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Mining is among the world’s oldest industries, tracing its roots again to those 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 essential and widespread industrial enterprises, with operations unfold 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 have been recovered in 2018, up from eleven.3 billion metric tons in 2000 and almost double the 9.6 billion metric tons in 1985. Asian countries accounted for fifty eight p.c of the 2018 manufacturing, with North America second at 15.1 p.c, 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) were probably the most prolific producers, with their complete fifty one.1 p.c of manufacturing greater than the rest of the world combined.
This means that the mining business is a robust one, with strong development expected to proceed within the coming years in plenty of regions of the world. It additionally implies that mining operations will continue to rely on pumping technologies that provide sturdy, dependable, and protected service in a number of critical liquid-handling operations. This white paper will illustrate why positive displacement air-operated double-diaphragm (AODD) pumps can be the only option for many of those purposes.
THE CHALLENGE

While mining might seem like 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, actually, many complicated and typically delicate operations that have to be carried out correctly if the mining operation is to carry out at its highest level of effectivity.
From a macro standpoint, this requires a pumping technology that can operate reliably in harsh and distant areas, even when submerged, or when tasked with dealing with particulate-laden liquids or toxic/corrosive merchandise, and likewise one that is ready to be maintained and repaired simply so downtime is lessened. The pumps should even be gentle enough to be manually moved from location to location inside the mine itself.
For a few years, a well-liked alternative for use in these situations was centrifugal pumps. While centrifugal pumps are capable of create the excessive flow rates which are required, they’ve a selection of operational “pain points” that hamper their use in mining purposes: an inability to self-prime or run dry; special seals wanted to forestall leaks; particular linings wanted to deal with solids; excessive motor speeds of as a lot as 1,800 rpm; and comparatively high upkeep requirements and costs, especially when charged with transferring solid-heavy liquids.
Another popular choice has been the progressive cavity pump, but, like centrifugal pumps, they’ve a selection of operational shortcomings. These embrace an inability to consistently handle liquids with high ranges of abrasives, which ends up in increased upkeep prices, put on on costly stators and rotors that can ultimately need to be replaced, and overall higher purchase, working, and repair/replacement costs.
Here are a few of the specific 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 critical 24/7/365 operation and the water that is recovered is commonly filled with particulates that can be as massive as zero.12 to zero.16 inches in size. If used in pressure gauge octa , centrifugal pumps require special materials of construction, which can be price prohibitive, to guard towards impeller put on caused by the abrasive particles. Centrifugal pumps are additionally not dry-run capable, which adversely impacts their degree of efficiency in this application.
General service: For widespread liquid-handling functions, you want an easy-to-operate pump that reliably can run dry, strip lines, function at low speeds while still delivering excessive circulate charges, and be simple to keep up 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 parts of centrifugal and progressive cavity pumps. This typically demands a need to make use of special mechanical seals, which can result in exorbitant maintenance, repair, and replacement costs.
Press filter: Press filters are used to wash the liquids which would possibly be produced within the mines and, once more, centrifugal pumps can fall quick in this application as a end result of the solid-laden liquid can harm the pump’s internals until special, dearer supplies of building 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 efficiency point (BEP), resulting in high vibration and radial loads that can lead to shortened service life. A answer to this is the incorporation of variable frequency drives (VFDs) and controllers, but these are costly and might negatively affect the cost-effectiveness of the operation.
Product transfer: This comes in all types in a mining operation, from loading and unloading from transport trucks with new and used oil for the heavy equipment, recent and fouled water, and any chemical compounds which would possibly be required. In each instance, there is the chance that the pump shall be compelled to run dry as the truck or storage vessel is emptied, while discharge-pressure variation also can generate high vibration and radial hundreds. As previously illustrated, centrifugal pumps cannot run dry, so that they want protection from this situation or the addition of special seals. However, all of these upgrades nonetheless cannot completely defend in opposition to a catastrophic failure.
THE SOLUTION

