How AODD Pumps Can Satisfy All Demands in Mining Operations

Mining is likely certainly one of the world’s oldest industries, tracing its roots again to those prehistoric days when somebody grabbed a digging instrument and started 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 throughout the globe while tasked with recovering an almost inexhaustible listing of useful commodities.
In reality, based on the World Mining Congress’s World Mining Data 2020 report, 17.7 billion metric tons of mined products have been recovered in 2018, up from 11.three billion metric tons in 2000 and practically double the 9.6 billion metric tons in 1985. Asian nations accounted for 58 percent of the 2018 production, with North America second at 15.1 p.c, followed 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 essentially the most prolific producers, with their whole fifty one.1 % of manufacturing greater than the relaxation of the world combined.
This signifies that the mining industry is a strong one, with strong growth anticipated to proceed in the coming years in lots of areas of the world. It additionally means that mining operations will proceed to rely on pumping applied sciences that supply strong, reliable, and secure service in a quantity of important liquid-handling operations. This white paper will illustrate why constructive displacement air-operated double-diaphragm (AODD) pumps may be the solely option for so much of of those functions.
While mining may look like nothing greater than a rough-and-tumble operation—holes are dug by heavy machinery or with explosives, opening the hidden ode to access from above—there are, in reality, many complicated and sometimes delicate operations that should be performed correctly 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 locations, even when submerged, or when tasked with handling particulate-laden liquids or toxic/corrosive merchandise, and likewise one that is in a position 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 within the mine itself.
For many years, a popular choice for use in these circumstances was centrifugal pumps. While centrifugal pumps are able to create the high flow rates which may be required, they have numerous operational “pain points” that hamper their use in mining functions: an lack of ability to self-prime or run dry; special seals needed to prevent leaks; particular linings needed to handle solids; excessive motor speeds of up to 1,800 rpm; and comparatively high upkeep requirements and costs, especially when charged with transferring solid-heavy liquids.
Another popular alternative has been the progressive cavity pump, but, like centrifugal pumps, they’ve a selection of operational shortcomings. These embrace an inability to consistently deal with liquids with high levels of abrasives, which outcomes in elevated upkeep prices, put on on costly stators and rotors that will finally have to be replaced, and general greater buy, 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 quick in satisfying them:
Mine dewatering: Removing extra produced water from the mine is a important 24/7/365 operation and the water that’s recovered is commonly filled with particulates that might be as giant as 0.12 to 0.16 inches in size. If used in this software, centrifugal pumps require particular supplies of construction, which could be cost prohibitive, to protect against impeller wear caused by the abrasive particles. Centrifugal pumps are additionally not dry-run capable, which adversely impacts their degree of performance in this utility.
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 excessive circulate charges, and be simple to take care of and repair. Centrifugal pumps merely 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 typically demands a need to use special mechanical seals, which may lead to exorbitant maintenance, restore, and replacement costs.
Press filter: Press filters are used to clean the liquids which would possibly be produced in the mines and, again, centrifugal pumps can fall short in this utility as a result of the solid-laden liquid can injury the pump’s internals unless special, more expensive supplies of construction or linings are used. Also, the character of press-filter operation creates a robust discharge-pressure variation that can force the centrifugal pump to operate away from its best effectivity point (BEP), resulting in high vibration and radial loads that may result in 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 is available in all types in a mining operation, from loading and unloading from transport vehicles with new and used oil for the heavy equipment, fresh and fouled water, and any chemical compounds that are required. In each occasion, there’s the risk that the pump shall be compelled to run dry as the truck or storage vessel is emptied, whereas discharge-pressure variation can also generate excessive vibration and radial loads. As previously illustrated, centrifugal pumps can’t run dry, so they need protection from this condition or the addition of special seals. However, all of these upgrades nonetheless can not completely shield in opposition to a catastrophic failure.
While centrifugal pumps—despite their popularity—have proven to not be the simplest solution in many liquid-handling functions 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 upkeep, and security for mining personnel and the environment.
AODD pumps are capable of carry out successfully in mining functions as a outcome of their technique of operation allows them to easily deal with variable circulate charges and pressures, whereas being dry-run and line-stripping capable, and nimble enough to switch 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 components and comparably decrease speeds than other pump applied sciences, which improves reliability and simplifies upkeep, whereas the pump’s seal-less construction results in fewer leaks, which is a important consideration when dealing with the numerous hard-to-seal, corrosive, or hazardous liquids which are prevalent in a mining operation. AODD pumps are available in each steel (most generally aluminum, ductile iron and forged iron) and plastic (polypropylene and PVDF) housing constructions, while a big selection of elastomers can be utilized in the diaphragms, which eliminates many chemical-compatibility issues.
