Application Guide for Slurry Pumps – How To Use Slurry Pumps Efficiently

January 01, 2020

Slurry pumps are dominantly popular for their robust construction and the ability to work under strenuous situations. The process industry mainly works with centrifugal pumps and the ratio between slurry and other pumps for liquid is nearly 5:95. But if you take a look at the operating costs for these pumps, the ratio turns nearly upside down with 80:20 which explains the wide popularity of slurry pumps.


Introduction To Slurry Pumps
A slurry pump is a unique type of a pump which is used to handle slurry. Contrary to water pumps, slurry pumps are heavy-duty constructed and undergo more wear and tear. Technically, slurry pumps are a heavy and robust version of centrifugal pumps that have the capability of handling abrasive and tough tasks.
As compared to other pumps, slurry pumps have a much simpler design and construction. Despite an elementary design, slurry pumps offer high endurance and strength under harsh conditions. These forms of pumps play a crucial role in various industries. They are fundamental to all wet processes.



What is Slurry?

In principle, it is possible to hydro transport any solid. Particle size and shape, however, may act as limiting factors based on whether they can pass through pump tubes without creating blockages. Under the broad category of slurry, there are 4 major classifications that can help you identify a suitable type of slurry pump that fulfills your demands and meets your business requirements.

  • Type 1: Mildly Abrasive
  • Type 2: Slightly Abrasive
  • Type 3: Significantly More Abrasive
  • Type 4: Highly Abrasive


If you want to move highly abrasive type 4 slurries, the ideal choice would be Oil sand pumps. The ability to handle high volumes of slurry and the enhanced withstanding capability is what gives an edge to slurry pumps. They are specifically designed to hydrotransport large-particle solids and ensure better wear performance in rough conditions.
Four centrifugal slurry pump types
Although centrifugal slurry pumps are widely known for their uses in oil sands, many of them have additional uses as well.
Hydrotransport — Hydrotransport pumps are used for plenty of applications because moving slurry is hydrotransport. The ideal way to use these slurry pumps is with water-based solutions. They are mostly used in industries which require dredging.
Tailings Transfer — Tailings Transfer pumps are the perfect type of pumps to transport tailings or finer abrasive materials resulting from hard rock mining, such as fragments of mud and ore, as well as related chemicals used in the mining process.
Cyclone Feed — Cyclone feed pumps, like tailings pumps, are also used in hard rock mining and are comparable to hydrotransport pumps as they are also used in dredging operations. These forms of pumps are used at all stages of scalping and separating solids by particle size.
Flotation Froth — A slurry pump can also be used for transporting froth, however the air trapped in the froth can negatively impact the pump’s performance. Even though slurry pumps are built with a sturdy construction, the air contained in the froth can damage the pump and shorten its life. But, with proper preventive measures of centrifugal pumps, you can reduce the wear and tear of the pump.

Working principle
Slurry pumps have a simple and robust construction. The working principle of a slurry pump is relatively much simpler and easier to follow than other pumps.
The slurry enters the pump through the rotating impeller which imparts a circular motion. The slurry is then pushed outwards by the centrifugal force and moves between the blades of the impeller. The slurry picks up speed by the time it hits the impeller’s edge. Its high-speed energy is converted into pressure energy in the casing.
With the assistance of centrifugal force, the pumps boost the pressure of a liquid and solid particles transforming the electrical energy to kinetic energy to pump the slurry. This system allows pumping of light slurry liquids easily without much hassle and keeps it maintenance free
Benefits of Slurry Pump for Industrial applications
  • Easy maintenance
  • Low capital costs
  • Simple mechanism
  • Robust machinery
  • Stainless steel material to reduce wear and tear


Selection of Slurry Pumps
The selection of the right pumps for specific slurries can help pump owners avoid unnecessary repairs, maintenance, related downtime and wear of the machinery. In addition to this, proper pump selection and application helps create a safer work environment for employees, ensuring a secured workplace where they can work easily without worrying about life threatening conditions in case of an improper installation.
The best slurry pumps to choose for your business is the one that serves your purpose. Choosing a slurry pump depends on many factors. While selecting a slurry pump for your company, you have to analyse pump curves to identify the best option.
One of the most important things to remember while selecting a slurry pump is to make sure to choose a pump that can operate as slowly as possible to reduce wear, bust fast enough to move the slurry through it efficiently without settling or clogging in the pipes.
Given that these pumps have high endurance and longer wear lives, they can be used across different industries for a wide range of purposes. The most used method for selection of slurry pumps is to calculate the Total Dynamic Head for the particular application:
Total Dynamic Head = Head due to friction loses + Static Head – Head due to submergence
If you are still confused about which pump to choose for your business goals, feel free to reach out to us at sales@tftpumps.com With decades of experience of working with centrifugal pumps in the industry and a team of professionals on board, we help businesses design and implement their strategic goals.
Right from identifying the ideal pump for your company, to installing it, running regular performance checks, evaluating its efficiency levels for detection of faulty components, and helping with as simple or as complex issues, we will help you do it all.

Applications of Slurry Pumps
Slurry pumps are the most preferred choice for a broad spectrum of purposes. Boosting pressure, pumping water for domestic requirements, supplying water to different areas, hot water circulation, regulating boiler water, sewage drainage and assisting fire protection systems, are among the most common applications of slurry pumps.

