Less waste means more reliability

Water waste is usually deemed an unwanted, however inevitable by-product of mining processes. Yet trendy pump sealing know-how exists which can nearly get rid of this waste whereas conserving energy, enhancing pump reliability and attaining long term operational financial savings.
Water is likely certainly one of the most vital, and more and more imperilled, sources on earth. That much is understood and acknowledged by industries across the globe.
However, it is also one of the unnecessarily squandered assets in mining operations. And while the business has begun to embrace effectivity and sustainability-led advances such as automation and renewable vitality, it stays steadfastly set in its methods in relation to slurry pump technology.
Three approaches are routinely specified by pump producers to seal slurry pumps: mechanical packing, expellers (also known as ‘dynamic’ seals’) and single mechanical seals. เกจปรับแรงดันแก๊ส come with vital limitations, including poor reliability, lowered imply times between failure (MTBF), intensive upkeep necessities and higher operational prices.
These components alone should give mine managers trigger for a re-evaluation of the sealing strategies used on slurry pumps. However, any company with a dedication to the International Standards Organisation ISO-14001 Standard for environmental management methods and ISO-50001 Standard for energy administration systems should pay attention to the extreme water waste and excessive power consumption that results from opting for these traditional sealing methods.
Inefficient sealing When used to seal the process pumps in a mine’s scrubber and floatation circuits, gland packing, single mechanical seals and expeller seals all demand one of the wasteful elements of slurry processing which is seal flush water injection.
On gland packed pumps it’s important that packing is flushed with clean water to maintain it cool and lubricated, whereas both single slurry seals and expellers require a provide of cool, clear flush water to be injected into the process at excessive strain, maintaining a stable fluid film between the delicate seal faces to maintain them cool and lubricated, whereas forcing the damaging slurry away.
The flush water required in all three sealing approaches is equipped from an external supply and injected into the method at a higher strain than the stuffing field pressure, according to the trade normal American Petroleum Institute (API) Piping Plan 32. Water which doesn’t leak onto the bottom or into the method is sent to the tailings dam. This additionally has an impact on the water steadiness of the plant.
This approach constitutes a loss of clean water amounting to billions of gallons a 12 months globally. One large, typical slurry pump typically consumes 10 US gallons (37.eight litres) per minute, amounting to 5.2 million US gallons (19.6 million litres) of water yearly – a shocking statistic by any measure.
At a time when world water supply is predicted to fall wanting demand by some 40% by 20301 , removing pointless use of this priceless useful resource ought to arguably be a central plank of any accountable sustainability programme. Yet excessive water use, and the upper vitality consumption it entails, stay embedded in the processes of many mining corporations. Worse nonetheless, it’s truthful to say that it’s typically accepted as simply ‘par for the course’ by reliability engineers and administration alike.
But the fact is that water waste on any scale is a totally pointless feature of slurry operations as it can be almost totally eliminated simply by using advanced double mechanical seals and modern water administration support techniques.
Improve reliability The type of seal selected, the setting during which it operates, and crucially, the tank support system which provides the water to maximise seal life, mix to provide the answer to excessive water waste and power use.
Modern double mechanical seals have two units of faces, one sealing to the method fluid and one to environment, with a barrier area between the two. They are designed to meet the arduous requirements of heavy duty slurry applications, with fortified metallic components which are highly proof against corrosion and erosion. Large ports and increased radial clearances mean the lubrication which is significant to optimising seal life is maintained constantly and constantly.
A pressurised barrier tank system is central to the environmental sustainability of this answer. It employs a thermosiphon process which supplies clean, cool water to the barrier house between the double seals at a pressure higher than the product strain, guaranteeing a constant, secure and clean fluid movie to keep the seal faces cool and lubricated.
As the mechanical seals generate heat, the recent water within the barrier area rises to the tank and is radiated to the ambiance, allowing the cooler, denser water to sink back down to supply cool lubrication to the seal faces. Most importantly, the flush water is constantly recycled, flowing throughout the seal faces in a steady loop and reducing leakage to the absolute minimal, roughly a teaspoonful a day.
While API Plan 32 is unsuitable for servicing multiple slurry pumps in a ‘series train’ without the necessity to install special pump methods, pressurised barrier tanks supply ratings as much as 435 psi (30 bar), making them best for these applications. Self-topping and self-pressurising, they’re also nearly maintenance-free.
Where no plant water supply is on the market for topping up the tank techniques, or the availability has inadequate pressure, fluid delivery models can be selected to supply the barrier fluid to seal faces. These have the added advantages of with the flexibility to supply a water/glycol mixture or oil to supply freeze safety in extremely cold climates.
Wide-ranging benefits The benefits of upgrading to modern sealing options and help methods had been felt by a coal mine in Poland utilizing a slurry pump to provide coal mud at 9 bar (135 psi) to filter press. Flushed packing resulted in huge dilution of product, leading to tremendously elevated filtration times and costs. The pump was sealed with a double mechanical seal designed to meet the arduous requirements of the process.
The supporting seal tank system reduced leakage and product dilution to just about zero. Return on funding was swift and the financial savings long-term. The benefits when it comes to water conservation have been equally longlasting and the company’s reputation enhanced.
The mining trade must deal with a tricky and costly problem in relation to sustaining rotating equipment. But the planning, processing and disposal of flush water constitutes an operational and financial burden which is entirely avoidable.
And when an organization can remove water waste simultaneously growing reliability and decreasing long run operational costs, the decision to improve to modern methods ought to absolutely be an ethical imperative as well as making sound business sense.
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