How AODD Pumps Can Satisfy All Demands in Mining Operations

Mining is considered one of the world’s oldest industries, tracing its roots again to these prehistoric days when someone grabbed a digging instrument and began burrowing into the bottom. In the numerous millennia since, mining has grown into one of the world’s most important and widespread commercial enterprises, with operations spread across the globe whereas tasked with recovering an virtually inexhaustible listing of useful commodities.
In reality, 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 eleven.3 billion metric tons in 2000 and nearly double the 9.6 billion metric tons in 1985. Asian nations accounted for fifty eight % of the 2018 manufacturing, with North America second at 15.1 percent, followed by Europe (8 percent), Oceania (6.8 percent), Latin America (6.three 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 total 51.1 % of production greater than the rest of the world combined.
This means that the mining industry is a strong one, with stable growth expected to continue in the coming years in plenty of areas of the world. It also means that mining operations will proceed to depend on pumping technologies that supply robust, dependable, and safe service in a quantity of crucial liquid-handling operations. This white paper will illustrate why positive displacement air-operated double-diaphragm (AODD) pumps may be your greatest option for many of these purposes.
While mining might appear to be nothing more than a rough-and-tumble operation—holes are dug by heavy machinery or with explosives, opening the hidden ode to entry from above—there are, in reality, many complicated and sometimes delicate operations that should be carried out properly if the mining operation is to perform at its highest level of efficiency.
From a macro standpoint, this requires a pumping know-how that may operate reliably in harsh and distant places, even when submerged, or when tasked with dealing with particulate-laden liquids or toxic/corrosive products, and in addition one that is ready to be maintained and repaired just so downtime is lessened. The pumps must also be mild enough to be manually moved from location to location within the mine itself.
For a few years, a well-liked choice to be used in these conditions was centrifugal pumps. While centrifugal pumps are able to create the high move charges which might be required, they’ve a variety of operational “pain points” that hamper their use in mining functions: an incapability to self-prime or run dry; special seals wanted to prevent leaks; special linings needed to handle solids; high motor speeds of up to 1,800 rpm; and comparatively excessive maintenance necessities and prices, especially when charged with transferring solid-heavy liquids.
Another well-liked choice has been the progressive cavity pump, however, like centrifugal pumps, they’ve numerous operational shortcomings. These embrace an lack of ability to constantly handle liquids with excessive ranges of abrasives, which finally ends up in elevated maintenance costs, put on on expensive stators and rotors that will ultimately must be changed, and total higher buy, operating, and repair/replacement costs.
Here are a number of the specific liquid-transfer operations that happen in a mine and the ways in which 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 is recovered is commonly filled with particulates that can be as massive as zero.12 to zero.sixteen inches in dimension. If used on this software, centrifugal pumps require special supplies of development, which may be value prohibitive, to protect towards impeller put on attributable to the abrasive particles. Centrifugal pumps are also not dry-run succesful, which adversely affects their stage of performance in this application.
General service: For widespread liquid-handling functions, you need an easy-to-operate pump that reliably can run dry, strip strains, function at low speeds while nonetheless delivering high flow charges, and be simple to take care of and restore. Centrifugal pumps simply do not 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 necessity to use special mechanical seals, which might result in exorbitant upkeep, repair, and replacement costs.
Press filter: Press filters are used to wash the liquids which are produced within the mines and, again, centrifugal pumps can fall brief on this software as a end result of the solid-laden liquid can damage the pump’s internals unless particular, costlier supplies of construction or linings are used. Also, the character of press-filter operation creates a robust discharge-pressure variation that may pressure the centrifugal pump to operate away from its greatest effectivity level (BEP), leading to high vibration and radial masses that may result in shortened service life. A answer to this is the incorporation of variable frequency drives (VFDs) and controllers, but these are costly and might negatively have an result on the cost-effectiveness of the operation.
Product switch: This comes in all types in a mining operation, from loading and unloading from transport vehicles with new and used oil for the heavy equipment, fresh and fouled water, and any chemical substances that are required. In every occasion, there is the risk that the pump might be pressured to run dry because the truck or storage vessel is emptied, whereas discharge-pressure variation can even generate high vibration and radial loads. As beforehand illustrated, centrifugal pumps cannot run dry, so that they want safety from this condition or the addition of particular seals. However, all of these upgrades nonetheless can’t totally protect in opposition to a catastrophic failure.
While centrifugal pumps—despite their popularity—have proven to not be the most effective solution in lots of liquid-handling functions in mining, one pump expertise that has proven to be an optimum choice is AODD—in terms of maximizing reliability, cost-effectiveness, ease of operation and maintenance, and safety for mining personnel and the surroundings.