Metallic & Industrial Minerals

Pumps for grinding circuits
We have a collection of specifically designed pumps that can be used for grinding circuits. You can check our entire range of products here. For particles with size below 5mm, it is recommended to use a rubber slurry pump. If possible, mix flows that contain fine and coarse particles together for enhanced stability of the slurry.
Pumps for froth
This range is specially built for froth pumping. Slurry pumps that are used for froth pumping often undergo severe abrasion and damage caused due to the air trapped in the froth, but we ensure that proper preventive measures are taken to avoid any faulty elements or decreased output efficiency.
Pumps for tailing
Depending on the particle size of the slurry, both metal and rubber pumps can be used for tailing. To know more about how to choose an ideal slurry pump for your organization, you can talk to our professionals who can carry out an on-site inspection, note down all your requirements and help you in choosing the right pump for your business needs.
Pumps for pressure filter feed
Choose a high head pump with variable speed control for pressure filter feed. Avoid using rubber due to the low flow head build up.
Pumps for tube press feed
Metal pumps are more suitable for tube press feed as they have a high head with small flow. One slurry pumps can feed multiple tubes using a slurry distribution ring.
Vertical and Horizontal Slurry Pumps for hydrocyclone feed
Tank pumps are considered as dry installed pumps, they are a kind of vertical slurry pumps that can be effectively used for dewatering cyclones. For a sharp classification, you can use horizontal slurry pumps which are often called as dry mounted because the drive unit and the hydraulic end are located outside the sump.
Pumps for floor sumps
Slurry pumps can also be used for floor sumps. Make sure to use pumps with metallic wear parts, as there is often a risk for oversized tramp material coming into floor sumps. However, if rubber must be used, put a strainer either in front of the pump or around the pump.

Construction

Pumps for wash water (sand and gravel)
Usually, vertical pumps are more preferable for wash water but you can also use horizontal pumps of a suitable range that serves your purpose.
Pumps for sand transportation
Slurry pumps are heavily used for sand transportation. The ideal choice is mostly horizontal pumps with rubber lining.
Pumps for tunnel dewatering
Since the front pumps use drainage pumps, the best choice for the initial transportation stage is vertical pumps. But, the selection of a slurry pump for tunnel dewatering depends on multiple factors such as cuttings from full-face boring, horizontal distant pumping, small tunnels, etc.

Power & FGD

Pumps for FGD reactor feed (lime)
You can use slurry pumps with either rubber and/or metal parts. They perform extremely well in FGD reactor feeds.
Bottom ash pumping
Because of the high temperatures involved, metal slurry pumps are preferred over rubber pumps. The sturdy built of the pumps allows it to withstand strong temperatures with minimal damage and abrasion.
Fly ash pumping
There are high chances of oil contamination in the process of ash pumping. Metal slurry pumps are used over rubber for this application as they lower the risk of oil contamination. However, if rubber must be used, look for any other oil or chemicals that are not reactive with rubber.

Waste and Recycling

Pumps for effluent handling
Go for metal pumps for effluent handling of the waste and recycling materials. You can use either vertical or horizontal slurry pumps, as per your needs.
Hydraulic transportation of light waste
Prefer using horizontal slurry pumps with vortex-induced flow impellers.
Pumps for soil treatment
Slurry pumps are highly efficient in soil treatment. Owing to their robust construction, they can withstand extreme temperatures and rough climate change as well.

Chemical

Pumps for acid slurries
The ideal suggestion of slurry pumps for dealing with acid slurries is horizontal pumps with rubber or stainless steel.
Pumps for brines
Brines are usually highly abrasive and can potentially damage pumps, this is why slurry pumps are the best option to choose when working with brines. Substances like polyurethane can be used to prevent crystallization on the pump parts.
Pumps for caustics
Both rubber and metal slurry pumps can be used for working with caustics as it is an easy and light application.

Mining

Pumps for hydraulic backfilling
Keep a close watch for any deslimed tailings. You can use metal slurry pumps with metal or rubber parts for hydraulic back filing with or without cement.
Pumps for mine water (with solids)
For mine water, use horizontal slurry pumps. Make sure you take preventive measures to avoid corrosion in the slurry pump as it can reduce the efficiency of the pump and damage its components.

Pulp & Paper

Pumps for liquors
Slurry pumps are well suitable for liquors, however, rubber is not recommended due to the risk of turpentine.
Pumps for lime and caustic mud
Working with lime and caustic mud involves high temperatures which can be tolerated by slurry pumps. Since the temperatures are high, it is recommended to use metal slurry pumps instead of rubber.
Pumps for reject pulp (containing sand)
Usually, this requires light duty pumps, but it is advised to use metal slurry pumps that can handle heavy flow and provide strong support to the slurry passing through it.
Pumps for solids from debarking
Use metal slurry pumps with induced flow impeller for sand and bark as they have the potential to cause heavy abrasion.
Pumps for hydraulic transportation of wood chips
The best option to use for hydraulic transportation of wood chips is induced flow pumps.
Pumps for paper filler and coating slurry
Avoid using rubber pumps as they can cause color contamination which can affect the entire production. Instead, go for metal slurry pumps that can be easily used for paper filler and coating slurry.

Takeaway

Slurry pumps are widely popular pumps that are used for handling robust and difficult tasks as they have sturdy construction. They can work efficiently in harsh conditions and are widely used across different industries for plenty of applications.
Slurry Pumps can be used in the following industries:
  • Metallic & Industrial Minerals
  • Construction
  • Power & FGD
  • Waste and Recycling
  • Chemical
  • Mining
  • Pulp & Paper

If you want to know more about how to select the best centrifugal pump for your business needs or need an extra hand with the maintenance of your pumps, we are here to help you. TFT pumps has been working for decades in this industry. With an experienced team of skilled employees and trained members, we assist companies to expand their business areas and reach their goals.
Our services cover a wide range of aspects – from selecting the ideal pump for your needs to installing the machinery system properly, conducting regular maintenance checks and providing affordable annual maintenance contracts (AMC), we help organizations work efficiently with high performance.
To know more about our quotation or book a service, please contact us via email at sales@tftpumps.comor call us at 95974 38001