KSB’s slurry handling success in oil sands

Alberta, Canada has the world’s third largest oil reserves in the type of oil sands. Extracting and processing the oil from the sands and bedrock is a difficult process and requires the largest slurry pump within the oil sands business.
When it involves pumping slurry, there could be only a few applications which may be more difficult than the hydro-transport of heavy-duty slurries in oil sands production. Not only do the pumps have to deal with the extremely aggressive nature of the fluid being pumped, they’re also expected to operate in a few of the harshest environments on the earth.
In January 2020, GIW Industries, Inc., a KSB firm, commissioned its largest ever heavy-duty centrifugal slurry pump for operation in Canada’s oil sands, particularly the Tie Bolt Construction (TBC-92). Named after its ninety two in (2337 mm) impeller, the TBC-92 is the largest and heaviest slurry pump available within the oil sands business and the most recent in a line of powerful high-pressure pumps supplied by GIW.
Slurry transportation Slurry transport covers a considerable range of trade sectors, ranging from food and beverage to mining. What is widespread to all, is that the pumps used must be succesful of transport liquids containing particles and solids of various sizes and viscosities. In mining, dredging and oil sands production, the most important problem is to accommodate excessive density slurry and highly abrasive grits.
It is crucial that the slurry passes by way of the pump with the minimum amount of wear to the pump casing, impeller, shaft and sealing mechanism. Furthermore, the pump must be able to delivering excessive flows and in a position to stand up to harsh working environments.
Alberta in Canada has intensive oil reserves and these are in the form of oil sands. Extracting and processing the oil from the sands and bedrock is challenging, involving the removal of bituminous ore which is transported to a crushing plant. The crushed ore is then combined with heat water to type a dense slurry that could be transported within the pipeline in direction of extraction, where the bitumen is separated from the sand and rock. After extraction, the remaining solids (or tailings) are often transported by way of totally different pumps to settling ponds.
The processes require intensive use of slurry and water transportation pumps capable of handling vast portions of liquids at excessive pressures and high temp- eratures. Drawing on its lengthy experience of designing slurry pumps for mining, GIW has custom-engineered slurry pumps that combine advanced supplies, hydraulics and patented mechanical designs, the most recent of which is the TBC-92.
Meeting challenges Mollie Timmerman, GIW business improvement manager, explains extra: “Our consumer wanted a better capability pump which was able to 10,000–11,000 m3 per hour of output at almost forty m of developed head and a most working pressure of 4000 kPa. The pump also wanted to have the ability to cross rocks of roughly 130 mm in diameter with a total passage dimension requirement of 10 in (or 254 mm) and handle slurry densities in excess of 1.5 SG.
In addition, the customer was focusing on a maintenance interval (operational time between deliberate maintenance) of round 3,000 hours. They had expressed an interest in maximising the upkeep intervals and based on preliminary put on indications, they are currently hoping to attain round 6,000 hours between pump overhauls (i.e. 6–8 months).”
pressure gauge วัด แรง ดัน น้ำ for the primary batch of GIW’s TBC-92 pumps in Alberta is in hydro-transport service the place they’re used to maneuver bitu- minous ore from the crusher to the extraction plant. The liquid pumped is a mix of water, bitumen, sand, and huge rocks. Screens are in place to keep these rocks to a manageable size for the method, but the prime measurement can still typically reach as much as one hundred thirty mm in diameter or bigger.
The abrasive nature of the slurry is what separates a slurry pump from other pumps used in the business. Wear and erosion are details of life, and GIW has a long time of experience within the design of slurry pumps and the event of supplies to assist prolong the service life of these important components to match the deliberate upkeep cycles within the plant.
“GIW already had a pump capable of the output requirement, this being the MDX-750, which has been a well-liked measurement in mill duties for nearly 10 years through- out Central and South America,” explains Mollie Timmerman. ”However, the customer’s software required a pump with higher pressure capabilities and the aptitude of dealing with larger rocks so we responded with the development of the TBC-92 which supplied the most effective answer for maximised production.”
The TBC sequence The building style of GIW’s TBC pump range options massive, ribbed plates held together with tie bolts for very high-pressure service and maximum put on efficiency. First developed for dredge service, then later launched into the oil sands in the 1990s, the TBC pump collection has grown into a fully developed vary of pumps serving the oil sands, phosphate, dredging and hard rock mining industries for tailings and hydrotransport purposes.
The pumps are often grouped collectively in booster stations to construct pressure as excessive as 750 psi (5171 kPa) to account for the pipe losses encountered over such lengthy distances. The strong development of the TBC pump is nicely suited to do the job, while making certain most availability of the equipment beneath heavily abrasive put on.
