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25 October 2023

The Role of Hard Metal Submersible Pumps in Mining

Why Does The Mining Sector Use Submersible Pumps?

Hard metal submersible slurry pumps play a pivotal role within the mining industry. They carry out many tasks to maintain operations and avoid downtime. Hard metal submersible slurry pumps are best known for their safety features. This depends on the pump type, benefits and features. 

Why Submersible Pumps are Sought-After in the Mining Industry

A slurry is a liquid with solid particles. Slurry pumps are hardier than other pump types and can transport a wide range of fluids. AxFlow Liquid Transfer offers a wide selection of slurry pumps. These have the capability of handling abrasive, viscous, and gentle fluids. Their designs are robust and used in a wide range of industries. Some of these include the food sector, paint and paper production, and the mining industry. They are excellent for handling oil, pulp and slurry. Besides the robust construction, submersible pumps have other unique features. Manufacturers have engineered hard metal submersible pumps, especially for these harsh environments.

Another feature that mining operators look for in pumps is durability. Pumps in mining need to handle large, abrasive, solid materials. Solid materials should not clog components or cause breakdowns. The aim is to avoid valuable downtime and loss of productivity.

Examples of materials that slurry pumps handle include mineral slurries, mud, abrasive materials, and tailings. They are all materials that many other pump types cannot tackle. Slurry pumps transport viscous fluids efficiently, and submerging them yields the best results. These are some of the many reasons why submersible pumps are the number one choice within the mining sector.

9 Key Features of Hard Metal Submersible Pumps:

Factors such as slurry type and distance for transportation determine pump type. Other factors determining pump type include flow rate and pressure. Proper maintenance and monitoring ensure pumps operate at their best in challenging mining environments.

1. Robust Construction

Manufacturers make submersible pumps from hard metal alloys like high-chrome iron. The wear-resistant materials can withstand harsh and abrasive mining slurries.

2. Fully Submersible Design

Manufacturers design these pumps for full submersion in the slurry. This minimises the risk of cavitation. The design enhances efficiency. Typically, floats or a guide rail system suspend the pumps.

3. Submersible Pumps are Resistant to Abrasion

Metal submersible slurry pumps for the mining industry need hard metal components. The reason is hard metal components make them highly resistant to wear. The result is longevity under the harshest mining applications in South Africa and mines across the globe.

4. Submersible Pumps Ensure Flow Rates are High

The need for moving large quantities of mining slurry from one point to the next is an essential function in mining. Manufacturers create submersible pumps to handle solid particles resulting in high flow rates as the pumping chamber does not clog.

5. Modern Submersible Pumps Offer Variable Speeds

Most modern submersible slurry pumps have variable speed controls. Variable speeds optimise pump performance and are energy efficient.

6. Hard Metal Submersible Pumps for Mining are Easily Maintained

Submersible pump suppliers in South Africa ensure the pumps are easy to maintain. Parts are easily accessible for replacement and servicing.

7. Safety is of Paramount Importance in the Mining Sector

Pump manufacturers have equipped hard metal submersible pumps with safety features. Features like automatic shut-off prevents overheating or overloading.

8. Hard Metal Submersible Pumps are Versatile

Submersible pumps are a popular choice as they are versatile. Some applications they are suited to include mineral processing, tailings transport, and underground mine drainage. We use them for dewatering and mineral processing.

9. Specific Customising is Important

Pump suppliers offer a range of pump sizes and configurations. The wide range of pump sizes will fit specific requirements to suit the unique needs of mining operations. Selecting the correct type and pump size for specific applications is imperative.

Factors such as slurry type and distance for transportation determine pump type. Other factors determining pump type include flow rate and pressure. Proper maintenance and monitoring ensure pumps operate at their best in challenging mining environments.

How Does a Centrifugal Slurry Pump Work?

Centrifugal slurry pumps are favoured for their straightforward cleaning and maintenance, primarily due to their innovative casing design.

The casing of these pumps is ingeniously engineered to create cavities, which are integral to the pump’s operation. These cavities serve as vital conduits for efficiently moving the liquid from the suction end to the discharge end. The carefully designed casing ensures that the slurry is effectively transported, making centrifugal slurry pumps a reliable choice for various industrial applications.

Why Manufacturers Make Slurry Pumps from Hard Metals?

  1. Slurry pumps tackle difficult slurry, sandy and sludgy materials daily. Manufacturers engineer these pumps for difficult applications. Operators apply slurry pumps to mineral processing, steel production, and mud transfer. Other applications include hydraulic fracking, lime slurry, and fly ash amongst others.
  2. Durable pumps are essential to ensure the continuation of production lines and longevity. They minimise maintenance, repairs, and downtime costs. The hard metal parts ensure longer production times. Chrome iron protects and prevents abrasions that could wear down components. Agitators prevent the settling of solid materials, thus preventing clogging.
  3. Easily replaceable wear plates enable continued performance for longer periods.
  4. The impeller features a slurry-type, semi-open design to handle abrasive slurries.
  5. It is important that the motor insulation offers integral amperage and temperature overload protection. Slurry pumps require double silicon carbide mechanical seals. These are in separate oil-filled seal chambers. The heavy-duty lip seals protect the seal chamber from migrating solids. 
  6. Top discharge designs are portable and robust. They are not easily damaged during rough handling. The slim design is a perfect fit for tight spots. This is more so than other pump types.
Group-Slurry Pumps

6 Slurry Pump Benefits for the Mining Sector:

You need to perform pump maintenance tasks on varying schedules. Some are routine, while others are quarterly or annual.

1. Efficient Material Transport:

Slurry pumps excel in moving abrasive and viscous materials, such as ore, minerals, and tailings, efficiently and over long distances, reducing manual labour and improving operational efficiency.

2. Reduced Downtime: 

Their robust construction and wear-resistant materials result in extended service life and reduced downtime for maintenance, contributing to uninterrupted mining operations.

3. Cost-Effective:

Slurry pumps are a cost-effective choice as they are durable, have low maintenance requirements, and are capable of handling high volumes of material, thereby saving on operational costs.

4. Minimized Environmental Impact:

Slurry pumps help in containing and transporting potentially hazardous or polluting materials, minimizing the environmental impact of mining operations.

5. Versatility:

They are adaptable to various mining applications, including dewatering, ore transportation, and processing, making them a versatile tool for mining companies.

6. Improved Safety:

Slurry pumps aid in keeping the mining environment safer by reducing manual handling of heavy materials and minimizing the risks associated with material spillage.

These benefits make slurry pumps indispensable in the mining sector, where the efficient handling of abrasive and challenging materials is critical to overall productivity and safety.

Find Out from AxFlow AQS Liquid Transfer Which Pump is Best Suited to Your Operation

Contact AxFlow AQS Liquid Transfer on +27 12 548 7204 today to find out more about hard metal submersible pumps within the mining sector. Alternatively, fill out our enquiry form. Our team of professionals is ready to help you with the most advanced information about mining pumps and which one is best suited to your operation. 

Do you still have questions? Give our AQS Liquid Transfer team a call on +27 12 548 7204 or fill out our enquiry form, our friendly team will get back to you with first-hand expertise on how to select a borehole pump for your needs.

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