How AODD Pumps Can Satisfy All Demands in Mining Operations

Mining is certainly one of the world’s oldest industries, tracing its roots back to these prehistoric days when somebody grabbed a digging instrument and began burrowing into the bottom. In the many millennia since, mining has grown into one of many world’s most necessary and widespread commercial enterprises, with operations unfold throughout the globe while tasked with recovering an almost inexhaustible list of priceless commodities.
In fact, in accordance with the World Mining Congress’s World Mining Data 2020 report, 17.7 billion metric tons of mined merchandise have been recovered in 2018, up from eleven.three billion metric tons in 2000 and almost double the 9.6 billion metric tons in 1985. Asian countries accounted for 58 p.c of the 2018 production, with North America second at 15.1 %, adopted 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) have been essentially the most prolific producers, with their total 51.1 percent of production more than the the rest of the world combined.
This implies that the mining business is a strong one, with stable growth expected to continue within the coming years in many regions of the world. It also signifies that mining operations will continue to depend on pumping applied sciences that supply strong, dependable, and secure service in a quantity of critical liquid-handling operations. This white paper will illustrate why constructive displacement air-operated double-diaphragm (AODD) pumps may be your best option for lots of of these functions.
While mining may look like nothing greater 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, in fact, many advanced and generally delicate operations that must be performed correctly if the mining operation is to perform at its highest degree of effectivity.
From a macro standpoint, this requires a pumping know-how that may function reliably in harsh and remote areas, even when submerged, or when tasked with handling particulate-laden liquids or toxic/corrosive merchandise, and in addition one that is ready to be maintained and repaired simply so downtime is lessened. The pumps should even be mild enough to be manually moved from location to location within the mine itself.
For a few years, a popular choice to be used in these conditions was centrifugal pumps. While centrifugal pumps are in a position to create the excessive move charges which would possibly be required, they have numerous operational “pain points” that hamper their use in mining purposes: an lack of ability to self-prime or run dry; special seals needed to stop leaks; special linings needed to deal with solids; high motor speeds of up to 1,800 rpm; and relatively excessive upkeep requirements and prices, particularly when charged with transferring solid-heavy liquids.
Another well-liked alternative has been the progressive cavity pump, but, like centrifugal pumps, they’ve a selection of operational shortcomings. These embody an lack of ability to persistently handle liquids with high levels of abrasives, which outcomes in elevated upkeep prices, put on on expensive stators and rotors that may finally have to be changed, and overall greater buy, working, and repair/replacement prices.
Here are a few of the specific liquid-transfer operations that take place in a mine and the ways in which some pump applied sciences can fall short in satisfying them:
Mine dewatering: Removing extra produced water from the mine is a crucial 24/7/365 operation and the water that’s recovered is commonly full of particulates that can be as large as zero.12 to 0.16 inches in size. If used on this application, centrifugal pumps require particular materials of building, which can be value prohibitive, to guard in opposition to impeller put on caused by the abrasive particles. Centrifugal pumps are additionally not dry-run capable, which adversely affects their level of performance on this application.
General service: For frequent liquid-handling functions, you need an easy-to-operate pump that reliably can run dry, strip lines, function at low speeds whereas still delivering excessive circulate rates, and be easy to maintain and restore. 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 usually demands a necessity to make use of particular mechanical seals, which might result in exorbitant maintenance, restore, and alternative costs.
Press filter: Press filters are used to clean the liquids which may be produced within the mines and, once more, centrifugal pumps can fall brief in this utility because the solid-laden liquid can harm the pump’s internals except special, more expensive supplies of development or linings are used. Also, the nature of press-filter operation creates a robust discharge-pressure variation that can force the centrifugal pump to operate away from its best efficiency level (BEP), resulting in high vibration and radial hundreds that may lead to shortened service life. A answer to that is the incorporation of variable frequency drives (VFDs) and controllers, but these are costly and can negatively have an result on the cost-effectiveness of the operation.
Product transfer: This comes in all types in a mining operation, from loading and unloading from transport vans with new and used oil for the heavy machinery, contemporary and fouled water, and any chemical substances which are required. In each occasion, there may be the chance that the pump will be forced to run dry because the truck or storage vessel is emptied, whereas discharge-pressure variation can also generate high vibration and radial hundreds. As previously illustrated, centrifugal pumps can’t run dry, in order that they need safety from this situation or the addition of special seals. However, all of these upgrades still cannot completely shield in opposition to a catastrophic failure.
While centrifugal pumps—despite their popularity—have confirmed to not be the simplest resolution in plenty of liquid-handling purposes in mining, one pump expertise that has proven to be an optimum choice 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 applications as a outcome of their methodology of operation permits them to simply handle variable circulate rates and pressures, while being dry-run and line-stripping succesful, and nimble enough to transfer liquids which are shear-sensitive or high-viscosity, as well as slurries laden with rocks, pebbles, and different particulates.
