How AODD Pumps Can Satisfy All Demands in Mining Operations

Mining is among the world’s oldest industries, tracing its roots back to these prehistoric days when someone grabbed a digging instrument and commenced burrowing into the bottom. In the numerous millennia since, mining has grown into one of the world’s most necessary and widespread commercial enterprises, with operations spread throughout the globe while tasked with recovering an nearly inexhaustible list of useful commodities.
In truth, according to the World Mining Congress’s World Mining Data 2020 report, 17.7 billion metric tons of mined merchandise were recovered in 2018, up from eleven.3 billion metric tons in 2000 and almost double the 9.6 billion metric tons in 1985. Asian countries accounted for fifty eight 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.three percent). Individually, China (23 percent), the United States (12.1 percent), Russia (9.2 percent), and Australia (7.2 percent) were the most prolific producers, with their complete fifty one.1 p.c of production greater than the relaxation of the world combined.
This signifies that the mining trade is a powerful one, with solid development expected to continue within the coming years in plenty of regions of the world. It additionally implies that mining operations will continue to depend on pumping technologies that offer sturdy, reliable, and safe service in a selection of important liquid-handling operations. This white paper will illustrate why constructive displacement air-operated double-diaphragm (AODD) pumps may be the only option for a lot of of those applications.
While mining might seem like nothing more 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 complicated and typically delicate operations that have to be performed correctly if the mining operation is to perform at its highest degree of efficiency.
From a macro standpoint, this requires a pumping expertise that may function reliably in harsh and distant places, even when submerged, or when tasked with dealing with particulate-laden liquids or toxic/corrosive products, and likewise one which is ready to be maintained and repaired simply so downtime is lessened. The pumps must also be gentle enough to be manually moved from location to location inside the mine itself.
For many years, a preferred choice to be used in these conditions was centrifugal pumps. While centrifugal pumps are able to create the high flow charges that are required, they’ve numerous operational “pain points” that hamper their use in mining functions: an incapability to self-prime or run dry; particular seals wanted to stop leaks; particular linings needed to handle solids; excessive motor speeds of as much as 1,800 rpm; and relatively excessive upkeep necessities and costs, especially when charged with transferring solid-heavy liquids.
Another well-liked alternative has been the progressive cavity pump, but, like centrifugal pumps, they’ve numerous operational shortcomings. These embody an lack of ability to persistently handle liquids with excessive levels of abrasives, which leads to increased upkeep prices, put on on expensive stators and rotors that can finally have to be changed, and overall greater buy, working, 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 crucial 24/7/365 operation and the water that is recovered is usually stuffed with particulates that might be as massive as 0.12 to 0.16 inches in measurement. If used in this application, centrifugal pumps require special supplies of building, which can be cost prohibitive, to protect towards impeller wear attributable to the abrasive particles. Centrifugal pumps are additionally not dry-run succesful, which adversely affects their level of efficiency on this utility.
General service: For frequent liquid-handling applications, you need an easy-to-operate pump that reliably can run dry, strip traces, function at low speeds while still delivering excessive move charges, and be simple to hold up and repair. Centrifugal pumps merely don’t possess these capabilities.
Corrosive liquids: Much like solid-laden liquids, corrosive ones can wreak havoc on the wetted elements of centrifugal and progressive cavity pumps. This usually demands a need to use particular mechanical seals, which might result in exorbitant maintenance, restore, and substitute costs.
Press filter: Press filters are used to scrub the liquids which might be produced in the mines and, once more, centrifugal pumps can fall quick on this application as a outcome of the solid-laden liquid can injury the pump’s internals until special, more expensive materials of building or linings are used. Also, the nature of press-filter operation creates a strong discharge-pressure variation that can pressure the centrifugal pump to function away from its finest efficiency level (BEP), leading to high vibration and radial masses that may lead to shortened service life. A answer to that is the incorporation of variable frequency drives (VFDs) and controllers, but these are expensive and can negatively have an effect on the cost-effectiveness of the operation.
Product switch: 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 chemicals that are required. In Dark , there’s the danger that the pump shall be forced to run dry as the truck or storage vessel is emptied, while discharge-pressure variation also can generate excessive vibration and radial hundreds. As beforehand illustrated, centrifugal pumps cannot run dry, so they want protection from this situation or the addition of particular seals. However, all of these upgrades still cannot completely defend in opposition to a catastrophic failure.
While centrifugal pumps—despite their popularity—have confirmed to not be the simplest solution in plenty of liquid-handling applications in mining, one pump technology that has confirmed to be an optimum selection is AODD—in phrases of maximizing reliability, cost-effectiveness, ease of operation and maintenance, and safety for mining personnel and the surroundings.
AODD pumps are capable of carry out effectively in mining functions as a result of their technique of operation permits them to simply handle variable flow rates and pressures, while being dry-run and line-stripping capable, and nimble enough to transfer liquids which would possibly be shear-sensitive or high-viscosity, as well as slurries laden with rocks, pebbles, and other particulates.