A wide number of AODD pump configurations provide operational flexibility that can additionally lead to optimized performance at many ranges. The capacity to feature AODD pumps in a broad range of applications, from basic basic use to delicate chemical-handling processes, allows operators to extra cost-effectively outfit their mines. AODD pumps can be less costly to function, especially these models which might be outfitted with a next-generation mechanically actuated air distribution system (ADS). At their most elementary, AODD pumps excel in the typical rugged and harsh working situations found within 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 dedicated to creating technologies that meet the needs of mining operations. Today, Wilden offers three AODD pump models which would possibly be built to excel in mining purposes, available in ductile iron, cast iron, aluminum, polypropylene and Kynar supplies of development:
Brahma® Series: The Brahma pumps, which function a bolted configuration, have been built to be used in purposes that require the dealing with of liquids featuring massive solids. The Brahma pumps have a singular top-inlet/bottom-discharge flow orientation and flap valves that enable the passage of large solids with no threat that injury will occur on account of product entrapment or the settling of solids inside the pump’s inside flow paths. Brahma pumps can be found 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 %. 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 4 Brahma pumps is 166 to 258 gallons per minute at pressures as much as one hundred twenty five psi with solids-handling capability ranging from 2 to 3 inches.
Stallion® Series: The Stallion pumps function a clamped design with carrying handles for light-weight portability. Their design options massive internal clearances and flow-through paths for simple passage of enormous solids with no probability for clogging. An altered ball/seat check-valve meeting further enables solids passage, while a polyurethane screen base at the inlet will increase the pump’s durability. The PS4, PS8, and PS15 (1.5-, 2-, and 3-inch) models 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 robust ADS design for the hardest environments. Flow rates amongst the six fashions vary from 57 gallons per minute to 232 gallons per minute at working pressures as much as one hundred twenty five psi. Solids sizes that can be dealt with range from half of to 1 inch.
Pro-Flo SHIFT Series: Pro-Flo SHIFT pumps characteristic clamped or bolted configuration. Covert , together with metallic and plastics, even Kynar, which is able to handling high ranges of abrasive materials. The Pro-Flo SHIFT can be probably the most environment friendly AODD pump in the market, able to decreasing up to 60 % air consumption. This makes it the most suitable choice for dealing with corrosive and abrasive products in mining processes. The pumps have a product vary 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 wide array of diaphragm styles—including the newer Chem-Fuse, EZ-Install, and Reduced-Stroke models—in a varying array of supplies, similar to Wil-Flex™ (Santoprene®), Geolast®, Polyurethane, Buna-N®, EPDM, Neoprene, FKM, and PTFE. This diaphragm vary offers customers the widest choice of diaphragms available on the market, all of which are capable of providing prolonged imply time between failure (MTBF) for optimized uptime with reduced maintenance, restore, and substitute prices.
All of those capabilities make AODD pumps the perfect selection for the aforementioned common liquid-handling purposes in mining: dewatering, general service, corrosive-handling, filter press, and day by day product switch.
In abstract, Wilden AODD pumps are the best suited choice for mining applications as a outcome of they offer appreciable operational advantages, like comparable low-speed operation, dry-run, line-stripping, self-priming, and deadhead capability, along with increased operational safety and a discount in maintenance/repair costs that could be incurred by pumps that aren’t designed to handle abrasive/corrosive or solid-laden liquids.
Wilden AODD pumps additionally outperform other AODD technologies in other vital ways: simple design with the lowest number of components for quicker, less complicated, and safer repairs and the lowest number of spare elements to stock; recent improvements in materials of construction that enhance the pump’s MTBF; and improved effectivity via using the Pro-Flo SHIFT ADS, which finally leads to sooner product transfer with lower air consumption. Wilden additionally continues to innovate through the event of the next-generation Chem-Fuse and EZ-Install diaphragms, each of which improve service life and safety whereas not compromising the handling of challenging liquids.
Fernando Meneses is the regional supervisor North Latin America for Wilden, a leading producer of air-operated double-diaphragm (AODD) pumps. He could be reached at Wilden is a product model of PSG®, a Dover firm. 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 extra info, visit or

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