How AODD Pumps Can Satisfy All Demands in Mining Operations

Mining is doubtless considered 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 various 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 priceless commodities.
In fact, based on the World Mining Congress’s World Mining Data 2020 report, 17.7 billion metric tons of mined products were recovered in 2018, up from 11.3 billion metric tons in 2000 and practically double the 9.6 billion metric tons in 1985. Asian nations accounted for fifty eight 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 (5.3 percent). Individually, China (23 percent), the United States (12.1 percent), Russia (9.2 percent), and Australia (7.2 percent) have been the most prolific producers, with their total 51.1 % of manufacturing more than the rest of the world mixed.
This implies that the mining industry is a robust one, with solid development expected to proceed within the coming years in lots of areas of the world. It also signifies that mining operations will proceed to rely on pumping applied sciences that provide robust, reliable, and secure service in numerous critical liquid-handling operations. This white paper will illustrate why positive displacement air-operated double-diaphragm (AODD) pumps may be the finest choice for many of those purposes.
While mining might appear to be nothing greater than a rough-and-tumble operation—holes are dug by heavy equipment or with explosives, opening the hidden ode to entry from above—there are, actually, many advanced and typically delicate operations that must be performed correctly if the mining operation is to carry out at its highest stage of efficiency.
From a macro standpoint, this requires a pumping know-how that can function reliably in harsh and distant locations, even when submerged, or when tasked with dealing with particulate-laden liquids or toxic/corrosive merchandise, and also one which is able to be maintained and repaired simply so downtime is lessened. The pumps must even be light sufficient to be manually moved from location to location throughout the mine itself.
For many years, a preferred selection to be used in these conditions was centrifugal pumps. While centrifugal pumps are able to create the high circulate charges which might be required, they have numerous operational “pain points” that hamper their use in mining applications: an inability to self-prime or run dry; particular seals needed to forestall leaks; special linings needed to handle solids; high motor speeds of up to 1,800 rpm; and relatively high maintenance requirements and prices, particularly when charged with transferring solid-heavy liquids.
Another well-liked choice has been the progressive cavity pump, but, like centrifugal pumps, they’ve numerous operational shortcomings. These embody an incapability to consistently deal with liquids with high ranges of abrasives, which leads to elevated upkeep costs, put on on expensive stators and rotors that will finally have to be changed, and total greater purchase, working, and repair/replacement prices.
Here are a variety of the specific liquid-transfer operations that happen in a mine and the ways in which some pump applied sciences can fall short in satisfying them:
Mine dewatering: Removing excess produced water from the mine is a critical 24/7/365 operation and the water that’s recovered is usually filled with particulates that can be as massive as zero.12 to zero.sixteen inches in dimension. If used in this application, centrifugal pumps require particular supplies of building, which may be price prohibitive, to protect towards impeller wear brought on by the abrasive particles. Centrifugal pumps are also not dry-run capable, which adversely impacts their stage of performance in this application.
General service: For frequent liquid-handling functions, you want an easy-to-operate pump that reliably can run dry, strip strains, operate at low speeds while still delivering excessive flow charges, and be simple to maintain and restore. Centrifugal pumps simply do not possess these capabilities.
Corrosive liquids: Much like solid-laden liquids, corrosive ones can wreak havoc on the wetted parts of centrifugal and progressive cavity pumps. This sometimes calls for a need to make use of special mechanical seals, which may result in exorbitant maintenance, repair, and alternative costs.
Press filter: Press filters are used to scrub the liquids that are produced within the mines and, once more, centrifugal pumps can fall short in this software because the solid-laden liquid can damage the pump’s internals unless special, dearer supplies of building or linings are used. Also, the nature of press-filter operation creates a robust discharge-pressure variation that may pressure the centrifugal pump to function away from its best efficiency level (BEP), resulting in excessive vibration and radial hundreds that can lead to shortened service life. A resolution to this is the incorporation of variable frequency drives (VFDs) and controllers, however these are costly and may negatively affect the cost-effectiveness of the operation.
Product transfer: This is out there in all varieties 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 chemicals that are required. In every instance, there’s the chance that the pump might be pressured to run dry because the truck or storage vessel is emptied, while discharge-pressure variation also can generate high vibration and radial hundreds. As beforehand illustrated, centrifugal pumps cannot run dry, so that they want protection from this situation or the addition of particular seals. However, all of those upgrades still cannot totally protect towards a catastrophic failure.
