How AODD Pumps Can Satisfy All Demands in Mining Operations

Mining is one of the world’s oldest industries, tracing its roots again to those prehistoric days when somebody grabbed a digging instrument and began burrowing into the bottom. In the numerous millennia since, mining has grown into one of many world’s most important and widespread industrial enterprises, with operations spread across the globe while tasked with recovering an nearly inexhaustible list of valuable commodities.
In reality, according to 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 11.three billion metric tons in 2000 and almost double the 9.6 billion metric tons in 1985. Asian countries accounted for fifty eight % of the 2018 manufacturing, with North America second at 15.1 %, followed 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) have been essentially the most prolific producers, with their total fifty one.1 percent of production more than the relaxation of the world combined.
This means that the mining business is a powerful one, with stable development anticipated to continue within the coming years in many regions of the world. It also means that mining operations will continue to rely on pumping technologies that supply strong, dependable, and protected service in a number of critical liquid-handling operations. This white paper will illustrate why optimistic displacement air-operated double-diaphragm (AODD) pumps could be the greatest choice for many of these applications.
While mining would possibly appear to be nothing greater 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 advanced and sometimes delicate operations that have to be performed properly if the mining operation is to perform at its highest stage of effectivity.
From a macro standpoint, this requires a pumping technology that may operate reliably in harsh and remote areas, even when submerged, or when tasked with dealing with particulate-laden liquids or toxic/corrosive merchandise, and likewise one which is ready to be maintained and repaired in order that downtime is lessened. The pumps should also be mild sufficient to be manually moved from location to location inside the mine itself.
For many years, a well-liked selection to be used in these conditions was centrifugal pumps. While centrifugal pumps are able to create the high move charges which may be required, they have numerous operational “pain points” that hamper their use in mining applications: an lack of ability to self-prime or run dry; special seals needed to forestall leaks; special linings wanted to handle solids; excessive motor speeds of up to 1,800 rpm; and comparatively excessive upkeep necessities and prices, especially when charged with transferring solid-heavy liquids.
Another popular selection has been the progressive cavity pump, but, like centrifugal pumps, they’ve a quantity of operational shortcomings. These embody an lack of ability to consistently deal with liquids with excessive levels of abrasives, which leads to elevated maintenance costs, wear on costly stators and rotors that will ultimately have to be replaced, and overall larger purchase, operating, and repair/replacement costs.
Here are a few of the particular liquid-transfer operations that happen in a mine and the ways in which some pump technologies can fall brief in satisfying them:
Mine dewatering: Removing extra produced water from the mine is a crucial 24/7/365 operation and the water that’s recovered is commonly stuffed with particulates that might be as giant as zero.12 to 0.sixteen inches in dimension. If used in this application, centrifugal pumps require particular materials of development, which could be value prohibitive, to protect against impeller wear caused by the abrasive particles. Centrifugal pumps are also not dry-run succesful, which adversely impacts their stage of efficiency on this software.
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 rates, and be straightforward to hold up and restore. Centrifugal pumps simply don’t possess these capabilities.
Corrosive liquids: Much like solid-laden liquids, corrosive ones can wreak havoc on the wetted components of centrifugal and progressive cavity pumps. This usually demands a need to use particular mechanical seals, which might lead to exorbitant upkeep, restore, and alternative prices.
Press filter: Press filters are used to scrub the liquids which are produced in the mines and, again, centrifugal pumps can fall quick on this utility as a end result of the solid-laden liquid can injury the pump’s internals except particular, dearer materials of building or linings are used. Also, the nature of press-filter operation creates a strong discharge-pressure variation that may pressure the centrifugal pump to operate away from its best efficiency point (BEP), leading to high vibration and radial loads that can result in shortened service life. A solution to this is the incorporation of variable frequency drives (VFDs) and controllers, but these are expensive and might negatively have an result on the cost-effectiveness of the operation.
Product transfer: This is obtainable in all varieties in a mining operation, from loading and unloading from transport trucks with new and used oil for the heavy equipment, contemporary and fouled water, and any chemical substances that are required. In every instance, there’s the danger that the pump will be compelled to run dry as the truck or storage vessel is emptied, while discharge-pressure variation also can generate excessive vibration and radial loads. As previously illustrated, Fast can not run dry, so that they need protection from this situation or the addition of particular seals. However, all of those upgrades still cannot completely defend in opposition to a catastrophic failure.
While centrifugal pumps—despite their popularity—have proven to not be the best resolution in many liquid-handling applications in mining, one pump expertise that has proven to be an optimum selection is AODD—in phrases of maximizing reliability, cost-effectiveness, ease of operation and maintenance, and security for mining personnel and the setting.
