KSB’s slurry dealing with success in oil sands

Alberta, Canada has the world’s third largest oil reserves in the type of oil sands. Extracting and processing the oil from the sands and bedrock is a challenging course of and requires the most important slurry pump within the oil sands business.
When it comes to pumping slurry, there could be only a few functions which are more difficult than the hydro-transport of skilled quality slurries in oil sands manufacturing. Not solely do the pumps should deal with the highly aggressive nature of the fluid being pumped, they’re additionally expected to operate in a variety of the harshest environments in the world.
In January 2020, GIW Industries, Inc., a KSB firm, commissioned its largest ever heavy-duty centrifugal slurry pump for operation in Canada’s oil sands, specifically the Tie Bolt Construction (TBC-92). Named after its 92 in (2337 mm) impeller, the TBC-92 is the largest and heaviest slurry pump out there in the oil sands business and the latest in a line of highly effective high-pressure pumps offered by GIW.
Slurry transportation Slurry transport covers a considerable vary of business sectors, ranging from food and beverage to mining. What is common to all, is that the pumps used must be succesful of transport liquids containing particles and solids of varying sizes and viscosities. In mining, dredging and oil sands production, the largest challenge is to accommodate excessive density slurry and highly abrasive grits.
It is crucial that the slurry passes via the pump with the minimal quantity of wear and tear to the pump casing, impeller, shaft and sealing mechanism. Furthermore, the pump have to be capable of delivering high flows and able to face up to harsh operating environments.
Alberta in Canada has intensive oil reserves and these are within the type of oil sands. Extracting and processing the oil from the sands and bedrock is challenging, involving the removing of bituminous ore which is transported to a crushing plant. The crushed ore is then mixed with heat water to kind a dense slurry that could be transported within the pipeline towards extraction, the place the bitumen is separated from the sand and rock. After extraction, the remaining solids (or tailings) are often transported via completely different pumps to settling ponds.
The processes require in depth use of slurry and water transportation pumps able to dealing with vast portions of liquids at excessive pressures and excessive temp- eratures. Drawing on its long expertise of designing slurry pumps for mining, GIW has custom-engineered slurry pumps that combine superior supplies, hydraulics and patented mechanical designs, the latest of which is the TBC-92.
Meeting challenges Mollie Timmerman, GIW enterprise growth manager, explains more: “Our shopper wanted a higher capability pump which was capable of 10,000–11,000 m3 per hour of output at practically 40 m of developed head and a maximum working stress of 4000 kPa. The pump additionally needed to find a way to cross rocks of roughly a hundred thirty mm in diameter with a total passage size requirement of 10 in (or 254 mm) and handle slurry densities in extra of 1.5 SG.
In addition, the shopper was concentrating on a upkeep interval (operational time between deliberate maintenance) of round three,000 hours. They had expressed an interest in maximising the upkeep intervals and based on initial wear indications, they’re presently hoping to realize around 6,000 hours between pump overhauls (i.e. 6–8 months).”
The immediate utility for the primary batch of GIW’s TBC-92 pumps in Alberta is in hydro-transport service where they’re used to move bitu- minous ore from the crusher to the extraction plant. The liquid pumped is a mixture of water, bitumen, sand, and enormous rocks. Screens are in place to keep these rocks to a manageable measurement for the method, however the high size can still often attain up to one hundred thirty mm in diameter or larger.
The abrasive nature of the slurry is what separates a slurry pump from different pumps used in the trade. Wear and erosion are facts of life, and GIW has a long time of experience within the design of slurry pumps and the development of materials to help lengthen the service life of those important components to match the planned maintenance cycles in the plant.
“GIW already had a pump able to the output requirement, this being the MDX-750, which has been a popular dimension in mill duties for nearly 10 years through- out Central and South America,” explains Mollie Timmerman. ”However, the customer’s utility required a pump with greater stress capabilities and the capability of handling bigger rocks so we responded with the event of the TBC-92 which supplied the best answer for maximised manufacturing.”
The TBC collection The development type of GIW’s TBC pump range options massive, ribbed plates held along with tie bolts for very high-pressure service and maximum put on efficiency. First developed for dredge service, then later launched into the oil sands in the Nineties, the TBC pump series has grown into a completely developed range of pumps serving the oil sands, phosphate, dredging and onerous rock mining industries for tailings and hydrotransport applications.
The pumps are sometimes grouped together in booster stations to construct pressure as excessive as 750 psi (5171 kPa) to account for the pipe losses encountered over such lengthy distances. The strong development of the TBC pump is well suited to do the job, while ensuring maximum availability of the equipment underneath closely abrasive wear.
