KSB’s slurry dealing with success in oil sands

Alberta, Canada has the world’s third largest oil reserves within the form of oil sands. Extracting and processing the oil from the sands and bedrock is a difficult course of and requires the biggest slurry pump in the oil sands industry.
When it involves pumping slurry, there could be very few purposes which might be more difficult than the hydro-transport of heavy-duty slurries in oil sands manufacturing. Not solely do the pumps should contend with the extremely aggressive nature of the fluid being pumped, they’re additionally anticipated to function in some of the harshest environments on the earth.
In January 2020, GIW Industries, Inc., a KSB company, commissioned its largest ever heavy-duty centrifugal slurry pump for operation in Canada’s oil sands, particularly the Tie Bolt Construction (TBC-92). Named after its 92 in (2337 mm) impeller, the TBC-92 is the biggest and heaviest slurry pump out there in the oil sands business and the newest in a line of powerful high-pressure pumps supplied by GIW.
Slurry transportation Slurry transport covers a considerable vary of trade sectors, starting from meals 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 manufacturing, the biggest challenge is to accommodate excessive density slurry and extremely abrasive grits.
It is crucial that the slurry passes via the pump with the minimum amount of wear and tear to the pump casing, impeller, shaft and sealing mechanism. Furthermore, the pump must be able to delivering excessive flows and capable of face up to harsh working environments.
Alberta in Canada has in depth oil reserves and these are in the form of oil sands. Extracting and processing the oil from the sands and bedrock is challenging, involving the elimination of bituminous ore which is transported to a crushing plant. The crushed ore is then blended with heat water to type a dense slurry that can be transported in the pipeline in the course of extraction, where the bitumen is separated from the sand and rock. After extraction, the remaining solids (or tailings) are sometimes transported through totally different pumps to settling ponds.
The processes require intensive use of slurry and water transportation pumps capable of dealing with huge portions of liquids at high pressures and excessive temp- eratures. Drawing on its lengthy expertise of designing slurry pumps for mining, GIW has custom-engineered slurry pumps that combine superior supplies, hydraulics and patented mechanical designs, the newest of which is the TBC-92.
Meeting challenges Mollie Timmerman, GIW business improvement supervisor, explains more: “Our client wanted the next capacity pump which was capable of 10,000–11,000 m3 per hour of output at practically 40 m of developed head and a most working stress of 4000 kPa. The pump also wanted to have the power to cross rocks of roughly 130 mm in diameter with a total passage measurement requirement of 10 in (or 254 mm) and handle slurry densities in excess of 1.5 SG.
In addition, the client was focusing on a upkeep interval (operational time between deliberate maintenance) of round three,000 hours. They had expressed an interest in maximising the maintenance intervals and primarily based on preliminary put on indications, they’re presently hoping to achieve round 6,000 hours between pump overhauls (i.e. 6–8 months).”
The instant software for the first 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 large rocks. Screens are in place to keep these rocks to a manageable size for the process, but the top size can still typically attain as much as 130 mm in diameter or larger.
The abrasive nature of the slurry is what separates a slurry pump from different pumps used within the trade. Piece of cake and erosion are information of life, and GIW has decades of expertise in the design of slurry pumps and the development of supplies to assist prolong the service life of these important parts to match the deliberate upkeep cycles within the plant.
“GIW already had a pump able to the output requirement, this being the MDX-750, which has been a preferred measurement in mill duties for nearly 10 years through- out Central and South America,” explains Mollie Timmerman. ”However, the customer’s application required a pump with higher stress capabilities and the capability of dealing with bigger rocks so we responded with the event of the TBC-92 which provided the best resolution for maximised production.”
The TBC sequence The building style of GIW’s TBC pump range options large, ribbed plates held along with tie bolts for very high-pressure service and most put on performance. First developed for dredge service, then later introduced into the oil sands within the 1990s, the TBC pump series has grown into a completely developed vary of pumps serving the oil sands, phosphate, dredging and onerous rock mining industries for tailings and hydrotransport applications.
The pumps are often grouped together in booster stations to build pressure as high as 750 psi (5171 kPa) to account for the pipe losses encountered over such long distances. The strong development of the TBC pump is properly suited to do the job, whereas ensuring maximum availability of the tools underneath heavily abrasive wear.
