How AODD Pumps Can Satisfy All Demands in Mining Operations

Mining is considered one of the world’s oldest industries, tracing its roots back to those prehistoric days when somebody grabbed a digging instrument and began burrowing into the ground. In the numerous millennia since, mining has grown into one of many world’s most essential and widespread commercial enterprises, with operations unfold throughout the globe while tasked with recovering an almost inexhaustible list of useful commodities.
In fact, in accordance with the World Mining Congress’s World Mining Data 2020 report, 17.7 billion metric tons of mined products had been recovered in 2018, up from 11.3 billion metric tons in 2000 and practically double the 9.6 billion metric tons in 1985. Asian countries accounted for 58 % 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.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) have been probably the most prolific producers, with their complete fifty one.1 p.c of production more than the remainder of the world mixed.
This implies that the mining business is a robust one, with strong growth anticipated to proceed within the coming years in plenty of regions of the world. It additionally signifies that mining operations will proceed to depend on pumping technologies that provide robust, dependable, and secure service in a quantity of important liquid-handling operations. This white paper will illustrate why optimistic displacement air-operated double-diaphragm (AODD) pumps may be your greatest option for a lot of of these applications.
While mining may seem like nothing more than a rough-and-tumble operation—holes are dug by heavy machinery or with explosives, opening the hidden ode to access from above—there are, actually, many advanced and generally delicate operations that have to be performed correctly if the mining operation is to carry out at its highest level of efficiency.
From a macro standpoint, this requires a pumping expertise that may function reliably in harsh and remote locations, even when submerged, or when tasked with handling particulate-laden liquids or toxic/corrosive products, and also one which is prepared to be maintained and repaired simply so downtime is lessened. The pumps should even be light enough to be manually moved from location to location within the mine itself.
For many years, a well-liked selection for use in these circumstances was centrifugal pumps. While centrifugal pumps are in a position to create the excessive circulate charges that are required, they’ve a selection of operational “pain points” that hamper their use in mining purposes: an lack of ability to self-prime or run dry; special seals wanted to forestall leaks; special linings needed to deal with solids; high motor speeds of as much as 1,800 rpm; and comparatively excessive upkeep necessities and prices, particularly when charged with transferring solid-heavy liquids.
Another popular selection has been the progressive cavity pump, however, like centrifugal pumps, they’ve numerous operational shortcomings. These embrace an incapability to constantly handle liquids with excessive levels of abrasives, which results in elevated upkeep costs, put on on costly stators and rotors that will finally must be changed, and overall greater buy, operating, and repair/replacement prices.
Here are a number of the particular liquid-transfer operations that happen in a mine and the ways that some pump technologies can fall brief in satisfying them:
Mine dewatering: Removing extra produced water from the mine is a critical 24/7/365 operation and the water that’s recovered is commonly filled with particulates that might be as large as zero.12 to 0.sixteen inches in dimension. If used on this utility, centrifugal pumps require special supplies of construction, which can be cost prohibitive, to guard against impeller wear caused by the abrasive particles. Centrifugal pumps are additionally not dry-run capable, which adversely affects their stage of efficiency in this software.
General service: For widespread liquid-handling applications, you want an easy-to-operate pump that reliably can run dry, strip traces, function at low speeds while still delivering high flow charges, and be easy to take care of 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 sometimes calls for a need to use particular mechanical seals, which might result in exorbitant maintenance, repair, and alternative costs.
Press filter: Press filters are used to wash the liquids that are produced in the mines and, again, centrifugal pumps can fall short in this utility because the solid-laden liquid can harm the pump’s internals except particular, dearer supplies of construction or linings are used. Also, the nature of press-filter operation creates a strong discharge-pressure variation that may pressure the centrifugal pump to operate away from its best efficiency level (BEP), leading to high vibration and radial loads that can lead to shortened service life. A solution to that is the incorporation of variable frequency drives (VFDs) and controllers, however these are costly and may negatively affect the cost-effectiveness of the operation.
Product transfer: This is out there 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 compounds which would possibly be required. In every occasion, there is the danger that the pump might be compelled to run dry as the truck or storage vessel is emptied, while discharge-pressure variation also can generate excessive vibration and radial masses. As previously illustrated, centrifugal pumps can not run dry, so that they need protection from this situation or the addition of special seals. However, all of these upgrades nonetheless can not totally defend towards a catastrophic failure.
While centrifugal pumps—despite their popularity—have confirmed to not be the best resolution in lots of liquid-handling applications in mining, one pump know-how that has confirmed to be an optimum choice is AODD—in phrases of maximizing reliability, cost-effectiveness, ease of operation and upkeep, and security for mining personnel and the surroundings.
AODD pumps are capable of carry out successfully in mining purposes as a result of their methodology of operation permits them to easily handle variable move rates and pressures, whereas being dry-run and line-stripping capable, and nimble sufficient to transfer liquids that are shear-sensitive or high-viscosity, as properly as slurries laden with rocks, pebbles, and different particulates.
