How AODD Pumps Can Satisfy All Demands in Mining Operations

Mining is considered one of the world’s oldest industries, tracing its roots again to those prehistoric days when someone grabbed a digging instrument and commenced 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 spread across the globe whereas tasked with recovering an virtually inexhaustible list of valuable commodities.
In truth, based on 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 eleven.3 billion metric tons in 2000 and nearly double the 9.6 billion metric tons in 1985. Asian international locations accounted for 58 p.c 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) had been essentially the most prolific producers, with their whole fifty one.1 p.c of manufacturing more than the relaxation of the world mixed.
This signifies that the mining business is a robust one, with strong development anticipated to proceed within the coming years in many regions of the world. It additionally means that mining operations will proceed to depend on pumping technologies that provide sturdy, dependable, and secure service in a selection of crucial liquid-handling operations. This white paper will illustrate why positive displacement air-operated double-diaphragm (AODD) pumps can be the solely option for lots of of these applications.
While mining would possibly look like nothing more than a rough-and-tumble operation—holes are dug by heavy equipment or with explosives, opening the hidden ode to access from above—there are, actually, many complex and sometimes delicate operations that should be carried out correctly if the mining operation is to perform at its highest degree of efficiency.
From a macro standpoint, this requires a pumping know-how that can function reliably in harsh and distant places, even when submerged, or when tasked with dealing with particulate-laden liquids or toxic/corrosive products, and likewise one that is ready to be maintained and repaired in order that downtime is lessened. The pumps should even be light enough to be manually moved from location to location inside the mine itself.
For many years, a preferred choice to be used in these conditions was centrifugal pumps. While centrifugal pumps are able to create the high flow rates that are required, they have a quantity of operational “pain points” that hamper their use in mining purposes: an lack of ability to self-prime or run dry; special seals wanted to forestall leaks; particular linings needed to handle solids; excessive motor speeds of up to 1,800 rpm; and comparatively excessive upkeep necessities and costs, especially when charged with transferring solid-heavy liquids.
Another in style alternative has been the progressive cavity pump, but, 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 increased upkeep costs, put on on expensive stators and rotors that can eventually must be replaced, and total larger purchase, operating, and repair/replacement prices.
Here are some of the specific liquid-transfer operations that happen in a mine and the ways that some pump applied sciences can fall brief in satisfying them:
Mine dewatering: Removing excess 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 large as 0.12 to zero.sixteen inches in measurement. If used on this utility, centrifugal pumps require special materials of building, which may be cost prohibitive, to guard in opposition to impeller put on attributable to the abrasive particles. Insider are also not dry-run succesful, which adversely affects their degree of efficiency in this utility.
General service: For common liquid-handling purposes, you need an easy-to-operate pump that reliably can run dry, strip lines, operate at low speeds while nonetheless delivering high circulate rates, and be simple to take care of and restore. Centrifugal pumps merely 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 necessity to use special mechanical seals, which may result in exorbitant maintenance, restore, and substitute costs.
Press filter: Press filters are used to wash the liquids which are produced in the mines and, once more, centrifugal pumps can fall quick on this software as a result of the solid-laden liquid can harm the pump’s internals unless special, costlier supplies of construction or linings are used. Also, the character of press-filter operation creates a strong discharge-pressure variation that may drive the centrifugal pump to function away from its best effectivity point (BEP), resulting in excessive vibration and radial loads that may result in shortened service life. A answer to that is the incorporation of variable frequency drives (VFDs) and controllers, but these are expensive and can negatively have an result on the cost-effectiveness of the operation.
Product switch: This comes in all types in a mining operation, from loading and unloading from transport vehicles with new and used oil for the heavy equipment, recent and fouled water, and any chemical substances which may be required. In each occasion, there is the chance 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 previously illustrated, centrifugal pumps cannot run dry, in order that they want protection from this condition or the addition of special seals. However, all of these upgrades still cannot completely shield against a catastrophic failure.
While centrifugal pumps—despite their popularity—have proven to not be the simplest answer in lots of liquid-handling purposes in mining, one pump expertise that has confirmed to be an optimum alternative is AODD—in phrases of maximizing reliability, cost-effectiveness, ease of operation and upkeep, and security for mining personnel and the setting.
AODD pumps are able to perform effectively in mining applications as a outcome of their methodology of operation allows them to easily handle variable move charges and pressures, whereas being dry-run and line-stripping capable, and nimble sufficient to transfer liquids which are shear-sensitive or high-viscosity, in addition to slurries laden with rocks, pebbles, and other 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 maintenance, whereas the pump’s seal-less building results in fewer leaks, which is a important consideration when dealing with the many hard-to-seal, corrosive, or hazardous liquids which are prevalent in a mining operation. AODD pumps can be found in each metallic (most commonly aluminum, ductile iron and solid iron) and plastic (polypropylene and PVDF) housing constructions, whereas a broad selection of elastomers can be used within the diaphragms, which eliminates many chemical-compatibility considerations.
