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Alberta, Canada has the world’s third largest oil reserves within the type of oil sands. Extracting and processing the oil from the sands and bedrock is a challenging course of and requires the most important slurry pump within the oil sands industry.
When it comes to pumping slurry, there may be only a few functions which might be tougher than the hydro-transport of heavy-duty slurries in oil sands manufacturing. Not only do the pumps should deal with the highly aggressive nature of the fluid being pumped, they’re additionally expected to operate in a few of the harshest environments on the earth.
In January 2020, GIW Industries, Inc., a KSB company, commissioned its largest ever heavy-duty centrifugal slurry pump for operation in Canada’s oil sands, specifically the Tie Bolt Construction (TBC-92). Named after its 92 in (2337 mm) impeller, the TBC-92 is the largest and heaviest slurry pump obtainable within the oil sands business and the newest in a line of powerful high-pressure pumps provided by GIW.
Slurry transportation Slurry transport covers a substantial range of business sectors, ranging from food and beverage to mining. What is widespread to all, is that the pumps used must be succesful of transport liquids containing particles and solids of various sizes and viscosities. In mining, dredging and oil sands production, the biggest problem is to accommodate high density slurry and highly abrasive grits.
It is important that the slurry passes by way of the pump with the minimum quantity of wear and tear to the pump casing, impeller, shaft and sealing mechanism. Furthermore, the pump must be capable of delivering high flows and capable of stand up to harsh working environments.
Alberta in Canada has in depth oil reserves and these are in the form of oil sands. Extracting and processing the oil from the sands and bedrock is challenging, involving the removal of bituminous ore which is transported to a crushing plant. The crushed ore is then blended with heat water to form a dense slurry that can be transported in the pipeline in the direction of extraction, the place the bitumen is separated from the sand and rock. After extraction, the remaining solids (or tailings) are often transported via completely different pumps to settling ponds.
The processes require extensive use of slurry and water transportation pumps able to dealing with vast portions of liquids at high pressures and excessive temp- eratures. Drawing on its long experience of designing slurry pumps for mining, GIW has custom-engineered slurry pumps that mix superior materials, hydraulics and patented mechanical designs, the newest of which is the TBC-92.
Meeting challenges Mollie Timmerman, GIW business improvement supervisor, explains extra: “Our client wanted a better capacity pump which was capable of 10,000–11,000 m3 per hour of output at nearly forty m of developed head and a maximum working pressure of 4000 kPa. The pump additionally needed to have the ability to pass rocks of roughly a hundred thirty mm in diameter with a complete passage dimension requirement of 10 in (or 254 mm) and handle slurry densities in extra of 1.5 SG.
In pressure gauge 10 bar , the customer was targeting a maintenance interval (operational time between planned maintenance) of round three,000 hours. They had expressed an interest in maximising the upkeep intervals and based on preliminary put on indications, they’re currently hoping to realize around 6,000 hours between pump overhauls (i.e. 6–8 months).”

The instant application for the first batch of GIW’s TBC-92 pumps in Alberta is in hydro-transport service where they’re used to move bitu- minous ore from the crusher to the extraction plant. The liquid pumped is a mixture of water, bitumen, sand, and huge rocks. Screens are in place to maintain these rocks to a manageable dimension for the process, however the top measurement can nonetheless often attain up to a hundred thirty mm in diameter or larger.
The abrasive nature of the slurry is what separates a slurry pump from other pumps used within the trade. Wear and erosion are information of life, and GIW has decades of experience in the design of slurry pumps and the development of supplies to assist prolong the service life of these critical parts to match the planned maintenance cycles within the plant.
“GIW already had a pump able to the output requirement, this being the MDX-750, which has been a preferred size in mill duties for practically 10 years through- out Central and South America,” explains Mollie Timmerman. ”However, the customer’s application required a pump with greater pressure capabilities and the capability of dealing with bigger rocks so we responded with the event of the TBC-92 which provided the most effective resolution for maximised manufacturing.”

