Alberta, Canada has the world’s third largest oil reserves in the type of oil sands. Extracting and processing pressure gauge octa from the sands and bedrock is a challenging course of and requires the largest slurry pump within the oil sands trade.
When it comes to pumping slurry, there can be only a few applications which might be tougher than the hydro-transport of professional quality slurries in oil sands production. Not only do the pumps should cope with the extremely aggressive nature of the fluid being pumped, they’re also expected to operate in a number of the harshest environments on the planet.
In January 2020, GIW Industries, Inc., a KSB firm, 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 industry and the most recent in a line of highly effective high-pressure pumps offered by GIW.
Slurry transportation Slurry transport covers a considerable vary of trade sectors, starting from meals and beverage to mining. What is common to all, is that the pumps used must have the power to transport liquids containing particles and solids of varying sizes and viscosities. In mining, dredging and oil sands manufacturing, the most important problem is to accommodate high density slurry and extremely abrasive grits.
It is crucial that the slurry passes by way of the pump with the minimal quantity of wear and tear to the pump casing, impeller, shaft and sealing mechanism. Furthermore, the pump have to be capable of delivering high flows and able to face up to harsh operating environments.
Alberta in Canada has extensive oil reserves and these are within the form of oil sands. Extracting and processing the oil from the sands and bedrock is difficult, involving the removal of bituminous ore which is transported to a crushing plant. The crushed ore is then blended with warm water to type a dense slurry that can be transported in the pipeline in direction of extraction, where the bitumen is separated from the sand and rock. After extraction, the remaining solids (or tailings) are sometimes transported through totally different pumps to settling ponds.
The processes require intensive use of slurry and water transportation pumps able to handling huge quantities of liquids at excessive pressures and excessive temp- eratures. Drawing on its long experience of designing slurry pumps for mining, GIW has custom-engineered slurry pumps that mix advanced materials, hydraulics and patented mechanical designs, the most recent of which is the TBC-92.
Meeting challenges Mollie Timmerman, GIW business improvement manager, explains extra: “Our consumer wanted a better capability 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 130 mm in diameter with a complete passage measurement requirement of 10 in (or 254 mm) and handle slurry densities in extra of 1.5 SG.
In addition, the shopper was focusing on a upkeep interval (operational time between deliberate maintenance) of around 3,000 hours. They had expressed an interest in maximising the maintenance intervals and primarily based on initial wear indications, they’re presently hoping to attain around 6,000 hours between pump overhauls (i.e. 6–8 months).”

The instant utility for the first batch of GIW’s TBC-92 pumps in Alberta is in hydro-transport service where they are used to move bitu- minous ore from the crusher to the extraction plant. The liquid pumped is a mix of water, bitumen, sand, and huge rocks. Screens are in place to maintain these rocks to a manageable size for the method, however the top dimension can still typically reach up to a hundred thirty mm in diameter or larger.
The abrasive nature of the slurry is what separates a slurry pump from different pumps used in the industry. Wear and erosion are facts of life, and GIW has many years of experience in the design of slurry pumps and the development of supplies to assist lengthen the service life of these important elements to match the planned upkeep cycles within the plant.
“GIW already had a pump capable of the output requirement, this being the MDX-750, which has been a popular size in mill duties for almost 10 years through- out Central and South America,” explains Mollie Timmerman. ”However, the customer’s application required a pump with larger strain capabilities and the aptitude of dealing with larger rocks so we responded with the event of the TBC-92 which provided the best solution for maximised production.”

