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Less waste means extra reliability

Water waste is usually deemed an undesirable, however inevitable by-product of mining processes. Yet trendy pump sealing expertise exists which can nearly get rid of this waste whereas conserving vitality, enhancing pump reliability and achieving long term operational financial savings.
Water is among the most important, and increasingly imperilled, resources on earth. That a lot is understood and acknowledged by industries across the globe.
However, additionally it is some of the unnecessarily squandered sources in mining operations. And whereas the trade has begun to embrace effectivity and sustainability-led advances corresponding to automation and renewable energy, it remains steadfastly set in its methods in terms of slurry pump know-how.
Three approaches are routinely specified by pump producers to seal slurry pumps: mechanical packing, expellers (also generally identified as ‘dynamic’ seals’) and single mechanical seals. All include important limitations, together with poor reliability, decreased imply occasions between failure (MTBF), intensive maintenance necessities and better operational costs.
These factors alone should give mine managers cause for a re-evaluation of the sealing methods used on slurry pumps. However, any company with a commitment to the International Standards Organisation ISO-14001 Standard for environmental administration techniques and ISO-50001 Standard for energy administration systems should pay consideration to the extreme water waste and high energy consumption that results from choosing these traditional sealing strategies.
Inefficient sealing When used to seal the method pumps in a mine’s scrubber and floatation circuits, gland packing, single mechanical seals and expeller seals all demand one of the most wasteful aspects of slurry processing which is seal flush water injection.
On gland packed pumps it’s essential that packing is flushed with clean water to maintain it cool and lubricated, whereas each single slurry seals and expellers require a provide of cool, clean flush water to be injected into the method at excessive strain, maintaining a steady fluid movie between the fragile seal faces to keep them cool and lubricated, whereas forcing the damaging slurry away.
The flush water required in all three sealing approaches is supplied from an exterior supply and injected into the method at a higher stress than the stuffing field pressure, in line with the trade commonplace American Petroleum Institute (API) Piping Plan 32. Water which doesn’t leak onto the ground or into the method is distributed to the tailings dam. This also has an impact on the water balance of the plant.
This approach constitutes a loss of clean water amounting to billions of gallons a 12 months globally. One giant, typical slurry pump typically consumes 10 US gallons (37.8 litres) per minute, amounting to five.2 million US gallons (19.6 million litres) of water yearly – a shocking statistic by any measure.
At a time when global water supply is predicted to fall wanting demand by some 40% by 20301 , eradicating pointless use of this priceless useful resource should arguably be a central plank of any responsible sustainability programme. Yet excessive water use, and the higher power consumption it entails, stay embedded in the processes of many mining corporations. Worse nonetheless, it is fair to say that it’s often accepted as merely ‘par for the course’ by reliability engineers and management alike.
But the actual fact is that water waste on any scale is a totally unnecessary feature of slurry operations as it may be virtually completely eradicated simply by employing advanced double mechanical seals and modern water administration support systems.
Improve reliability The sort of seal selected, the setting in which it operates, and crucially, the tank assist system which supplies the water to maximise seal life, combine to offer the answer to excessive water waste and power use.
Modern double mechanical seals have two sets of faces, one sealing to the process fluid and one to ambiance, with a barrier area between the two. They are designed to fulfill the arduous necessities of heavy duty slurry applications, with fortified steel elements that are extremely resistant to corrosion and erosion. Large ports and increased radial clearances imply the lubrication which is significant to optimising seal life is maintained constantly and consistently.
A pressurised barrier tank system is central to the environmental sustainability of this answer. It employs a thermosiphon process which supplies clear, cool water to the barrier area between the double seals at a strain greater than the product strain, ensuring a consistent, secure and clean fluid movie to maintain the seal faces cool and lubricated.
As the mechanical seals generate warmth, the new water in the barrier house rises to the tank and is radiated to the environment, permitting the cooler, denser water to sink back down to offer cool lubrication to the seal faces. Most importantly, the flush water is constantly recycled, flowing across the seal faces in a steady loop and decreasing leakage to absolutely the 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 install special pump techniques, pressurised barrier tanks offer ratings as much as 435 psi (30 bar), making them best for these purposes. Self-topping and self-pressurising, they’re additionally virtually maintenance-free.
Where no plant water provide is available for topping up the tank methods, or the availability has inadequate strain, fluid delivery items may be selected to supply the barrier fluid to seal faces. These have the added advantages of having the flexibility to provide a water/glycol combination or oil to supply freeze safety in extraordinarily chilly climates.
ร้านซ่อมเครื่องวัดความดันomron -ranging advantages The advantages of upgrading to fashionable sealing options and assist methods have been felt by a coal mine in Poland utilizing a slurry pump to supply coal mud at 9 bar (135 psi) to filter press. Flushed packing resulted in large dilution of product, resulting in greatly increased filtration occasions and costs. The pump was sealed with a double mechanical seal designed to fulfill the arduous necessities of the method.
The supporting seal tank system reduced leakage and product dilution to nearly zero. Return on funding was swift and the financial savings long-term. The benefits in phrases of water conservation have been equally longlasting and the company’s reputation enhanced.
The mining industry must cope with a troublesome and expensive problem when it comes to sustaining rotating tools. But the planning, processing and disposal of flush water constitutes an operational and monetary burden which is completely avoidable.
And when a company can eliminate water waste simultaneously increasing reliability and decreasing long run operational costs, the decision to improve to fashionable methods should surely be a moral imperative in addition to making sound business sense.
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