How AODD Pumps Can Satisfy All Demands in Mining Operations

Mining is among the world’s oldest industries, tracing its roots again to these prehistoric days when somebody grabbed a digging instrument and started burrowing into the ground. In the numerous millennia since, mining has grown into one of many world’s most important and widespread business enterprises, with operations unfold across the globe while tasked with recovering an nearly inexhaustible list of valuable commodities.
In fact, in accordance with the World Mining Congress’s World Mining Data 2020 report, 17.7 billion metric tons of mined merchandise were recovered in 2018, up from 11.three billion metric tons in 2000 and almost double the 9.6 billion metric tons in 1985. Asian international locations accounted for 58 p.c of the 2018 production, with North America second at 15.1 %, adopted by Europe (8 percent), Oceania (6.eight 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 the most prolific producers, with their complete 51.1 % of manufacturing greater than the the rest of the world combined.
This implies that the mining trade is a strong one, with solid growth anticipated to continue within the coming years in many areas of the world. It additionally means that mining operations will proceed to rely on pumping technologies that provide strong, dependable, and safe service in numerous critical liquid-handling operations. This white paper will illustrate why positive displacement air-operated double-diaphragm (AODD) pumps may be the solely option for so much of of those functions.
While mining might look like nothing greater than a rough-and-tumble operation—holes are dug by heavy equipment or with explosives, opening the hidden ode to access from above—there are, actually, many complex and typically delicate operations that must be performed properly if the mining operation is to perform at its highest level of effectivity.
From a macro standpoint, this requires a pumping expertise that may function reliably in harsh and distant locations, even when submerged, or when tasked with dealing with particulate-laden liquids or toxic/corrosive products, and likewise one that is ready to be maintained and repaired in order that downtime is lessened. The pumps should even be gentle enough to be manually moved from location to location within the mine itself.
For Simple as ABC , a popular selection to be used in these circumstances was centrifugal pumps. While centrifugal pumps are able to create the excessive circulate rates which might be required, they have numerous operational “pain points” that hamper their use in mining functions: an lack of ability to self-prime or run dry; particular seals wanted to stop leaks; particular linings needed to deal with solids; high motor speeds of up to 1,800 rpm; and relatively high upkeep requirements and prices, particularly when charged with transferring solid-heavy liquids.
Another in style alternative has been the progressive cavity pump, but, like centrifugal pumps, they have a variety of operational shortcomings. These embody an incapability to consistently deal with liquids with excessive ranges of abrasives, which leads to increased upkeep prices, put on on expensive stators and rotors that will eventually must be replaced, and general larger purchase, operating, and repair/replacement costs.
Here are some of the particular liquid-transfer operations that happen 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 critical 24/7/365 operation and the water that’s recovered is often filled with particulates that might be as large as 0.12 to zero.16 inches in size. If used in this utility, centrifugal pumps require particular materials of development, which could be cost prohibitive, to guard towards impeller put on attributable to the abrasive particles. Centrifugal pumps are also not dry-run succesful, which adversely impacts their level of efficiency on this utility.
General service: For widespread liquid-handling purposes, you need an easy-to-operate pump that reliably can run dry, strip strains, function at low speeds whereas still delivering excessive flow charges, and be straightforward to hold up and repair. Centrifugal pumps simply don’t possess these capabilities.
Corrosive liquids: Much like solid-laden liquids, corrosive ones can wreak havoc on the wetted components of centrifugal and progressive cavity pumps. This usually calls for a necessity to use special mechanical seals, which may result in exorbitant upkeep, repair, and alternative prices.
Press filter: Press filters are used to clean the liquids which would possibly be produced in the mines and, once more, centrifugal pumps can fall quick on this utility as a outcome of the solid-laden liquid can injury the pump’s internals unless particular, dearer supplies of construction or linings are used. Also, the character of press-filter operation creates a strong discharge-pressure variation that can drive the centrifugal pump to function away from its best efficiency point (BEP), resulting in high vibration and radial hundreds that can lead to shortened service life. A resolution to that is the incorporation of variable frequency drives (VFDs) and controllers, however these are costly and can negatively have an result on the cost-effectiveness of the operation.
Product transfer: This comes in all varieties in a mining operation, from loading and unloading from transport trucks with new and used oil for the heavy machinery, fresh and fouled water, and any chemicals which are required. In every instance, there is the risk that the pump will be pressured to run dry because the truck or storage vessel is emptied, while discharge-pressure variation can also generate high vibration and radial hundreds. As previously illustrated, centrifugal pumps cannot run dry, in order that they need safety from this condition or the addition of particular seals. However, all of those upgrades nonetheless can not completely shield towards a catastrophic failure.
While centrifugal pumps—despite their popularity—have proven to not be the simplest answer in many liquid-handling purposes in mining, one pump expertise that has proven to be an optimum selection is AODD—in phrases of maximizing reliability, cost-effectiveness, ease of operation and maintenance, and security for mining personnel and the setting.
AODD pumps are in a position to perform successfully in mining purposes as a result of their method of operation allows them to simply deal with variable circulate charges and pressures, while being dry-run and line-stripping succesful, and nimble sufficient to switch liquids which are shear-sensitive or high-viscosity, as properly as slurries laden with rocks, pebbles, and different particulates.