The TBC series The building type of GIW’s TBC pump vary features large, ribbed plates held together with tie bolts for very high-pressure service and most wear efficiency. First developed for dredge service, then later launched into the oil sands within the 1990s, the TBC pump collection has grown into a fully developed range of pumps serving the oil sands, phosphate, dredging and onerous rock mining industries for tailings and hydrotransport applications.
The pumps are sometimes grouped collectively in booster stations to construct stress as high 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, while ensuring maximum availability of the equipment underneath closely abrasive put on.
Capable of delivering strain as a lot as 37 bar and flows of greater than 18,200m³/h and temperatures up to 120o C, the TBC range is a horizontal, finish suction centrifugal pump that gives most resistance to wear. Simple to maintain, the pump’s tie-bolt design transfers stress masses away from the put on and tear resistant white iron casing to the non- bearing side plates with out using heavy and unwieldy double-wall development.
The TBC-92 combines the most effective parts of earlier TBC fashions, together with the TBC-84 oil sands tailing pump, also called the Super Pump. The pump additionally incorporates features from GIW’s MDX product line, which is utilized in heavy-duty mining circuits throughout the world of onerous rock mining.
In complete, the TBC-92 weighs about 209,000 lbs (95,000 kg), which is roughly equivalent to a fully-loaded Airbus A321 aeroplane. The casing alone weighs 34,000 lbs (15,500 kg). Key features of the pump include a slurry diverter that dramatically increases suction liner life by reducing particle recirculation between the impeller and the liner. The massive diameter impeller permits the pump to run at slower speeds in order that wear life is enhanced. The lower velocity also gives the pump the ability to operate over a wider vary of flows so as to accommodate fluctuating circulate conditions.
To make upkeep easier, the pump is fitted with a special two-piece suction plate design which helps to reduce software time and supply 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 might be adjusted without having to shut the pump down.
New milestone The commissioning of the TBC-92 marks an essential milestone for GIW, which now has pumps in service at all operating Canadian oil sands vegetation for hydrotransport functions. The TBC-92 has been designed to tackle heavy-duty slurry transport whereas offering a low complete value of possession. Minimal labour and upkeep time assist to maximise manufacturing and profit.
“This new pump incorporates the lessons discovered from working in the oil sands over many years, and features our newest hydraulic and put on technologies,” says Mollie Timmerman. “Because this is the heaviest TBC pump we have ever designed, particular consideration was given to maintainability, in addition to materials selection and construction of the pressure-containing elements.”

That GIW has established itself as a significant force in pumping options for the oil sands industry is far from shocking provided that it has been creating pumping technologies and put on resistant materials within the international mining trade for the explanation that 1940s.
These pumps have had a substantial impact on the finest way that excavated sand, rock and bitumen are transported to the upgrader plant. By adding 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’s the additional benefit of eradicating the utilization of vehicles.
GIW has estimated that the value of moving oil sand on this means can cut costs by US$2 a barrel, and it is much more environmentally friendly. These pumps additionally play a significant role in transporting the coarse tailings to the tailings ponds. GIW provides pumps used in the extraction process and different areas of production (HVF, MDX, LSA).
Understanding slurries Understanding the character of slurries and the way they behave when being pumped has been fundamental to the event of these merchandise. GIW has been obtaining slurry samples from clients over a few years for testing hydraulics and materials each for pumps and pipelines. Research & Development services embrace multiple slurry check beds on the campus, along with a hydraulics laboratory that’s dedicated to pump efficiency testing.
These actions are central to the company’s pump growth programmes. If companies are experiencing issues the GIW R&D personnel can see the place the issue lies and supply recommendation for remedial motion. Experience does point out that in many circumstances the problem lies not with the pump however, but within the interplay between the pipeline and the pump.
Feedback from prospects about appli- cations helps in the improvement of recent tools and pump designs. By bringing to- gether customers and academics from all over the world to share their expertise and research with in-house specialists, the huge investment in analysis, growth and manufacturing has advanced the design of all the GIW pump merchandise,materials and wear-resistant components.
The future “There is a clear trend towards bigger pumps in mining and dredging and oil sands are no exception,” feedback Leo Perry, GIW lead product manager. “The first TBC pump within the oil sands trade was the TBC-46 (46 in being the diameter of the impeller). Customers are designing their facilities for greater and higher manufacturing and demanding the identical of the equipment that keeps their production moving. While these larger pumps demand more power, they also allow for greater production with less downtime required for maintenance. Overall, the effectivity improves when in comparison with the identical output from a bigger amount of smaller pumps. “

In conclusion, he says: “Larger pumps go hand-in-hand with larger amenities, larger pipelines, and elevated manufacturing, all of which proceed to pattern larger year after year. Other clients and industries have additionally shown an interest on this size, and it might be no shock in any respect to see extra of these pumps constructed within the close to future for comparable applications.”