How AODD Pumps Can Satisfy All Demands in Mining Operations

Mining is among the world’s oldest industries, tracing its roots again to those prehistoric days when somebody grabbed a digging instrument and commenced burrowing into the bottom. In the many millennia since, mining has grown into one of the world’s most necessary and widespread industrial enterprises, with operations spread across the globe while tasked with recovering an virtually inexhaustible list of valuable commodities.
In truth, based on the World Mining Congress’s World Mining Data 2020 report, 17.7 billion metric tons of mined products were recovered in 2018, up from eleven.three billion metric tons in 2000 and practically double the 9.6 billion metric tons in 1985. Asian countries accounted for fifty eight p.c of the 2018 manufacturing, with North America second at 15.1 percent, adopted by Europe (8 percent), Oceania (6.8 percent), Latin America (6.3 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) were the most prolific producers, with their complete 51.1 percent of production greater than the the rest of the world combined.
This signifies that the mining trade is a robust one, with stable progress expected to proceed within the coming years in plenty of regions of the world. It additionally means that mining operations will continue to depend on pumping applied sciences that provide robust, dependable, and protected service in a quantity of critical liquid-handling operations. This white paper will illustrate why constructive displacement air-operated double-diaphragm (AODD) pumps could be the best choice for a lot of of those applications.
While mining may seem like nothing greater than a rough-and-tumble operation—holes are dug by heavy equipment or with explosives, opening the hidden ode to entry from above—there are, in reality, many advanced and sometimes delicate operations that must be carried out correctly if the mining operation is to perform at its highest degree of effectivity.
From a macro standpoint, this requires a pumping expertise that may operate reliably in harsh and distant places, even when submerged, or when tasked with dealing with particulate-laden liquids or toxic/corrosive merchandise, and also one that is prepared to be maintained and repaired simply so downtime is lessened. The pumps must also be mild sufficient to be manually moved from location to location throughout the mine itself.
For many years, a preferred alternative for use in these situations was centrifugal pumps. While centrifugal pumps are able to create the high circulate charges that are required, they have numerous operational “pain points” that hamper their use in mining applications: an inability to self-prime or run dry; particular seals needed to stop leaks; special linings wanted to deal with solids; high motor speeds of up to 1,800 rpm; and comparatively excessive maintenance necessities and costs, especially when charged with transferring solid-heavy liquids.
Another popular alternative has been the progressive cavity pump, but, like centrifugal pumps, they have a number of operational shortcomings. These embody an lack of ability to constantly handle liquids with high levels of abrasives, which results in elevated maintenance prices, wear on expensive stators and rotors that may finally must be replaced, and general larger purchase, working, and repair/replacement prices.
Here are a few of the specific liquid-transfer operations that take place in a mine and the ways in which some pump technologies can fall short 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 can be as giant as 0.12 to 0.16 inches in size. If used in this application, centrifugal pumps require special materials of building, which could be price prohibitive, to guard towards impeller put on attributable to the abrasive particles. Centrifugal pumps are additionally not dry-run succesful, which adversely affects their degree of efficiency on this application.
General service: For common liquid-handling functions, you want an easy-to-operate pump that reliably can run dry, strip strains, function at low speeds while nonetheless delivering high circulate charges, and be straightforward to maintain and repair. 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 calls for a need to use special mechanical seals, which might lead to exorbitant upkeep, repair, and substitute prices.
Press filter: Press filters are used to scrub the liquids that are produced in the mines and, again, centrifugal pumps can fall quick on this software as a outcome of the solid-laden liquid can injury the pump’s internals unless special, costlier materials of building or linings are used. Also, the nature of press-filter operation creates a robust discharge-pressure variation that may force the centrifugal pump to operate away from its best efficiency point (BEP), resulting in high vibration and radial masses that may result in shortened service life. A resolution to that is the incorporation of variable frequency drives (VFDs) and controllers, however these are expensive and may negatively have an result on the cost-effectiveness of the operation.
Product transfer: This comes in all types in a mining operation, from loading and unloading from transport trucks with new and used oil for the heavy equipment, fresh and fouled water, and any chemicals that are required. In each occasion, there is the danger that the pump might be pressured to run dry as the truck or storage vessel is emptied, while discharge-pressure variation can even generate high vibration and radial loads. As beforehand illustrated, centrifugal pumps can’t run dry, so that they need protection from this condition or the addition of particular seals. However, all of those upgrades nonetheless cannot completely defend in opposition to a catastrophic failure.
While centrifugal pumps—despite their popularity—have confirmed to not be the best answer in plenty of liquid-handling applications in mining, one pump expertise that has confirmed to be an optimum alternative is AODD—in phrases of maximizing reliability, cost-effectiveness, ease of operation and upkeep, and safety for mining personnel and the environment.
AODD pumps are in a place to perform effectively in mining applications as a result of their methodology of operation permits them to easily deal with variable move rates and pressures, while being dry-run and line-stripping succesful, and nimble sufficient to transfer liquids which are shear-sensitive or high-viscosity, as properly as slurries laden with rocks, pebbles, and other particulates.