The simple design of the AODD pump options few moving elements and comparably lower speeds than other pump applied sciences, which improves reliability and simplifies upkeep, whereas the pump’s seal-less building leads to fewer leaks, which is a crucial consideration when handling the numerous hard-to-seal, corrosive, or hazardous liquids that are prevalent in a mining operation. AODD pumps can be found in both metal (most generally aluminum, ductile iron and forged iron) and plastic (polypropylene and PVDF) housing constructions, whereas a wide array of elastomers can be utilized within the diaphragms, which eliminates many chemical-compatibility considerations.
A broad number of AODD pump configurations provide operational flexibility that can additionally result in optimized efficiency at many levels. The capacity to feature AODD pumps in a extensive range of purposes, from basic basic use to delicate chemical-handling processes, permits operators to more cost-effectively outfit their mines. AODD pumps can additionally be less expensive to function, particularly these models that are outfitted with a next-generation mechanically actuated air distribution system (ADS). At their most elementary, AODD pumps excel in the typical rugged and harsh working circumstances found within the world’s mines, which reduces breakdown incidents together with corresponding downtime and repair costs.
Specifically, Wilden, whose founder, Jim Wilden, conceived the AODD pumping principle sixty-five years ago, has been dedicated to developing applied sciences that meet the needs of mining operations. Today, Wilden offers three AODD pump models which are constructed to excel in mining applications, available in ductile iron, forged iron, aluminum, polypropylene and Kynar materials of construction:
Brahma® Series: The Brahma pumps, which characteristic a bolted configuration, have been built to be used in applications that require the dealing with of liquids featuring giant solids. The Brahma pumps have a novel top-inlet/bottom-discharge circulate orientation and flap valves that allow the passage of huge solids with no danger that injury will happen as a end result of product entrapment or the settling of solids throughout the pump’s inner circulate paths. Brahma pumps can be found 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 scale back air consumption by up to 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 vary for the 4 Brahma pumps is 166 to 258 gallons per minute at pressures up to one hundred twenty five psi with solids-handling capability ranging from 2 to three inches.
Stallion® Series: The Stallion pumps feature a clamped design with carrying handles for light-weight portability. Their design features massive inner clearances and flow-through paths for easy passage of enormous solids with no chance for clogging. An altered ball/seat check-valve assembly further permits solids passage, while a polyurethane screen base on the inlet will increase the pump’s durability. The PS4, PS8, and PS15 (1.5-, 2-, and 3-inch) fashions 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 robust ADS design for the toughest environments. Flow charges amongst the six fashions vary from 57 gallons per minute to 232 gallons per minute at working pressures as a lot as 125 psi. Solids sizes that can be dealt with vary from half to 1 inch.
Pro-Flo SHIFT Series: Pro-Flo SHIFT pumps function clamped or bolted configuration. Their design features different chamber materials, including metallic and plastics, even Kynar, which is capable of handling excessive levels of abrasive supplies. The Pro-Flo SHIFT can additionally be essentially the most efficient AODD pump out there, capable of reducing up to 60 % air consumption. This makes it the greatest choice for dealing with corrosive and abrasive merchandise in mining processes. The pumps have a product vary that goes from 1.5 to 3 inches and flows from 2 to 271 gallons per minute.
All of the Brahma, Stallion, and Pro-Flo SHIFT pumps are capable of 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, similar to Wil-Flex™ (Santoprene®), Geolast®, Polyurethane, Buna-N®, EPDM, Neoprene, FKM, and PTFE. This diaphragm vary gives users the widest selection of diaphragms available on the market, all of which are capable of offering prolonged mean time between failure (MTBF) for optimized uptime with lowered upkeep, repair, and replacement costs.
All of these capabilities make AODD pumps the ideal alternative for the aforementioned frequent liquid-handling purposes in mining: dewatering, common service, corrosive-handling, filter press, and daily product transfer.
In abstract, Wilden AODD pumps are the greatest option for mining functions because they offer appreciable operational benefits, 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 could be incurred by pumps that aren’t designed to deal with abrasive/corrosive or solid-laden liquids.
Wilden AODD pumps also outperform other AODD applied sciences in different vital methods: simple design with the bottom number of components for faster, less complicated, and safer repairs and the bottom variety of spare parts to stock; latest improvements in materials of building that improve the pump’s MTBF; and improved effectivity via the use of the Pro-Flo SHIFT ADS, which finally ends in quicker product transfer with decrease air consumption. Wilden also continues to innovate via the event of the next-generation Chem-Fuse and EZ-Install diaphragms, both of which enhance service life and safety while not compromising the dealing with of challenging liquids.
Fernando Meneses is the regional manager North Latin America for Wilden, a leading manufacturer of air-operated double-diaphragm (AODD) pumps. He can be reached at Wilden is a product brand of PSG®, a Dover company. PSG is comprised of several main pump corporations, including Abaque®, All-Flo™, Almatec®, Blackmer®, Ebsray, em-tec®, Griswold®, Hydro™, Mouvex®, Neptune®, Quantex™, Quattroflow®, RedScrew™, and Wilden®. For more information, visit or

Leave a Comment