The TBC sequence The building type of GIW’s TBC pump range options massive, ribbed plates held together with tie bolts for very high-pressure service and maximum put on efficiency. First developed for dredge service, then later introduced into the oil sands in the Nineteen Nineties, the TBC pump collection has grown into a totally developed range of pumps serving the oil sands, phosphate, dredging and onerous rock mining industries for tailings and hydrotransport purposes.
The pumps are sometimes grouped collectively in booster stations to construct pressure as excessive as 750 psi (5171 kPa) to account for the pipe losses encountered over such lengthy distances. The sturdy construction of the TBC pump is properly suited to do the job, whereas ensuring most availability of the gear beneath heavily abrasive wear.
Capable of delivering strain up to 37 bar and flows of more than 18,200m³/h and temperatures as a lot as 120o C, the TBC vary is a horizontal, end suction centrifugal pump that provides most resistance to put on. Simple to hold up, the pump’s tie-bolt design transfers stress hundreds away from the wear resistant white iron casing to the non- bearing facet plates without using heavy and unwieldy double-wall construction.
The TBC-92 combines the best elements of earlier TBC fashions, together with the TBC-84 oil sands tailing pump, also identified as the Super Pump. The pump also incorporates features from GIW’s MDX product line, which is utilized in heavy-duty mining circuits all through the world of exhausting rock mining.
In whole, the TBC-92 weighs about 209,000 lbs (95,000 kg), which is roughly equal to a fully-loaded Airbus A321 aeroplane. The casing alone weighs 34,000 lbs (15,500 kg). Key features of the pump embrace a slurry diverter that dramatically will increase suction liner life by reducing particle recirculation between the impeller and the liner. The large diameter impeller allows the pump to run at slower speeds in order that wear life is enhanced. The lower speed additionally provides the pump the ability to function over a wider range of flows to be able to accommodate fluctuating circulate conditions.
To make maintenance easier, the pump is fitted with a particular two-piece suction plate design which helps to scale back device time and provide safer lifting. Customers obtain pump-specific lifting gadgets to facilitate the protected removal and set up of wear comp- onents. The pump also features a longlasting suction liner that can be adjusted without having to shut the pump down.
New milestone The commissioning of the TBC-92 marks an necessary milestone for GIW, which now has pumps in service at all operating Canadian oil sands crops for hydrotransport purposes. The TBC-92 has been designed to deal with heavy-duty slurry transport while offering a low complete price of ownership. Minimal labour and upkeep time help to maximise production and profit.
“This new pump incorporates the lessons discovered from working within the oil sands over many years, and options our newest hydraulic and wear applied sciences,” says Mollie Timmerman. “Because that is the heaviest TBC pump we now have ever designed, particular attention was given to maintainability, in addition to material selection and building of the pressure-containing components.”

That GIW has established itself as a major pressure in pumping solutions for the oil sands trade is way from surprising on situation that it has been developing pumping technologies and put on resistant supplies in the global mining industry because the Forties.
These pumps have had a substantial impact on the way in which that excavated sand, rock and bitumen are transported to the upgrader plant. By including water to the excavated material it becomes highly environment friendly to pump the slurry along a pipeline to the upgrader. The pipeline agitation assists in separating the bitumen from the sand as it’s transported, plus there is the extra benefit of eradicating the usage of trucks.
GIW has estimated that the price of transferring oil sand on this method can cut prices by US$2 a barrel, and it’s much more environmentally friendly. These pumps also play a significant function in transporting the coarse tailings to the tailings ponds. GIW provides pumps used in the extraction process and other areas of manufacturing (HVF, MDX, LSA).
Understanding slurries Understanding the nature of slurries and the way they behave when being pumped has been fundamental to the development of those products. GIW has been acquiring slurry samples from clients over many years for testing hydraulics and supplies both for pumps and pipelines. Research & Development amenities include a quantity of slurry take a look at beds on the campus, along with a hydraulics laboratory that’s devoted to pump performance testing.
These actions are central to the company’s pump growth programmes. If firms are experiencing problems the GIW R&D personnel can see where the issue lies and offer recommendation for remedial motion. Experience does indicate that in many circumstances the problem lies not with the pump nonetheless, however within the interplay between the pipeline and the pump.
Feedback from clients about appli- cations helps in the development of new tools and pump designs. By bringing to- gether prospects and academics from everywhere in the world to share their expertise and analysis with in-house consultants, the huge investment in research, growth and manufacturing has superior the design of the entire GIW pump products,supplies and wear-resistant parts.
The future “There is a transparent pattern toward larger pumps in mining and dredging and oil sands aren’t any exception,” feedback Leo Perry, GIW lead product supervisor. “The first TBC pump within the oil sands business was the TBC-46 (46 in being the diameter of the impeller). Customers are designing their facilities for higher and better manufacturing and demanding the same of the tools that keeps their production transferring. While these bigger pumps demand extra energy, additionally they allow for greater manufacturing with less downtime required for upkeep. Overall, the efficiency improves when in comparison with the identical output from a bigger quantity of smaller pumps. “

In conclusion, he says: “Larger pumps go hand-in-hand with larger amenities, bigger pipelines, and elevated production, all of which proceed to pattern greater yr after 12 months. Other customers and industries have also proven an interest on this measurement, and it might be no surprise at all to see more of those pumps built in the near future for related purposes.”

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