, while a big selection of elastomers can be used within the diaphragms, which eliminates many chemical-compatibility issues.
A broad number of AODD pump configurations provide operational flexibility that can also end in optimized performance at many levels. The capability to characteristic AODD pumps in a extensive range of applications, from primary basic use to delicate chemical-handling processes, permits operators to more cost-effectively outfit their mines. AODD pumps can also be less costly to operate, particularly these models which are outfitted with a next-generation mechanically actuated air distribution system (ADS). At their most basic, AODD pumps excel in the typical rugged and harsh operating circumstances discovered within the world’s mines, which reduces breakdown incidents together with corresponding downtime and repair costs.
Specifically, Wilden, whose founder, Jim Wilden, conceived the AODD pumping principle sixty-five years ago, has been devoted to creating applied sciences that meet the wants of mining operations. Today, Wilden provides three AODD pump models that are built to excel in mining purposes, out there in ductile iron, cast iron, aluminum, polypropylene and Kynar materials of building:
Brahma® Series: The Brahma pumps, which feature a bolted configuration, have been built for use in purposes that require the handling of liquids that includes massive solids. The Brahma pumps have a novel top-inlet/bottom-discharge circulate orientation and flap valves that permit the passage of enormous solids with no threat that injury will occur because of product entrapment or the settling of solids throughout 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 scale back air consumption by up to 60 %. The T810 and T1510 fashions are powered by the Turbo-Flo™ ADS, the industry’s first air motor for AODD pumps. The flow-rate range 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 ranging from 2 to 3 inches.
Stallion® Series: The Stallion pumps feature a clamped design with carrying handles for light-weight portability. Their design options large internal clearances and flow-through paths for easy passage of large solids with no likelihood for clogging. An altered ball/seat check-valve assembly further enables solids passage, whereas a polyurethane screen base at the inlet increases the pump’s durability. 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 featuring the Turbo-Flo ADS, Wilden’s most robust ADS design for the hardest environments. Flow rates amongst the six models range from 57 gallons per minute to 232 gallons per minute at working pressures up to a hundred twenty five psi. Solids sizes that can 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 features different chamber supplies, together with metal and plastics, even Kynar, which is capable of handling excessive ranges of abrasive supplies. The Pro-Flo SHIFT is also essentially the most efficient AODD pump out there, able to decreasing as a lot as 60 % air consumption. เกจวัดถังแก๊ส 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 capable of be outfitted with a massive selection of diaphragm styles—including the newer Chem-Fuse, EZ-Install, and Reduced-Stroke models—in a various array of materials, corresponding to Wil-Flex™ (Santoprene®), Geolast®, Polyurethane, Buna-N®, EPDM, Neoprene, FKM, and PTFE. This diaphragm vary gives users the widest choice of diaphragms in the marketplace, all of that are able to providing prolonged mean time between failure (MTBF) for optimized uptime with reduced upkeep, restore, and replacement costs.
All of these capabilities make AODD pumps the perfect selection for the aforementioned widespread liquid-handling functions in mining: dewatering, general service, corrosive-handling, filter press, and every day product switch.
In abstract, Wilden AODD pumps are the best suited choice for mining applications as a outcome of they provide considerable operational advantages, like comparable low-speed operation, dry-run, line-stripping, self-priming, and deadhead capability, together with increased operational safety and a reduction in maintenance/repair prices that can be incurred by pumps that aren’t designed to deal with abrasive/corrosive or solid-laden liquids.
Wilden AODD pumps also outperform different AODD technologies in different vital ways: simple design with the bottom number of components for faster, simpler, and safer repairs and the bottom number of spare components to stock; recent enhancements in materials of building that improve the pump’s MTBF; and improved efficiency through the usage of the Pro-Flo SHIFT ADS, which ultimately results in quicker product transfer with decrease air consumption. Wilden additionally continues to innovate through the event of the next-generation Chem-Fuse and EZ-Install diaphragms, both of which improve service life and safety while not compromising the handling of difficult liquids.
Fernando Meneses is the regional manager North Latin America for Wilden, a leading manufacturer of air-operated double-diaphragm (AODD) pumps. He can be reached at Wilden is a product model of PSG®, a Dover company. PSG is comprised of a number of leading pump firms, including Abaque®, All-Flo™, Almatec®, Blackmer®, Ebsray, em-tec®, Griswold®, Hydro™, Mouvex®, Neptune®, Quantex™, Quattroflow®, RedScrew™, and Wilden®. For more info, visit or