The simple design of the AODD pump features few shifting parts and comparably lower speeds than other pump technologies, which improves reliability and simplifies maintenance, whereas the pump’s seal-less development ends in fewer leaks, which is a crucial consideration when dealing with the many hard-to-seal, corrosive, or hazardous liquids which 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, whereas a massive selection of elastomers can be used in the diaphragms, which eliminates many chemical-compatibility issues.
A extensive number of AODD pump configurations present operational flexibility that can also lead to optimized performance at many ranges. The capability to characteristic AODD pumps in a variety of functions, from basic general use to delicate chemical-handling processes, permits operators to more cost-effectively outfit their mines. AODD pumps can additionally be more value effective to operate, particularly these fashions that are outfitted with a next-generation mechanically actuated air distribution system (ADS). At their most basic, AODD pumps excel within the typical rugged and harsh working conditions found within the world’s mines, which reduces breakdown incidents along with corresponding downtime and restore costs.
Specifically, Wilden, whose founder, Jim Wilden, conceived the AODD pumping principle sixty-five years in the past, has been dedicated to creating technologies that meet the needs of mining operations. Today, Wilden presents three AODD pump models that are built to excel in mining applications, obtainable in ductile iron, forged iron, aluminum, polypropylene and Kynar materials of building:
Brahma® Series: The Brahma pumps, which characteristic a bolted configuration, have been built to be used in functions that require the handling of liquids that includes giant solids. The Brahma pumps have a novel top-inlet/bottom-discharge circulate orientation and flap valves that allow the passage of enormous solids with no danger that harm will happen because of product entrapment or the settling of solids throughout the pump’s inside flow paths. Brahma pumps can be found 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 as much as 60 percent. Secure 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 as a lot as one hundred twenty five psi with solids-handling capability starting from 2 to three inches.
Stallion® Series: The Stallion pumps feature a clamped design with carrying handles for light-weight portability. Their design features massive inside clearances and flow-through paths for easy passage of enormous solids with no chance for clogging. An altered ball/seat check-valve meeting further permits solids passage, while a polyurethane display 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 that includes the Turbo-Flo ADS, Wilden’s most sturdy ADS design for the toughest environments. Flow charges amongst the six models range from 57 gallons per minute to 232 gallons per minute at working pressures as a lot as one hundred twenty five psi. Solids sizes that might be dealt with range from half to 1 inch.
Pro-Flo SHIFT Series: Pro-Flo SHIFT pumps characteristic clamped or bolted configuration. Their design features different chamber materials, together with steel and plastics, even Kynar, which is able to dealing with high ranges of abrasive materials. The Pro-Flo SHIFT can be probably the most environment friendly AODD pump out there, able to lowering as a lot as 60 p.c air consumption. This makes it the best suited choice for dealing with corrosive and abrasive products in mining processes. The pumps have a product vary that goes from 1.5 to 3 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 supplies, similar to Wil-Flex™ (Santoprene®), Geolast®, Polyurethane, Buna-N®, EPDM, Neoprene, FKM, and PTFE. This diaphragm vary provides users the widest selection of diaphragms in the marketplace, all of which are capable of offering extended imply time between failure (MTBF) for optimized uptime with reduced maintenance, restore, and replacement costs.
All of these capabilities make AODD pumps the best choice for the aforementioned common liquid-handling purposes in mining: dewatering, general service, corrosive-handling, filter press, and day by day product transfer.
In abstract, Wilden AODD pumps are the most suitable choice for mining functions as a end result of they provide considerable operational advantages, like comparable low-speed operation, dry-run, line-stripping, self-priming, and deadhead capability, along with elevated operational security and a reduction in maintenance/repair prices that can be incurred by pumps that are not designed to deal with abrasive/corrosive or solid-laden liquids.
Wilden AODD pumps additionally outperform other AODD technologies in different vital methods: easy design with the bottom variety of components for faster, easier, and safer repairs and the lowest variety of spare components to inventory; latest improvements in supplies of construction that increase the pump’s MTBF; and improved effectivity through the utilization of the Pro-Flo SHIFT ADS, which finally leads to faster product switch with lower air consumption. Wilden also continues to innovate via the event of the next-generation Chem-Fuse and EZ-Install diaphragms, each of which enhance service life and security while not compromising the handling of challenging liquids.
Fernando Meneses is the regional manager North Latin America for Wilden, a number one manufacturer of air-operated double-diaphragm (AODD) pumps. He may be reached at Wilden is a product brand of PSG®, a Dover firm. PSG is comprised of several leading pump companies, including Abaque®, All-Flo™, Almatec®, Blackmer®, Ebsray, em-tec®, Griswold®, Hydro™, Mouvex®, Neptune®, Quantex™, Quattroflow®, RedScrew™, and Wilden®. For extra information, go to or

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