A fit-for-purpose medium duty slurry pump is being supplied to the minerals and coal processing industry thanks to the ongoing research and innovation undertaken by Weir Minerals Africa.
This new range of pumps has been designed for slurry handling duties in the mining and chemical industries where the use of a heavy duty pump cannot be justified, Rui Gomes, product manager: slurry pumps at Weir Minerals Africa comments.
Efficiencies have been significantly improved, particularly in terms of the impeller. “The profile of the impeller has been completely redesigned and is also now patented,” Gomes says. “The construction materials for the elastomer are constituted of a proprietary rubber which is particularly hard-wearing and also readily available.”
Among the major advantages of this new design is the fully adjustable throat bush and back liner. “Slurry pumps undergo considerable wear by virtue of the environment in which they are operated,” explains Gomes. “This wear causes a gap between the working impeller and the casing. By being able to adjust the throat bush and liner, we can increase wear life and maintain efficiencies.”
The bearing assembly also features a more robust design where the shaft overhang is shorter, minimising deflection and increasing bearing life. “We have also included a horizontal split casing for ease of maintenance. This facilitates the quick replacement of worn parts, mainly because there are fewer bolts with which to deal.
“Another major feature is the single-piece rubber volute which we have adopted for alignment purposes. We have also introduced a sheer plate to allow any release of pressure that could build up. When pumps pump against a closed valve, they could become pressure vessels, and in extreme cases, even explode. The sheer plate, which is now a standard in our designs, eliminates that possibility.”
The capital costs of the pump are lower than prices on current products that are available, mainly because it is specifically purpose designed. All pump sizes are manufactured in South Africa and readily available to the market.
“We are already conducting trial projects with the slurry pump with several of our current customers. However, the pump has been in service in other countries for several months and feedback on its performance has been overwhelmingly positive,” Gomes adds.