Capable of delivering strain as a lot as 37 bar and flows of more than 18,200m³/h and temperatures as a lot as 120o C, the TBC vary is a horizontal, finish suction centrifugal pump that offers most resistance to wear. Simple to maintain, the pump’s tie-bolt design transfers stress masses away from the damage resistant white iron casing to the non- bearing side plates with out the utilization of heavy and unwieldy double-wall development.
The TBC-92 combines the best elements of earlier TBC fashions, including the TBC-84 oil sands tailing pump, also identified as the Super Pump. The pump also 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 total, the TBC-92 weighs about 209,000 lbs (95,000 kg), which is roughly equivalent to a fully-loaded Airbus A321 aeroplane. The casing alone weighs 34,000 lbs (15,500 kg). Key options of the pump embody a slurry diverter that dramatically increases suction liner life by lowering particle recirculation between the impeller and the liner. The massive diameter impeller permits the pump to run at slower speeds so that wear life is enhanced. The decrease velocity also gives the pump the ability to operate over a wider vary of flows in order to accommodate fluctuating move situations.
To make upkeep simpler, the pump is fitted with a particular two-piece suction plate design which helps to scale back tool time and supply safer lifting. Customers obtain pump-specific lifting devices to facilitate the protected removal and installation of damage comp- onents. The pump also contains a longlasting suction liner that could be adjusted without needing to close the pump down.
New milestone The commissioning of the TBC-92 marks an necessary milestone for GIW, which now has pumps in service at all working Canadian oil sands plants for hydrotransport applications. The TBC-92 has been designed to tackle heavy-duty slurry transport while providing a low whole price of ownership. Minimal labour and upkeep time assist to maximise manufacturing and profit.
“This new pump incorporates the teachings discovered from working in the oil sands over many years, and features our newest hydraulic and put on applied sciences,” says Mollie Timmerman. “Because that is the heaviest TBC pump we now have ever designed, specific consideration was given to maintainability, in addition to materials choice and development of the pressure-containing parts.”
That GIW has established itself as a major drive in pumping solutions for the oil sands industry is far from shocking provided that it has been creating pumping technologies and put on resistant supplies in the global mining industry for the explanation that Nineteen Forties.
These pumps have had a substantial impact on the finest way that excavated sand, rock and bitumen are transported to the upgrader plant. By including water to the excavated materials it turns into highly environment friendly to pump the slurry alongside a pipeline to the upgrader. The pipeline agitation assists in separating the bitumen from the sand as it’s transported, plus there’s the additional advantage of removing using vans.
GIW has estimated that the worth of shifting oil sand on this method can cut costs by US$2 a barrel, and it is far more environmentally pleasant. These pumps also play a significant function in transporting the coarse tailings to the tailings ponds. GIW provides pumps used in the extraction process and other areas of production (HVF, MDX, LSA).
Understanding slurries Understanding the nature of slurries and how they behave when being pumped has been basic to the development of these merchandise. GIW has been obtaining slurry samples from customers over a few years for testing hydraulics and materials each for pumps and pipelines. Research & Development services include multiple slurry take a look at beds on the campus, along with a hydraulics laboratory that’s dedicated to pump efficiency testing.
These activities are central to the company’s pump growth programmes. If corporations are experiencing issues the GIW R&D personnel can see where the issue lies and offer advice for remedial action. Experience does indicate that in many circumstances the problem lies not with the pump nevertheless, but in the interaction between the pipeline and the pump.
Feedback from clients about appli- cations helps within the improvement of new tools and pump designs. By bringing to- gether clients and teachers from everywhere in the world to share their experience and research with in-house specialists, the massive investment in analysis, growth and manufacturing has superior the design of all the GIW pump merchandise,materials and wear-resistant parts.
The future “There is a clear development toward larger pumps in mining and dredging and oil sands are no exception,” feedback Leo Perry, GIW lead product supervisor. “The first TBC pump within the oil sands industry was the TBC-46 (46 in being the diameter of the impeller). Customers are designing their amenities for greater and higher manufacturing and demanding the same of the equipment that retains their manufacturing transferring. While these bigger pumps demand more power, in addition they enable for higher manufacturing with much less downtime required for maintenance. Overall, the effectivity improves when compared to the identical output from a bigger quantity of smaller pumps. “
In conclusion, he says: “Larger pumps go hand-in-hand with bigger services, larger pipelines, and elevated manufacturing, all of which continue to development higher yr after year. Other clients and industries have additionally shown an curiosity in this dimension, and it would be no surprise at all to see extra of these pumps built in the close to future for similar applications.”

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