The simple design of the AODD pump features few shifting components and comparably decrease speeds than different pump technologies, which improves reliability and simplifies upkeep, whereas the pump’s seal-less development ends in fewer leaks, which is a critical consideration when handling the various 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 massive selection of elastomers can be utilized in the diaphragms, which eliminates many chemical-compatibility concerns.
Kickstart of AODD pump configurations provide operational flexibility that can also end in optimized performance at many levels. The capacity to characteristic AODD pumps in a broad range of applications, from primary basic use to delicate chemical-handling processes, allows operators to extra cost-effectively outfit their mines. AODD pumps may additionally be less costly to operate, particularly these models which are outfitted with a next-generation mechanically actuated air distribution system (ADS). At their most simple, AODD pumps excel within the typical rugged and harsh working situations discovered within the world’s mines, which reduces breakdown incidents along with corresponding downtime and repair prices.
Specifically, Wilden, whose founder, Jim Wilden, conceived the AODD pumping precept sixty-five years ago, has been dedicated to growing technologies that meet the needs of mining operations. Today, Wilden presents three AODD pump fashions which may be built to excel in mining applications, obtainable in ductile iron, forged iron, aluminum, polypropylene and Kynar supplies of building:
Brahma® Series: The Brahma pumps, which feature a bolted configuration, have been built to be used in purposes that require the handling of liquids featuring large solids. The Brahma pumps have a novel top-inlet/bottom-discharge circulate orientation and flap valves that permit the passage of enormous solids with no threat that damage will occur as a result of product entrapment or the settling of solids within 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 reduce back 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 range for the 4 Brahma pumps is 166 to 258 gallons per minute at pressures as much as a hundred twenty five psi with solids-handling functionality ranging from 2 to three inches.
Stallion® Series: The Stallion pumps function a clamped design with carrying handles for lightweight portability. Their design options giant inside clearances and flow-through paths for simple passage of huge solids with no chance for clogging. An altered ball/seat check-valve meeting additional allows 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 strong ADS design for the hardest environments. Flow charges amongst the six models vary from fifty seven gallons per minute to 232 gallons per minute at working pressures as much as 125 psi. Solids sizes that might be handled range from half of to 1 inch.
Pro-Flo SHIFT Series: Pro-Flo SHIFT pumps function clamped or bolted configuration. Their design options totally different chamber supplies, including metallic and plastics, even Kynar, which is able to dealing with high levels of abrasive materials. The Pro-Flo SHIFT is also the most efficient AODD pump in the market, able to lowering up to 60 percent air consumption. This makes it the most fitted choice for dealing with corrosive and abrasive products in mining processes. The pumps have a product vary 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 in a place to be outfitted with a big selection of diaphragm styles—including the newer Chem-Fuse, EZ-Install, and Reduced-Stroke models—in a varying array of materials, corresponding to Wil-Flex™ (Santoprene®), Geolast®, Polyurethane, Buna-N®, EPDM, Neoprene, FKM, and PTFE. This diaphragm vary provides customers the widest selection of diaphragms in the marketplace, all of which are capable of offering extended mean time between failure (MTBF) for optimized uptime with decreased upkeep, restore, and substitute costs.
All of these capabilities make AODD pumps the best selection for the aforementioned widespread liquid-handling purposes in mining: dewatering, basic service, corrosive-handling, filter press, and daily product switch.
In abstract, Wilden AODD pumps are the most suitable choice for mining purposes because they provide appreciable operational advantages, like comparable low-speed operation, dry-run, line-stripping, self-priming, and deadhead capability, together with elevated operational security and a reduction in maintenance/repair costs that can be incurred by pumps that aren’t designed to handle abrasive/corrosive or solid-laden liquids.
Wilden AODD pumps additionally outperform other AODD applied sciences in other significant methods: simple design with the lowest number of elements for sooner, simpler, and safer repairs and the bottom variety of spare components to stock; latest enhancements in supplies of construction that increase the pump’s MTBF; and improved effectivity by way of using the Pro-Flo SHIFT ADS, which in the end leads to sooner product switch with lower air consumption. Wilden additionally continues to innovate through the event of the next-generation Chem-Fuse and EZ-Install diaphragms, both of which increase service life and safety whereas not compromising the handling of difficult liquids.
Fernando Meneses is the regional supervisor North Latin America for Wilden, a leading manufacturer of air-operated double-diaphragm (AODD) pumps. He could be reached at Wilden is a product model of PSG®, a Dover firm. PSG is comprised of a number of leading pump firms, together with Abaque®, All-Flo™, Almatec®, Blackmer®, Ebsray, em-tec®, Griswold®, Hydro™, Mouvex®, Neptune®, Quantex™, Quattroflow®, RedScrew™, and Wilden®. For more info, visit or

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