The easy design of the AODD pump options few transferring elements and comparably lower speeds than other pump applied sciences, which improves reliability and simplifies upkeep, while the pump’s seal-less construction leads to fewer leaks, which is a critical consideration when dealing with the numerous hard-to-seal, corrosive, or hazardous liquids which may be prevalent in a mining operation. AODD pumps can be found in both metallic (most commonly aluminum, ductile iron and solid iron) and plastic (polypropylene and PVDF) housing constructions, while a wide selection of elastomers can be utilized within the diaphragms, which eliminates many chemical-compatibility issues.
A wide number of AODD pump configurations present operational flexibility that may also lead to optimized efficiency at many ranges. The ability to feature AODD pumps in a variety of applications, from fundamental general use to delicate chemical-handling processes, permits operators to extra cost-effectively outfit their mines. AODD pumps may additionally be more cost effective to function, especially those models which would possibly be outfitted with a next-generation mechanically actuated air distribution system (ADS). At their most basic, 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 restore prices.
Specifically, Wilden, whose founder, Jim Wilden, conceived the AODD pumping principle sixty-five years in the past, has been dedicated to developing technologies that meet the wants of mining operations. Today, Wilden provides three AODD pump models which are built to excel in mining purposes, out there in ductile iron, forged iron, aluminum, polypropylene and Kynar supplies of construction:
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 massive solids. The Brahma pumps have a singular top-inlet/bottom-discharge circulate orientation and flap valves that permit the passage of enormous solids with no risk that injury will happen because of product entrapment or the settling of solids throughout the pump’s inside move 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 scale back air consumption by up to 60 p.c. The T810 and T1510 models are powered by the Turbo-Flo™ ADS, the industry’s first air motor for AODD pumps. The flow-rate range for the four Brahma pumps is 166 to 258 gallons per minute at pressures up to 125 psi with solids-handling capability starting from 2 to 3 inches.
Stallion® Series: The Stallion pumps characteristic a clamped design with carrying handles for lightweight portability. Their design options giant inside clearances and flow-through paths for simple passage of large solids with no chance for clogging. An altered ball/seat check-valve assembly additional allows solids passage, while a polyurethane display base at the inlet will increase the pump’s durability. 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 robust ADS design for the hardest environments. Flow rates amongst the six fashions vary from fifty seven gallons per minute to 232 gallons per minute at working pressures up to a hundred twenty five psi. Solids sizes that can be handled vary from 1/2 to 1 inch.
Pro-Flo SHIFT Series: Pro-Flo SHIFT pumps feature clamped or bolted configuration. Their design features different chamber materials, together with steel and plastics, even Kynar, which is able to dealing with high levels of abrasive materials. The Pro-Flo SHIFT can also be probably the most environment friendly AODD pump in the market, able to reducing as a lot as 60 percent air consumption. This makes it the most fitted choice for handling corrosive and abrasive products in mining processes. The pumps have a product range 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 position to be outfitted with a massive selection of diaphragm styles—including the newer Chem-Fuse, EZ-Install, and Reduced-Stroke models—in a varying array of supplies, corresponding to Wil-Flex™ (Santoprene®), Geolast®, Polyurethane, Buna-N®, EPDM, Neoprene, FKM, and PTFE. This diaphragm range gives users the widest number of diaphragms available on the market, all of which are capable of offering extended imply time between failure (MTBF) for optimized uptime with decreased upkeep, restore, and replacement prices.
All of those capabilities make AODD pumps the perfect choice for the aforementioned widespread liquid-handling applications in mining: dewatering, common service, corrosive-handling, filter press, and day by day product transfer.
In abstract, Wilden AODD pumps are the most suitable choice for mining purposes as a end result of they provide appreciable operational advantages, like comparable low-speed operation, dry-run, line-stripping, self-priming, and deadhead functionality, along with elevated operational safety and a discount in maintenance/repair prices that can be incurred by pumps that are not designed to handle abrasive/corrosive or solid-laden liquids.
Wilden AODD pumps also outperform other AODD technologies in other significant methods: simple design with the bottom number of parts for quicker, less complicated, and safer repairs and the lowest number of spare parts to inventory; current enhancements in materials of building that increase the pump’s MTBF; and improved efficiency via the use of the Pro-Flo SHIFT ADS, which ultimately results in faster product transfer with decrease air consumption. Wilden additionally continues to innovate via the event of the next-generation Chem-Fuse and EZ-Install diaphragms, both of which increase service life and security while not compromising the handling of difficult liquids.
Fernando Meneses is the regional supervisor North Latin America for Wilden, a leading producer of air-operated double-diaphragm (AODD) pumps. He could be reached at Wilden is a product brand of PSG®, a Dover firm. PSG is comprised of a quantity of leading pump companies, together with Abaque®, All-Flo™, Almatec®, Blackmer®, Ebsray, em-tec®, Griswold®, Hydro™, Mouvex®, Neptune®, Quantex™, Quattroflow®, RedScrew™, and Wilden®. For extra information, visit or

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