While centrifugal pumps—despite their popularity—have proven to not be the simplest answer in many liquid-handling applications in mining, one pump technology that has proven to be an optimum alternative is AODD—in terms 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 applications as a outcome of their method of operation allows them to simply handle variable flow rates and pressures, whereas being dry-run and line-stripping capable, and nimble enough 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 decrease speeds than different pump applied sciences, which improves reliability and simplifies maintenance, whereas the pump’s seal-less construction ends in fewer leaks, which is a critical consideration when dealing with the many hard-to-seal, corrosive, or hazardous liquids which may be prevalent in a mining operation. AODD pumps can be found in each metallic (most commonly aluminum, ductile iron and cast iron) and plastic (polypropylene and PVDF) housing constructions, whereas a broad array of elastomers can be used in the diaphragms, which eliminates many chemical-compatibility considerations.
A broad number of AODD pump configurations present operational flexibility that may additionally lead to optimized efficiency at many ranges. The capacity to function AODD pumps in a variety of purposes, from fundamental common use to delicate chemical-handling processes, permits operators to more cost-effectively outfit their mines. AODD pumps may also be less costly to function, especially these fashions which are outfitted with a next-generation mechanically actuated air distribution system (ADS). At their most basic, AODD pumps excel within the typical rugged and harsh operating circumstances found in the world’s mines, which reduces breakdown incidents together with corresponding downtime and repair costs.
Specifically, Wilden, whose founder, Jim Wilden, conceived the AODD pumping precept sixty-five years ago, has been dedicated to developing technologies that meet the needs of mining operations. Today, Wilden presents three AODD pump fashions which are built to excel in mining purposes, obtainable in ductile iron, cast iron, aluminum, polypropylene and Kynar materials of construction:
Brahma® Series: The Brahma pumps, which characteristic a bolted configuration, have been constructed for use in functions that require the dealing with of liquids that includes giant solids. The Brahma pumps have a unique top-inlet/bottom-discharge move orientation and flap valves that enable the passage of large solids with no threat that harm will occur as a end result of product entrapment or the settling of solids inside the pump’s internal flow 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 scale back air consumption by up to 60 %. The T810 and T1510 models 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 a hundred twenty five psi with solids-handling capability 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 large inner clearances and flow-through paths for straightforward 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 on 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 robust ADS design for the toughest environments. Flow rates amongst the six models vary from 57 gallons per minute to 232 gallons per minute at working pressures as a lot as a hundred twenty five psi. Solids sizes that might be dealt with vary from half of to 1 inch.
Pro-Flo SHIFT Series: Pro-Flo SHIFT pumps feature clamped or bolted configuration. Their design options totally different chamber supplies, including metallic and plastics, even Kynar, which is able to handling high ranges of abrasive materials. The Pro-Flo SHIFT can additionally be essentially the most efficient AODD pump out there, capable of reducing as much as 60 % air consumption. This makes it the best 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 wide selection of diaphragm styles—including the newer Chem-Fuse, EZ-Install, and Reduced-Stroke models—in a varying array of supplies, such as Wil-Flex™ (Santoprene®), Geolast®, Polyurethane, Buna-N®, EPDM, Neoprene, FKM, and PTFE. This diaphragm vary provides users the widest number of diaphragms in the marketplace, all of which are capable of providing extended imply time between failure (MTBF) for optimized uptime with decreased upkeep, repair, and alternative costs.
All of those capabilities make AODD pumps the best alternative for the aforementioned frequent liquid-handling applications in mining: dewatering, basic service, corrosive-handling, filter press, and daily product transfer.
CONCLUSION

In summary, Wilden AODD pumps are the greatest choice for mining functions as a result of they provide appreciable operational benefits, like comparable low-speed operation, dry-run, line-stripping, self-priming, and deadhead functionality, along with elevated operational safety and a discount in maintenance/repair prices that can be incurred by pumps that aren’t designed to deal with abrasive/corrosive or solid-laden liquids.
Wilden AODD pumps additionally outperform different AODD technologies in other important ways: simple design with the lowest number of parts for faster, easier, and safer repairs and the bottom variety of spare elements to inventory; recent enhancements in supplies of construction that enhance the pump’s MTBF; and improved efficiency through using the Pro-Flo SHIFT ADS, which ultimately ends in quicker product switch with lower air consumption. Wilden also continues to innovate by way of the development of the next-generation Chem-Fuse and EZ-Install diaphragms, each of which improve service life and safety whereas not compromising the handling of difficult liquids.
FOR MORE INFORMATION

Fernando Meneses is the regional supervisor North Latin America for Wilden, a number one producer of air-operated double-diaphragm (AODD) pumps. He can be reached at fernando.meneses@psgdover.com. Wilden is a product brand 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 extra data, go to www.wildenpump.com or www.psgdover.com.
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