How AODD Pumps Can Satisfy All Demands in Mining Operations

Mining is amongst the world’s oldest industries, tracing its roots back to these prehistoric days when someone grabbed a digging instrument and started burrowing into the bottom. In the various millennia since, mining has grown into one of the world’s most necessary and widespread commercial enterprises, with operations unfold throughout the globe while tasked with recovering an nearly inexhaustible record of useful commodities.
In truth, according to the World Mining Congress’s World Mining Data 2020 report, 17.7 billion metric tons of mined merchandise have been recovered in 2018, up from 11.3 billion metric tons in 2000 and practically double the 9.6 billion metric tons in 1985. Asian international locations accounted for 58 percent of the 2018 manufacturing, with North America second at 15.1 percent, adopted by Europe (8 percent), Oceania (6.8 percent), Latin America (6.three percent), and Africa (5.three 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 fifty one.1 percent of production greater than the remainder of the world combined.
This signifies that the mining industry is a powerful one, with stable development anticipated to proceed within the coming years in many regions of the world. It additionally signifies that mining operations will proceed to depend on pumping applied sciences that supply robust, reliable, and secure service in a quantity of important liquid-handling operations. This white paper will illustrate why positive displacement air-operated double-diaphragm (AODD) pumps can be the finest choice for many of these purposes.
While mining would possibly 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 typically delicate operations that must be performed properly if the mining operation is to perform at its highest degree of effectivity.
From a macro standpoint, this requires a pumping know-how that can operate reliably in harsh and remote places, even when submerged, or when tasked with handling particulate-laden liquids or toxic/corrosive products, and also one which is in a position to be maintained and repaired simply so downtime is lessened. The pumps must even be gentle sufficient to be manually moved from location to location throughout the mine itself.
For many years, a popular selection to be used in these conditions was centrifugal pumps. While centrifugal pumps are capable of create the high flow charges which would possibly be required, they’ve numerous operational “pain points” that hamper their use in mining applications: an inability to self-prime or run dry; particular seals wanted to forestall leaks; particular linings needed to handle solids; excessive motor speeds of as much as 1,800 rpm; and comparatively excessive maintenance requirements and costs, especially when charged with transferring solid-heavy liquids.
Another popular alternative has been the progressive cavity pump, however, like centrifugal pumps, they have numerous operational shortcomings. These include an incapability to consistently handle liquids with excessive levels of abrasives, which ends up in elevated upkeep costs, put on on costly stators and rotors that can finally must be changed, and overall higher purchase, operating, and repair/replacement prices.
Here are some of the particular liquid-transfer operations that take place 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 filled with particulates that can be as giant as zero.12 to zero.sixteen inches in dimension. If used on this application, centrifugal pumps require special materials of development, which may be price prohibitive, to protect in opposition to impeller put on brought on by the abrasive particles. Centrifugal pumps are additionally not dry-run succesful, which adversely impacts their stage of efficiency on this utility.
General service: For widespread liquid-handling purposes, you need an easy-to-operate pump that reliably can run dry, strip lines, function at low speeds whereas nonetheless delivering high flow charges, and be simple to keep up and repair. Centrifugal pumps simply don’t possess these capabilities.
Corrosive liquids: Much like solid-laden liquids, corrosive ones can wreak havoc on the wetted elements of centrifugal and progressive cavity pumps. This usually calls for a need to use special mechanical seals, which might lead to exorbitant maintenance, restore, and replacement prices.
Press filter: Press filters are used to scrub the liquids which are produced in the mines and, once more, centrifugal pumps can fall short on this application as a result of the solid-laden liquid can damage the pump’s internals except special, more expensive supplies of construction or linings are used. Also, the nature of press-filter operation creates a strong discharge-pressure variation that may force the centrifugal pump to function away from its finest effectivity point (BEP), resulting in excessive vibration and radial masses that can lead to shortened service life. A answer to this is the incorporation of variable frequency drives (VFDs) and controllers, however these are expensive and can negatively have an result on the cost-effectiveness of the operation.
Product switch: This comes in all forms in a mining operation, from loading and unloading from transport vans with new and used oil for the heavy machinery, fresh and fouled water, and any chemical substances that are required. In each instance, there may be the risk that the pump will be pressured to run dry as the truck or storage vessel is emptied, whereas discharge-pressure variation can even generate excessive vibration and radial loads. As beforehand illustrated, centrifugal pumps cannot run dry, so that they need safety from this condition or the addition of special seals. However, all of those upgrades still can’t totally defend in opposition to a catastrophic failure.
While centrifugal pumps—despite their popularity—have confirmed to not be the most effective resolution in plenty of liquid-handling purposes in mining, one pump know-how that has confirmed to be an optimum choice is AODD—in phrases of maximizing reliability, cost-effectiveness, ease of operation and maintenance, and safety for mining personnel and the environment.
