Excerpt from the September 2022 Pumps & Systems Article by the Hydraulic Institute
One common mining industry pump is a centrifugal slurry pump.
What types of pumps are used in the mining industry?
When mining ore to extract useful minerals from the earth, pump systems are depended on to make sure that day-to-day operation runs efficiently. There are numerous types of pumps that are utilized in the mining industry.
One common type of pump is a centrifugal slurry pump, which is suitable for pumping liquid containing solids. Slurry is a mixture of solids (specific gravity typically greater than in a liquid carrier, usually water.
The following are slurry characteristics:
- Slurries are often used to transport solids.
- Properties of the solids and the liquid, as well as the number of solids, are variable.
- The solids particle size may vary from a few micrometers to hundreds of millimeters.
- Depending upon size, solids tend to settle below different threshold transport velocities.
- Slurry may behave like a Newtonian or non-Newtonian fluid.
- It may be abrasive and/or corrosive depending on the composition.
Slurry pumps (Image 1) are typically used to transport slurries with specific gravities up to 5.3 and solids concentration between 2% and 50% by volume.
Slurries with solids of wood, paper, specialized chemical particulates, wastewater and other organic materials also exist but are not the focus of this article.
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