Capable of delivering pressure up to 37 bar and flows of more than 18,200m³/h and temperatures as much as 120o C, the TBC range is a horizontal, finish suction centrifugal pump that provides most resistance to wear. Simple to take care of, the pump’s tie-bolt design transfers stress masses away from the wear resistant white iron casing to the non- bearing facet plates with out the use of heavy and unwieldy double-wall development.
The TBC-92 combines the best parts of earlier TBC models, including the TBC-84 oil sands tailing pump, also identified as the Super Pump. The pump additionally incorporates options from GIW’s MDX product line, which is utilized in heavy-duty mining circuits all through the world of onerous rock mining.
In complete, the TBC-92 weighs about 209,000 lbs (95,000 kg), which is roughly equal to a fully-loaded Airbus A321 aeroplane. The casing alone weighs 34,000 lbs (15,500 kg). Key options of the pump embrace a slurry diverter that dramatically increases suction liner life by lowering particle recirculation between the impeller and the liner. The large diameter impeller permits the pump to run at slower speeds in order that put on life is enhanced. The lower velocity also gives the pump the flexibility to operate over a wider range of flows in order to accommodate fluctuating circulate conditions.
To make maintenance simpler, the pump is fitted with a special two-piece suction plate design which helps to cut back tool time and supply safer lifting. Customers obtain pump-specific lifting devices to facilitate the protected elimination and set up of damage comp- onents. The pump additionally features a longlasting suction liner that can be adjusted without needing to close the pump down.
New milestone The commissioning of the TBC-92 marks an important milestone for GIW, which now has pumps in service in any respect working Canadian oil sands crops for hydrotransport purposes. The TBC-92 has been designed to sort out heavy-duty slurry transport whereas providing a low whole cost of ownership. Minimal labour and maintenance time help to maximise production and revenue.
“This new pump incorporates the lessons realized from operating within the oil sands over many years, and options our latest hydraulic and put on applied sciences,” says Mollie Timmerman. “Because this is the heaviest TBC pump we have ever designed, particular attention was given to maintainability, as properly as material selection and construction of the pressure-containing parts.”
That GIW has established itself as a big pressure in pumping options for the oil sands industry is way from shocking provided that it has been developing pumping applied sciences and put on resistant supplies within the global mining trade because the 1940s.
These pumps have had a considerable impact on the finest way that excavated sand, rock and bitumen are transported to the upgrader plant. By adding water to the excavated materials it becomes highly efficient to pump the slurry along a pipeline to the upgrader. The pipeline agitation assists in separating the bitumen from the sand as it’s transported, plus there is the additional benefit of removing the usage of vans.
GIW has estimated that the price of transferring oil sand in this means can minimize prices by US$2 a barrel, and it is way more environmentally pleasant. These pumps also play a significant position in transporting the coarse tailings to the tailings ponds. GIW supplies pumps used within the extraction course of and other areas of manufacturing (HVF, MDX, LSA).
Understanding slurries Understanding the character of slurries and the way they behave when being pumped has been basic to the development of these merchandise. GIW has been obtaining Blacklisted from customers over a few years for testing hydraulics and materials each for pumps and pipelines. Research & Development amenities embrace a quantity of slurry test beds on the campus, together with a hydraulics laboratory that’s dedicated to pump performance testing.
These activities are central to the company’s pump growth programmes. If companies are experiencing problems the GIW R&D personnel can see where the issue lies and offer recommendation for remedial motion. Experience does point out that in many instances the issue lies not with the pump nonetheless, however in the interaction between the pipeline and the pump.
Feedback from prospects about appli- cations helps in the growth of latest tools and pump designs. By bringing to- gether prospects and academics from all over the world to share their expertise and research with in-house specialists, the huge funding in research, development and manufacturing has advanced the design of the entire GIW pump products,materials and wear-resistant parts.
The future “There is a clear development towards larger pumps in mining and dredging and oil sands are no exception,” comments Leo Perry, GIW lead product manager. “The first TBC pump in the oil sands industry was the TBC-46 (46 in being the diameter of the impeller). Customers are designing their services for larger and better manufacturing and demanding the same of the equipment that retains their manufacturing shifting. While these bigger pumps demand more power, they also allow for higher production with less downtime required for maintenance. Overall, the efficiency improves when compared to the same output from a larger amount of smaller pumps. “
In conclusion, he says: “Larger pumps go hand-in-hand with larger services, bigger pipelines, and elevated production, all of which continue to trend greater year after 12 months. Other prospects and industries have additionally proven an interest on this dimension, and it would be no surprise at all to see extra of those pumps constructed within the near future for similar applications.”
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