AODD pumps are in a position to carry out successfully in mining functions as a end result of their method of operation permits them to simply deal with variable move charges and pressures, while being dry-run and line-stripping succesful, and nimble enough to switch liquids which are shear-sensitive or high-viscosity, in addition to slurries laden with rocks, pebbles, and different particulates.
The simple design of the AODD pump options few moving components and comparably decrease speeds than other pump technologies, which improves reliability and simplifies upkeep, while the pump’s seal-less building ends in fewer leaks, which is a important consideration when dealing with the various hard-to-seal, corrosive, or hazardous liquids that are 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 extensive selection of elastomers can be used in the diaphragms, which eliminates many chemical-compatibility concerns.
A extensive variety of AODD pump configurations provide operational flexibility that may additionally lead to optimized efficiency at many levels. The capacity to function AODD pumps in a extensive range of functions, from basic general use to delicate chemical-handling processes, permits operators to extra cost-effectively outfit their mines. AODD pumps can be more cost effective to function, especially these fashions which might be outfitted with a next-generation mechanically actuated air distribution system (ADS). At their most elementary, AODD pumps excel in the typical rugged and harsh working conditions discovered in the world’s mines, which reduces breakdown incidents along with corresponding downtime and restore prices.
Specifically, Wilden, whose founder, Jim Wilden, conceived the AODD pumping precept sixty-five years in the past, has been devoted to growing technologies that meet the needs of mining operations. Today, Wilden presents three AODD pump models which might be constructed to excel in mining purposes, obtainable in ductile iron, cast iron, aluminum, polypropylene and Kynar supplies of development:
Brahma® Series: The Brahma pumps, which feature a bolted configuration, have been constructed for use in applications that require the handling of liquids featuring giant solids. The Brahma pumps have a unique top-inlet/bottom-discharge circulate orientation and flap valves that permit the passage of huge solids with no threat that injury will happen on account of product entrapment or the settling of solids within the pump’s internal 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 up to 60 percent. 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 as much as a hundred twenty five psi with solids-handling capability starting from 2 to three inches.
Stallion® Series: The Stallion pumps function a clamped design with carrying handles for lightweight portability. Kickstart and flow-through paths for simple passage of huge solids with no likelihood for clogging. An altered ball/seat check-valve meeting additional permits solids passage, while a polyurethane screen base on 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 robust ADS design for the toughest environments. Flow charges amongst the six models vary from 57 gallons per minute to 232 gallons per minute at working pressures as much as 125 psi. Solids sizes that could be dealt with vary from half to 1 inch.
Pro-Flo SHIFT Series: Pro-Flo SHIFT pumps function clamped or bolted configuration. Their design options totally different chamber materials, together with metallic and plastics, even Kynar, which is able to dealing with excessive ranges of abrasive materials. The Pro-Flo SHIFT is also essentially the most environment friendly AODD pump in the market, capable of lowering up to 60 percent air consumption. This makes it the best suited choice 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 in a place to be outfitted with a huge selection of diaphragm styles—including the newer Chem-Fuse, EZ-Install, and Reduced-Stroke models—in a varying array of materials, such as Wil-Flex™ (Santoprene®), Geolast®, Polyurethane, Buna-N®, EPDM, Neoprene, FKM, and PTFE. This diaphragm range offers customers the widest selection of diaphragms on the market, all of which are able to providing extended mean time between failure (MTBF) for optimized uptime with reduced upkeep, restore, and replacement prices.
All of those capabilities make AODD pumps the perfect selection for the aforementioned frequent liquid-handling purposes in mining: dewatering, basic service, corrosive-handling, filter press, and day by day product transfer.
In abstract, Wilden AODD pumps are the greatest option for mining functions as a end result of they offer appreciable operational benefits, like comparable low-speed operation, dry-run, line-stripping, self-priming, and deadhead capability, together with elevated operational security and a discount in maintenance/repair costs that can be incurred by pumps that are not designed to handle abrasive/corrosive or solid-laden liquids.
Wilden AODD pumps additionally outperform other AODD technologies in other vital ways: simple design with the lowest number of parts for quicker, less complicated, and safer repairs and the bottom number of spare components to stock; recent improvements in supplies of building that increase the pump’s MTBF; and improved effectivity through the usage of the Pro-Flo SHIFT ADS, which ultimately leads to faster product switch with decrease air consumption. Wilden also continues to innovate through the development of the next-generation Chem-Fuse and EZ-Install diaphragms, each of which increase service life and safety while not compromising the dealing with of challenging liquids.
Fernando Meneses is the regional manager North Latin America for Wilden, a leading 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 a number of leading pump companies, together with Abaque®, All-Flo™, Almatec®, Blackmer®, Ebsray, em-tec®, Griswold®, Hydro™, Mouvex®, Neptune®, Quantex™, Quattroflow®, RedScrew™, and Wilden®. For more data, go to or

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