The simple design of the AODD pump features few transferring elements and comparably lower speeds than different pump technologies, which improves reliability and simplifies maintenance, whereas the pump’s seal-less construction results in fewer leaks, which is a critical consideration when handling the numerous hard-to-seal, corrosive, or hazardous liquids which would possibly be prevalent in a mining operation. AODD pumps can be found in both metal (most generally aluminum, ductile iron and solid iron) and plastic (polypropylene and PVDF) housing constructions, while a extensive array of elastomers can be utilized within the diaphragms, which eliminates many chemical-compatibility considerations.
A broad number of AODD pump configurations provide operational flexibility that may additionally lead to optimized performance at many levels. The capacity to feature AODD pumps in a variety of applications, from primary basic use to delicate chemical-handling processes, permits operators to extra cost-effectively outfit their mines. AODD pumps can additionally be less expensive to operate, particularly these fashions that are outfitted with a next-generation mechanically actuated air distribution system (ADS). At their most elementary, AODD pumps excel in the typical rugged and harsh operating situations found in the world’s mines, which reduces breakdown incidents along with corresponding downtime and repair costs.
Specifically, Wilden, whose founder, Jim Wilden, conceived the AODD pumping precept sixty-five years in the past, has been devoted to creating applied sciences that meet the needs of mining operations. Today, Wilden provides three AODD pump fashions which are built to excel in mining applications, available in ductile iron, cast iron, aluminum, polypropylene and Kynar materials of construction:
Brahma® Series: The Brahma pumps, which characteristic a bolted configuration, have been built to be used in applications that require the dealing with of liquids that includes large solids. The Brahma pumps have a novel top-inlet/bottom-discharge move orientation and flap valves that enable the passage of huge solids with no danger that injury will occur on account of product entrapment or the settling of solids inside the pump’s inside flow paths. Brahma pumps are available 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. Downloadable -rate vary for the 4 Brahma pumps is 166 to 258 gallons per minute at pressures as much as one hundred twenty five psi with solids-handling functionality starting from 2 to 3 inches.
Stallion® Series: The Stallion pumps characteristic a clamped design with carrying handles for lightweight portability. Their design features massive inside clearances and flow-through paths for easy passage of large solids with no chance for clogging. An altered ball/seat check-valve assembly additional enables solids passage, whereas a polyurethane display base on the inlet increases the pump’s sturdiness. 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 featuring the Turbo-Flo ADS, Wilden’s most robust ADS design for the toughest environments. Flow rates amongst the six fashions 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 may be dealt with range from half to 1 inch.
Pro-Flo SHIFT Series: Pro-Flo SHIFT pumps feature clamped or bolted configuration. Their design options totally different chamber materials, together with steel and plastics, even Kynar, which is capable of handling high levels of abrasive supplies. The Pro-Flo SHIFT can also be essentially the most efficient AODD pump available in the market, capable of decreasing as much as 60 percent air consumption. This makes it the most fitted choice for dealing with corrosive and abrasive products 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 able to be outfitted with a broad array of diaphragm styles—including the newer Chem-Fuse, EZ-Install, and Reduced-Stroke models—in a varying array of supplies, corresponding to Wil-Flex™ (Santoprene®), Geolast®, Polyurethane, Buna-N®, EPDM, Neoprene, FKM, and PTFE. This diaphragm vary provides users the widest number of diaphragms available on the market, all of that are able to providing extended mean time between failure (MTBF) for optimized uptime with reduced maintenance, repair, and alternative prices.
All of these capabilities make AODD pumps the best choice for the aforementioned common liquid-handling functions in mining: dewatering, general service, corrosive-handling, filter press, and every day product switch.
In summary, Wilden AODD pumps are the finest option for mining applications as a end result of they offer appreciable operational advantages, like comparable low-speed operation, dry-run, line-stripping, self-priming, and deadhead functionality, along with elevated operational safety and a reduction in maintenance/repair prices that might be incurred by pumps that aren’t designed to deal with abrasive/corrosive or solid-laden liquids.
Wilden AODD pumps also outperform other AODD applied sciences in other important ways: easy design with the lowest number of parts for quicker, simpler, and safer repairs and the lowest number of spare components to stock; recent improvements in materials of development that enhance the pump’s MTBF; and improved efficiency by way of the use of the Pro-Flo SHIFT ADS, which finally leads to quicker product transfer with decrease air consumption. Wilden additionally continues to innovate by way of the event of the next-generation Chem-Fuse and EZ-Install diaphragms, each of which improve service life and security while not compromising the dealing with of difficult liquids.
Fernando Meneses is the regional supervisor North Latin America for Wilden, a number one producer of air-operated double-diaphragm (AODD) pumps. He could be reached at Wilden is a product brand of PSG®, a Dover company. PSG is comprised of a number of main 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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