Less waste means more reliability

Water waste is usually deemed an unwanted, but inevitable by-product of mining processes. Yet modern pump sealing technology exists which can nearly get rid of this waste whereas conserving vitality, improving pump reliability and attaining long term operational savings.
เพรสเชอร์เกจไฮดรอลิค is amongst the most vital, and increasingly imperilled, resources on earth. That a lot is known and acknowledged by industries across the globe.
However, additionally it is one of the most unnecessarily squandered assets in mining operations. And while the business has begun to embrace efficiency and sustainability-led advances similar to automation and renewable vitality, it remains steadfastly set in its ways in phrases of slurry pump technology.
Three approaches are routinely specified by pump producers to seal slurry pumps: mechanical packing, expellers (also often known as ‘dynamic’ seals’) and single mechanical seals. All come with vital limitations, including poor reliability, reduced imply times between failure (MTBF), intensive upkeep requirements and higher operational prices.
These factors alone should give mine managers cause for a re-evaluation of the sealing methods used on slurry pumps. However, any firm with a dedication to the International Standards Organisation ISO-14001 Standard for environmental management techniques and ISO-50001 Standard for vitality management methods ought to pay consideration to the extreme water waste and high energy consumption that results from opting for these traditional sealing strategies.
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 most wasteful elements of slurry processing which is seal flush water injection.
On gland packed pumps it’s essential that packing is flushed with clean water to keep it cool and lubricated, whereas both single slurry seals and expellers require a supply of cool, clear flush water to be injected into the process at excessive strain, sustaining a secure fluid movie between the fragile seal faces to maintain them cool and lubricated, whereas forcing the damaging slurry away.
The flush water required in all three sealing approaches is provided from an exterior supply and injected into the method at a better pressure than the stuffing box stress, in line with the business normal American Petroleum Institute (API) Piping Plan 32. Water which doesn’t leak onto the bottom or into the method is shipped to the tailings dam. This additionally has an impact on the water steadiness of the plant.
This strategy constitutes a lack of clean water amounting to billions of gallons a year globally. One massive, conventional slurry pump sometimes consumes 10 US gallons (37.eight litres) per minute, amounting to 5.2 million US gallons (19.6 million litres) of water every year – a shocking statistic by any measure.
At a time when world water supply is predicted to fall short of demand by some 40% by 20301 , eradicating unnecessary use of this priceless useful resource should arguably be a central plank of any accountable sustainability programme. Yet excessive water use, and the higher power consumption it entails, remain embedded in the processes of many mining firms. Worse nonetheless, it is truthful to say that it’s often accepted as merely ‘par for the course’ by reliability engineers and management alike.
But the fact is that water waste on any scale is a totally unnecessary function of slurry operations as it could be nearly completely eliminated just by using superior double mechanical seals and fashionable water management help techniques.
Improve reliability The sort of seal chosen, the environment by which it operates, and crucially, the tank support system which provides the water to maximise seal life, combine to provide the solution to excessive water waste and energy use.
Modern double mechanical seals have two units of faces, one sealing to the process fluid and one to environment, with a barrier space between the 2. They are designed to satisfy the arduous requirements of heavy duty slurry functions, with fortified metallic elements that are extremely proof against corrosion and erosion. Large ports and increased radial clearances mean the lubrication which is important to optimising seal life is maintained constantly and persistently.
A pressurised barrier tank system is central to the environmental sustainability of this solution. It employs a thermosiphon process which supplies clear, cool water to the barrier space between the double seals at a pressure higher than the product pressure, guaranteeing a consistent, stable and clear fluid movie to keep the seal faces cool and lubricated.
As the mechanical seals generate warmth, the hot water within the barrier house rises to the tank and is radiated to the ambiance, permitting the cooler, denser water to sink back down to provide cool lubrication to the seal faces. Most importantly, the flush water is continually recycled, flowing throughout the seal faces in a continuous loop and decreasing leakage to the absolute minimal, roughly a teaspoonful a day.
While API Plan 32 is unsuitable for servicing a quantity of slurry pumps in a ‘series train’ without the necessity to set up particular pump systems, pressurised barrier tanks offer ratings as a lot as 435 psi (30 bar), making them perfect for these functions. Self-topping and self-pressurising, they are also virtually maintenance-free.
Where no plant water provide is on the market for topping up the tank techniques, or the availability has insufficient stress, fluid supply models could be chosen to supply the barrier fluid to seal faces. These have the added benefits of having the ability to supply a water/glycol mixture or oil to provide freeze safety in extraordinarily cold climates.
Wide-ranging advantages The advantages of upgrading to modern sealing options and assist techniques had been felt by a coal mine in Poland utilizing a slurry pump to produce coal mud at 9 bar (135 psi) to filter press. Flushed packing resulted in big dilution of product, leading to tremendously increased filtration instances and costs. The pump was sealed with a double mechanical seal designed to satisfy the arduous necessities of the method.
The supporting seal tank system decreased leakage and product dilution to nearly zero. Return on investment was swift and the financial savings long-term. The advantages in terms of water conservation have been equally longlasting and the company’s popularity enhanced.
The mining business must cope with a troublesome and expensive challenge in phrases of sustaining rotating gear. But the planning, processing and disposal of flush water constitutes an operational and monetary burden which is completely avoidable.
And when a company can get rid of water waste at the identical time as rising reliability and decreasing long term operational prices, the choice to upgrade to trendy techniques ought to certainly be a moral imperative in addition to making sound enterprise sense.
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