AODD pumps are in a place to perform successfully in mining purposes because their technique of operation allows them to easily handle variable circulate charges and pressures, whereas being dry-run and line-stripping succesful, and nimble sufficient to switch liquids that are shear-sensitive or high-viscosity, in addition to slurries laden with rocks, pebbles, and other particulates.
The simple design of the AODD pump options few transferring components and comparably lower speeds than different pump applied sciences, which improves reliability and simplifies maintenance, whereas the pump’s seal-less construction results in fewer leaks, which is a important consideration when handling the various hard-to-seal, corrosive, or hazardous liquids that are prevalent in a mining operation. AODD pumps can be found in both metal (most generally aluminum, ductile iron and cast iron) and plastic (polypropylene and PVDF) housing constructions, whereas a extensive array of elastomers can be used within the diaphragms, which eliminates many chemical-compatibility considerations.
A wide number of AODD pump configurations provide operational flexibility that may additionally result in optimized efficiency at many ranges. The ability to feature AODD pumps in a extensive range of functions, from primary basic use to delicate chemical-handling processes, allows operators to more cost-effectively outfit their mines. AODD pumps can be less costly to operate, especially these models which might be outfitted with a next-generation mechanically actuated air distribution system (ADS). At their most simple, AODD pumps excel in the typical rugged and harsh operating circumstances discovered 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 ago, has been devoted to growing technologies that meet the wants of mining operations. Today, Wilden presents three AODD pump fashions which might be constructed to excel in mining applications, out there in ductile iron, forged iron, aluminum, polypropylene and Kynar materials of construction:
Brahma® Series: The Brahma pumps, which function a bolted configuration, have been built for use in applications that require the dealing with of liquids that includes massive solids. The Brahma pumps have a singular top-inlet/bottom-discharge circulate orientation and flap valves that allow the passage of enormous solids with no danger that harm will occur as a result of product entrapment or the settling of solids throughout the pump’s internal move 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 reduce back air consumption by as much as 60 p.c. 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 functionality starting from 2 to three inches.
Stallion® Series: The Stallion pumps characteristic a clamped design with carrying handles for light-weight portability. Their design features massive internal clearances and flow-through paths for easy passage of enormous solids with no chance for clogging. An altered ball/seat check-valve assembly further enables solids passage, whereas a polyurethane display base on the inlet will increase 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 strong ADS design for the hardest environments. Flow charges amongst the six models range from fifty seven gallons per minute to 232 gallons per minute at working pressures up to 125 psi. Solids sizes that can be handled range from half of to 1 inch.
Pro-Flo SHIFT Series: Pro-Flo SHIFT pumps function clamped or bolted configuration. Their design options completely different chamber supplies, together with steel and plastics, even Kynar, which is capable of dealing with excessive levels of abrasive supplies. The Pro-Flo SHIFT is also essentially the most environment friendly AODD pump out there, capable of decreasing up to 60 percent air consumption. This makes it the most suitable 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 able to be outfitted with a extensive array of diaphragm styles—including the newer Chem-Fuse, EZ-Install, and Reduced-Stroke models—in a various array of supplies, corresponding to Wil-Flex™ (Santoprene®), Geolast®, Polyurethane, Buna-N®, EPDM, Neoprene, FKM, and PTFE. This diaphragm vary gives customers the widest selection of diaphragms in the marketplace, all of that are able to providing prolonged imply time between failure (MTBF) for optimized uptime with lowered maintenance, restore, and alternative costs.
All of those capabilities make AODD pumps the best choice for the aforementioned widespread liquid-handling functions in mining: dewatering, basic service, corrosive-handling, filter press, and daily product transfer.
In summary, Wilden AODD pumps are the best suited choice for mining functions as a end result of they provide considerable operational benefits, like comparable low-speed operation, dry-run, line-stripping, self-priming, and deadhead capability, along with increased operational safety and a reduction in maintenance/repair prices that can be incurred by pumps that aren’t designed to handle abrasive/corrosive or solid-laden liquids.
Wilden AODD pumps additionally outperform different AODD applied sciences in other significant ways: simple design with the bottom variety of elements for faster, less complicated, and safer repairs and the bottom number of spare elements to stock; current improvements in supplies of building that improve the pump’s MTBF; and improved efficiency via using the Pro-Flo SHIFT ADS, which in the end results in faster product switch with lower air consumption. Wilden additionally continues to innovate via the development of the next-generation Chem-Fuse and EZ-Install diaphragms, each of which increase service life and safety while not compromising the handling of difficult liquids.
Fernando Meneses is the regional manager North Latin America for Wilden, a leading manufacturer of air-operated double-diaphragm (AODD) pumps. He can be reached at Wilden is a product brand of PSG®, a Dover company. 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 extra info, visit or

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