Less waste means extra reliability

Water waste is often deemed an undesirable, but inevitable by-product of mining processes. Yet fashionable pump sealing technology exists which may virtually remove this waste while conserving power, improving pump reliability and reaching long run operational financial savings.
Water is among the most significant, and more and more imperilled, sources on earth. That a lot is understood and acknowledged by industries throughout the globe.
However, additionally it is some of the unnecessarily squandered assets in mining operations. And whereas the business has begun to embrace effectivity and sustainability-led advances such as automation and renewable power, it remains steadfastly set in its ways when it comes to slurry pump expertise.
Three approaches are routinely specified by pump producers to seal slurry pumps: mechanical packing, expellers (also generally identified as ‘dynamic’ seals’) and single mechanical seals. All include vital limitations, including poor reliability, reduced mean times between failure (MTBF), intensive maintenance requirements and higher operational costs.
These factors alone should give mine managers cause for a re-evaluation of the sealing methods used on slurry pumps. However, any firm with a dedication to the International Standards Organisation ISO-14001 Standard for environmental administration systems and ISO-50001 Standard for vitality administration techniques ought to pay consideration to the excessive water waste and high vitality consumption that results from opting for these traditional sealing strategies.
ไดอะแฟรม When used to seal the method pumps in a mine’s scrubber and floatation circuits, gland packing, single mechanical seals and expeller seals all demand one of the wasteful elements of slurry processing which is seal flush water injection.
On gland packed pumps it’s important that packing is flushed with clear water to keep it cool and lubricated, whereas both single slurry seals and expellers require a provide of cool, clear flush water to be injected into the process at high pressure, sustaining a steady fluid movie between the fragile seal faces to keep them cool and lubricated, whereas forcing the damaging slurry away.
The flush water required in all three sealing approaches is equipped from an exterior supply and injected into the process at a better stress than the stuffing field strain, according to the business standard American Petroleum Institute (API) Piping Plan 32. Water which doesn’t leak onto the bottom or into the method is distributed to the tailings dam. ไดอะแฟรม has an effect on the water balance of the plant.
ไดอะแฟรม constitutes a loss of clear water amounting to billions of gallons a year globally. One large, typical slurry pump typically consumes 10 US gallons (37.eight litres) per minute, amounting to five.2 million US gallons (19.6 million litres) of water yearly – a stunning statistic by any measure.
At a time when global water provide is predicted to fall in want of demand by some 40% by 20301 , removing pointless use of this useful useful resource ought to arguably be a central plank of any responsible sustainability programme. Yet excessive water use, and the upper power consumption it entails, stay embedded in the processes of many mining corporations. Worse nonetheless, it is honest to say that it is usually accepted as simply ‘par for the course’ by reliability engineers and management alike.
But the precise fact is that water waste on any scale is a very pointless feature of slurry operations as it might be almost completely eradicated simply by using advanced double mechanical seals and modern water administration assist systems.
Improve reliability The sort of seal chosen, the environment during which it operates, and crucially, the tank assist system which provides the water to maximise seal life, mix to provide the answer to extreme water waste and power use.
Modern double mechanical seals have two units of faces, one sealing to the method fluid and one to atmosphere, with a barrier house between the 2. They are designed to fulfill the arduous necessities of heavy duty slurry functions, with fortified metal components which are extremely proof against corrosion and erosion. Large ports and elevated radial clearances mean the lubrication which is vital to optimising seal life is maintained continually and consistently.
A pressurised barrier tank system is central to the environmental sustainability of this answer. It employs a thermosiphon course of which provides clear, cool water to the barrier space between the double seals at a strain higher than the product strain, making certain a constant, secure and clear fluid movie to keep the seal faces cool and lubricated.
As the mechanical seals generate heat, the new water within the barrier area rises to the tank and is radiated to the ambiance, permitting the cooler, denser water to sink again down to provide cool lubrication to the seal faces. Most importantly, the flush water is continually recycled, flowing throughout the seal faces in a continuous loop and lowering leakage to the absolute minimal, roughly a teaspoonful a day.
While API Plan 32 is unsuitable for servicing multiple slurry pumps in a ‘series train’ with out the want to set up special pump methods, pressurised barrier tanks supply ratings as much as 435 psi (30 bar), making them ideal for these applications. Self-topping and self-pressurising, they’re additionally almost maintenance-free.
Where no plant water supply is available for topping up the tank systems, or the availability has insufficient strain, fluid delivery models may be selected to supply the barrier fluid to seal faces. These have the added benefits of having the ability to provide a water/glycol combination or oil to supply freeze safety in extraordinarily chilly climates.
Wide-ranging benefits The advantages of upgrading to fashionable sealing options and support techniques had been felt by a coal mine in Poland utilizing a slurry pump to provide coal mud at 9 bar (135 psi) to filter press. Flushed packing resulted in big dilution of product, leading to significantly increased filtration times and prices. The pump was sealed with a double mechanical seal designed to meet the arduous requirements of the process.
The supporting seal tank system decreased leakage and product dilution to virtually zero. Return on investment was swift and the savings long-term. The benefits by method of water conservation have been equally longlasting and the company’s status enhanced.
The mining business should cope with a troublesome and dear challenge in phrases of sustaining rotating equipment. But the planning, processing and disposal of flush water constitutes an operational and monetary burden which is completely avoidable.
And when a company can get rid of water waste at the identical time as increasing reliability and lowering long term operational prices, the decision to improve to fashionable systems ought to absolutely be a moral crucial as nicely as making sound enterprise sense.

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