AODD pumps are able to perform effectively in mining applications as a end result of their method of operation permits them to easily deal with variable flow rates and pressures, whereas being dry-run and line-stripping succesful, and nimble enough to transfer liquids which are shear-sensitive or high-viscosity, in addition to slurries laden with rocks, pebbles, and different particulates.
The easy design of the AODD pump features few moving parts and comparably decrease speeds than different pump applied sciences, which improves reliability and simplifies upkeep, while the pump’s seal-less building results in fewer leaks, which is a crucial consideration when handling the many hard-to-seal, corrosive, or hazardous liquids that are prevalent in a mining operation. AODD pumps are available in each metal (most commonly aluminum, ductile iron and forged iron) and plastic (polypropylene and PVDF) housing constructions, while a broad array of elastomers can be used within the diaphragms, which eliminates many chemical-compatibility issues.
A extensive variety of AODD pump configurations provide operational flexibility that may also end in optimized efficiency at many levels. The ability to function AODD pumps in a variety of functions, from primary basic use to delicate chemical-handling processes, permits operators to extra cost-effectively outfit their mines. AODD pumps may also be less costly to operate, especially these models that are outfitted with a next-generation mechanically actuated air distribution system (ADS). At their most simple, AODD pumps excel within the typical rugged and harsh working situations discovered within the world’s mines, which reduces breakdown incidents together with corresponding downtime and restore prices.
Specifically, Wilden, whose founder, Jim Wilden, conceived the AODD pumping precept sixty-five years ago, has been devoted to developing technologies that meet the needs of mining operations. Today, Wilden presents three AODD pump models which are built to excel in mining functions, obtainable in ductile iron, forged iron, aluminum, polypropylene and Kynar supplies of building:
Brahma® Series: The Brahma pumps, which feature a bolted configuration, have been constructed for use in applications that require the handling of liquids that includes massive solids. The Brahma pumps have a novel top-inlet/bottom-discharge circulate orientation and flap valves that permit the passage of enormous solids with no threat that harm will happen because of product entrapment or the settling of solids within the pump’s inside circulate 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 up to 60 p.c. The T810 and T1510 models 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 one hundred twenty five psi with solids-handling functionality starting from 2 to 3 inches.
Stallion® Series: The Stallion pumps function a clamped design with carrying handles for lightweight portability. Their design features giant inner clearances and flow-through paths for easy passage of enormous solids with no likelihood for clogging. An altered ball/seat check-valve meeting further allows 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 that includes the Turbo-Flo ADS, Wilden’s most sturdy ADS design for the toughest environments. Flow charges amongst the six fashions range from fifty seven 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 vary from half of to 1 inch.
Pro-Flo SHIFT Series: Pro-Flo SHIFT pumps characteristic clamped or bolted configuration. Their design features different chamber materials, including metallic and plastics, even Kynar, which is able to dealing with high levels of abrasive materials. The Pro-Flo SHIFT can be the most efficient AODD pump out there, able to reducing up to 60 % air consumption. This makes it the best suited 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 capable of be outfitted with a broad array of diaphragm styles—including the newer Chem-Fuse, EZ-Install, and Reduced-Stroke models—in a various array of supplies, similar to Wil-Flex™ (Santoprene®), Geolast®, Polyurethane, Buna-N®, EPDM, Neoprene, FKM, and PTFE. This diaphragm range gives users the widest choice of diaphragms available on the market, all of that are able to offering prolonged imply time between failure (MTBF) for optimized uptime with reduced maintenance, restore, and substitute costs.
All of these capabilities make AODD pumps the perfect alternative for the aforementioned frequent liquid-handling applications in mining: dewatering, common service, corrosive-handling, filter press, and daily product transfer.
In abstract, Wilden AODD pumps are the best option for mining functions because they provide appreciable operational benefits, like comparable low-speed operation, dry-run, line-stripping, self-priming, and deadhead capability, together with increased operational security and a reduction in maintenance/repair prices that can be incurred by pumps that are not designed to deal with abrasive/corrosive or solid-laden liquids.
Wilden AODD pumps also outperform other AODD technologies in different significant ways: easy design with the lowest variety of components for faster, simpler, and safer repairs and the bottom variety of spare components to inventory; latest improvements in materials of building that increase the pump’s MTBF; and improved effectivity by way of the utilization of the Pro-Flo SHIFT ADS, which ultimately ends in faster product transfer with decrease air consumption. Roadmap continues to innovate via the development of the next-generation Chem-Fuse and EZ-Install diaphragms, each of which increase service life and safety whereas not compromising the handling of difficult liquids.
Fernando Meneses is the regional supervisor North Latin America for Wilden, a leading manufacturer of air-operated double-diaphragm (AODD) pumps. He can be reached at Wilden is a product model of PSG®, a Dover firm. PSG is comprised of a quantity 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 information, visit or

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