A broad variety of AODD pump configurations provide operational flexibility that may additionally result in optimized performance at many ranges. The capability to function AODD pumps in a variety of applications, from basic common use to delicate chemical-handling processes, allows operators to more cost-effectively outfit their mines. AODD pumps can be less costly to operate, especially those fashions 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 conditions discovered within the world’s mines, which reduces breakdown incidents along with corresponding downtime and repair prices.
Specifically, Wilden, whose founder, Jim Wilden, conceived the AODD pumping precept sixty-five years ago, has been dedicated to creating technologies that meet the needs of mining operations. Today, Wilden provides three AODD pump models which are constructed to excel in mining applications, obtainable in ductile iron, cast iron, aluminum, polypropylene and Kynar materials of building:
Brahma® Series: The Brahma pumps, which characteristic a bolted configuration, have been constructed for use in functions that require the handling of liquids that includes massive solids. The Brahma pumps have a unique top-inlet/bottom-discharge move orientation and flap valves that permit the passage of huge solids with no threat that damage will occur because of product entrapment or the settling of solids throughout the pump’s inner circulate 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 scale back air consumption by as a lot 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 vary for the four Brahma pumps is 166 to 258 gallons per minute at pressures as a lot as 125 psi with solids-handling functionality starting from 2 to three inches.
Stallion® Series: The Stallion pumps function a clamped design with carrying handles for light-weight portability. Their design features large inside clearances and flow-through paths for easy passage of large solids with no chance for clogging. An altered ball/seat check-valve meeting additional enables solids passage, while a polyurethane display screen base at the inlet increases the pump’s sturdiness. 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 featuring the Turbo-Flo ADS, Wilden’s most strong ADS design for the hardest environments. Flow rates amongst the six models range from fifty seven gallons per minute to 232 gallons per minute at working pressures as much as a hundred twenty five psi. Solids sizes that may be handled vary from half to 1 inch.
Pro-Flo SHIFT Series: Pro-Flo SHIFT pumps characteristic clamped or bolted configuration. Their design options totally different chamber materials, including steel and plastics, even Kynar, which is capable of handling high levels of abrasive materials. The Pro-Flo SHIFT is also the most environment friendly AODD pump out there, capable of decreasing as much as 60 percent air consumption. Controversial makes it the greatest option for handling 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, corresponding to Wil-Flex™ (Santoprene®), Geolast®, Polyurethane, Buna-N®, EPDM, Neoprene, FKM, and PTFE. This diaphragm vary gives customers the widest selection of diaphragms on the market, all of that are able to offering prolonged mean time between failure (MTBF) for optimized uptime with decreased upkeep, repair, and substitute prices.
All of these capabilities make AODD pumps the ideal alternative for the aforementioned common liquid-handling purposes in mining: dewatering, common service, corrosive-handling, filter press, and every day product switch.
In summary, Wilden AODD pumps are the most fitted choice for mining functions as a end result of they provide appreciable operational benefits, like comparable low-speed operation, dry-run, line-stripping, self-priming, and deadhead functionality, along with increased operational safety and a reduction in maintenance/repair costs that can be incurred by pumps that are not designed to deal with abrasive/corrosive or solid-laden liquids.
Wilden AODD pumps additionally outperform other AODD applied sciences in other important methods: simple design with the lowest number of parts for sooner, less complicated, and safer repairs and the lowest variety of spare elements to inventory; current improvements in materials of development that increase the pump’s MTBF; and improved efficiency through the utilization of the Pro-Flo SHIFT ADS, which ultimately ends in faster product transfer with lower air consumption. Wilden also continues to innovate by way of the event of the next-generation Chem-Fuse and EZ-Install diaphragms, both of which enhance service life and security whereas not compromising the dealing with of difficult liquids.
Fernando Meneses is the regional manager North Latin America for Wilden, a number one producer of air-operated double-diaphragm (AODD) pumps. He may be reached at Wilden is a product brand of PSG®, a Dover company. PSG is comprised of a number of main pump firms, including Abaque®, All-Flo™, Almatec®, Blackmer®, Ebsray, em-tec®, Griswold®, Hydro™, Mouvex®, Neptune®, Quantex™, Quattroflow®, RedScrew™, and Wilden®. For extra information, visit or

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