Capable of delivering strain up to 37 bar and flows of greater than 18,200m³/h and temperatures up to 120o C, the TBC vary is a horizontal, end suction centrifugal pump that provides maximum resistance to wear. Simple to keep up, the pump’s tie-bolt design transfers stress loads away from the wear and tear resistant white iron casing to the non- bearing side plates with out using heavy and unwieldy double-wall building.
The TBC-92 combines one of the best components of earlier TBC models, including the TBC-84 oil sands tailing pump, also called the Super Pump. The pump additionally incorporates options from GIW’s MDX product line, which is used in heavy-duty mining circuits throughout the world of hard rock mining.
In whole, the TBC-92 weighs about 209,000 lbs (95,000 kg), which is roughly equal to a fully-loaded Airbus A321 aeroplane. The casing alone weighs 34,000 lbs (15,500 kg). Key options of the pump embody a slurry diverter that dramatically increases suction liner life by decreasing particle recirculation between the impeller and the liner. The massive diameter impeller permits the pump to run at slower speeds so that put on life is enhanced. The lower velocity additionally gives the pump the flexibility to function over a wider vary of flows in order to accommodate fluctuating move situations.
To make upkeep easier, the pump is fitted with a special two-piece suction plate design which helps to reduce software time and provide safer lifting. Customers obtain pump-specific lifting units to facilitate the secure removal and set up of wear and tear comp- onents. The pump also features a longlasting suction liner that can be adjusted without having to close the pump down.
New milestone The commissioning of the TBC-92 marks an important milestone for GIW, which now has pumps in service at all working Canadian oil sands crops for hydrotransport applications. The TBC-92 has been designed to sort out heavy-duty slurry transport while providing a low whole value of possession. Minimal labour and maintenance time help to maximise production and profit.
“This new pump incorporates the teachings discovered from working in the oil sands over many years, and options our newest hydraulic and put on technologies,” says Mollie Timmerman. “Because this is the heaviest TBC pump we have ever designed, particular consideration was given to maintainability, in addition to material selection and construction of the pressure-containing components.”
That GIW has established itself as a major force in pumping solutions for the oil sands trade is far from surprising given that it has been creating pumping technologies and wear resistant materials within the international mining business since the 1940s.
These pumps have had a considerable impression on the best way that excavated sand, rock and bitumen are transported to the upgrader plant. By including water to the excavated material it becomes extremely efficient to pump the slurry alongside a pipeline to the upgrader. The pipeline agitation assists in separating the bitumen from the sand as it is transported, plus there is the extra good factor about removing using trucks.
GIW has estimated that the value of moving oil sand on this method can cut prices by US$2 a barrel, and it’s way more environmentally pleasant. These pumps additionally play a serious position in transporting the coarse tailings to the tailings ponds. GIW supplies pumps used in the extraction process and other areas of manufacturing (HVF, MDX, LSA).
Understanding slurries Understanding the character of slurries and how they behave when being pumped has been fundamental to the development of these products. GIW has been acquiring slurry samples from customers over a few years for testing hydraulics and materials each for pumps and pipelines. Research & Development facilities embody a number of slurry take a look at beds on the campus, together with a hydraulics laboratory that is dedicated to pump efficiency testing.
These activities are central to the company’s pump development programmes. If firms are experiencing issues the GIW R&D personnel can see where the issue lies and supply advice for remedial motion. Experience does point out that in lots of cases the issue lies not with the pump however, but within the interplay between the pipeline and the pump.
Feedback from clients about appli- cations helps within the development of recent tools and pump designs. By bringing to- gether customers and teachers from everywhere in the world to share their expertise and analysis with in-house consultants, the large investment in research, improvement and manufacturing has advanced the design of all of the GIW pump merchandise,supplies and wear-resistant parts.
The future “There is a clear trend toward larger pumps in mining and dredging and oil sands are not any exception,” feedback Leo Perry, GIW lead product supervisor. “The first TBC pump within the oil sands industry was the TBC-46 (46 in being the diameter of the impeller). Customers are designing their facilities for larger and higher manufacturing and demanding the identical of the equipment that retains their production moving. While these bigger pumps demand more power, in addition they enable for higher manufacturing with much less downtime required for upkeep. Overall, the effectivity improves when in comparison with the same output from a bigger amount of smaller pumps. “
In conclusion, he says: “Larger pumps go hand-in-hand with bigger services, bigger pipelines, and elevated production, all of which continue to development higher yr after 12 months. Other prospects and industries have also proven an interest in this dimension, and it will be no shock in any respect to see extra of these pumps built in the close to future for comparable functions.”

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