While centrifugal pumps—despite their popularity—have confirmed to not be the simplest resolution in many liquid-handling purposes in mining, one pump know-how that has proven to be an optimum selection is AODD—in phrases of maximizing reliability, cost-effectiveness, ease of operation and maintenance, and safety for mining personnel and the setting.
AODD pumps are capable of perform effectively in mining functions because their methodology of operation allows them to easily deal with variable flow rates and pressures, whereas being dry-run and line-stripping succesful, and nimble sufficient to switch liquids that are shear-sensitive or high-viscosity, as properly as slurries laden with rocks, pebbles, and different particulates.
The easy design of the AODD pump options few shifting parts and comparably lower speeds than different pump applied sciences, which improves reliability and simplifies maintenance, while the pump’s seal-less development leads to fewer leaks, which is a critical consideration when dealing with the numerous hard-to-seal, corrosive, or hazardous liquids which may be prevalent in a mining operation. AODD pumps are available in each metallic (most generally aluminum, ductile iron and forged iron) and plastic (polypropylene and PVDF) housing constructions, while a huge selection of elastomers can be used in the diaphragms, which eliminates many chemical-compatibility issues.
A extensive variety of AODD pump configurations provide operational flexibility that can additionally result in optimized efficiency at many levels. The capacity to function AODD pumps in a extensive range of functions, from basic common use to delicate chemical-handling processes, permits operators to more cost-effectively outfit their mines. AODD pumps can be less costly to function, especially these fashions which may 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 working circumstances discovered in the world’s mines, which reduces breakdown incidents along with corresponding downtime and restore prices.
Specifically, Wilden, whose founder, Jim Wilden, conceived the AODD pumping precept sixty-five years in the past, has been devoted to growing technologies that meet the needs of mining operations. Today, Wilden presents three AODD pump fashions that are built to excel in mining purposes, available in ductile iron, forged iron, aluminum, polypropylene and Kynar supplies of building:
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 large solids. The Brahma pumps have a unique top-inlet/bottom-discharge circulate orientation and flap valves that enable the passage of enormous solids with no threat that damage will occur because of product entrapment or the settling of solids within the pump’s inside 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 air consumption by as much as 60 percent. 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 4 Brahma pumps is 166 to 258 gallons per minute at pressures up to one 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 lightweight portability. Their design features large internal clearances and flow-through paths for easy passage of large solids with no probability for clogging. An altered ball/seat check-valve meeting further enables solids passage, while a polyurethane display base at the inlet will increase 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 that includes the Turbo-Flo ADS, Wilden’s most strong ADS design for the hardest environments. Flow rates amongst the six models vary from fifty seven gallons per minute to 232 gallons per minute at working pressures as a lot as 125 psi. Solids sizes that might be dealt with vary from half of to 1 inch.
Pro-Flo SHIFT Series: Pro-Flo SHIFT pumps function clamped or bolted configuration. Their design features different chamber supplies, including metallic and plastics, even Kynar, which is capable of handling high ranges of abrasive supplies. The Pro-Flo SHIFT can additionally be the most efficient AODD pump available in the market, able to decreasing up to 60 p.c air consumption. This makes it the most suitable choice for handling corrosive and abrasive products in mining processes. The pumps have a product vary that goes from 1.5 to 3 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 selection 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. Safety provides customers the widest selection of diaphragms on the market, all of which are able to offering prolonged imply time between failure (MTBF) for optimized uptime with lowered maintenance, restore, and substitute costs.
All of these capabilities make AODD pumps the best selection for the aforementioned frequent liquid-handling purposes in mining: dewatering, general service, corrosive-handling, filter press, and day by day product transfer.
In summary, Wilden AODD pumps are the finest choice for mining applications as a outcome of they offer appreciable operational benefits, like comparable low-speed operation, dry-run, line-stripping, self-priming, and deadhead functionality, together with increased operational safety and a reduction 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 significant ways: easy design with the bottom variety of elements for sooner, less complicated, and safer repairs and the lowest number of spare components to stock; latest enhancements in supplies of development that enhance the pump’s MTBF; and improved effectivity via the usage of the Pro-Flo SHIFT ADS, which in the end ends in faster product transfer with decrease air consumption. Wilden additionally continues to innovate via the event of the next-generation Chem-Fuse and EZ-Install diaphragms, both of which enhance 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 may be reached at Wilden is a product brand of PSG®, a Dover company. PSG is comprised of several leading pump corporations, including Abaque®, All-Flo™, Almatec®, Blackmer®, Ebsray, em-tec®, Griswold®, Hydro™, Mouvex®, Neptune®, Quantex™, Quattroflow®, RedScrew™, and Wilden®. For more info, go to or

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