KSB’s slurry handling success in oil sands

Alberta, Canada has the world’s third largest oil reserves in the form of oil sands. Extracting and processing the oil from the sands and bedrock is a difficult process and requires the largest slurry pump within the oil sands business.
When it involves pumping slurry, there can be only a few purposes that are more challenging than the hydro-transport of professional quality slurries in oil sands production. Not only do the pumps need to contend with the highly aggressive nature of the fluid being pumped, they’re additionally expected to function in a number 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, namely the Tie Bolt Construction (TBC-92). Named after its 92 in (2337 mm) impeller, the TBC-92 is the most important and heaviest slurry pump available within the oil sands business and the most recent in a line of highly effective high-pressure pumps supplied by GIW.
Slurry transportation Slurry transport covers a substantial vary of industry sectors, starting from meals and beverage to mining. What is frequent to all, is that the pumps used must have the power to transport liquids containing particles and solids of various sizes and viscosities. In mining, dredging and oil sands manufacturing, the biggest problem is to accommodate high density slurry and highly abrasive grits.
It is crucial that the slurry passes via the pump with the minimum amount of wear to the pump casing, impeller, shaft and sealing mechanism. Furthermore, the pump should 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 in the type of oil sands. Extracting and processing the oil from the sands and bedrock is difficult, involving the removal of bituminous ore which is transported to a crushing plant. The crushed ore is then mixed with heat water to type a dense slurry that might be transported in the pipeline in path of extraction, the place the bitumen is separated from the sand and rock. After extraction, the remaining solids (or tailings) are sometimes transported by way of totally different pumps to settling ponds.
The processes require intensive use of slurry and water transportation pumps able to dealing with vast quantities of liquids at excessive pressures and high temp- eratures. Drawing on its lengthy expertise of designing slurry pumps for mining, GIW has custom-engineered slurry pumps that mix superior supplies, hydraulics and patented mechanical designs, the latest of which is the TBC-92.
Meeting challenges Mollie Timmerman, GIW business improvement manager, explains extra: “Our consumer wanted a higher capacity pump which was able to 10,000–11,000 m3 per hour of output at almost forty m of developed head and a most working stress of 4000 kPa. ตัววัดแรงดัน needed to be able to pass rocks of approximately one hundred thirty mm in diameter with a complete passage size 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 planned maintenance) of around 3,000 hours. They had expressed an interest in maximising the maintenance intervals and based mostly on initial put on indications, they are at present hoping to achieve round 6,000 hours between pump overhauls (i.e. 6–8 months).”
The immediate 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 huge rocks. Screens are in place to maintain these rocks to a manageable measurement for the method, but the top dimension can still typically reach as much as a hundred thirty mm in diameter or bigger.
The abrasive nature of the slurry is what separates a slurry pump from other pumps used in the industry. Wear and erosion are details of life, and GIW has many years of expertise within the design of slurry pumps and the event of supplies to help lengthen the service life of those crucial components to match the deliberate upkeep cycles within the plant.
“GIW already had a pump capable of the output requirement, this being the MDX-750, which has been a well-liked dimension in mill duties for almost 10 years through- out Central and South America,” explains Mollie Timmerman. ”However, the customer’s application required a pump with larger stress capabilities and the potential of dealing with bigger rocks so we responded with the development of the TBC-92 which offered one of the best solution for maximised production.”
The TBC series The building fashion of GIW’s TBC pump vary options large, ribbed plates held together with tie bolts for very high-pressure service and most put on efficiency. First developed for dredge service, then later launched into the oil sands within the Nineteen Nineties, the TBC pump sequence has grown into a completely developed vary of pumps serving the oil sands, phosphate, dredging and exhausting rock mining industries for tailings and hydrotransport purposes.
The pumps are sometimes grouped together in booster stations to build stress as high as 750 psi (5171 kPa) to account for the pipe losses encountered over such lengthy distances. The strong building of the TBC pump is nicely suited to do the job, while ensuring most availability of the tools under closely abrasive wear.
Capable of delivering strain as a lot as 37 bar and flows of more than 18,200m³/h and temperatures as much as 120o C, the TBC vary is a horizontal, end suction centrifugal pump that provides maximum resistance to wear. Simple to keep up, the pump’s tie-bolt design transfers stress loads away from the wear resistant white iron casing to the non- bearing side plates without using heavy and unwieldy double-wall development.
The TBC-92 combines the most effective parts of earlier TBC fashions, together with the TBC-84 oil sands tailing pump, also referred to 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 whole, 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 features of the pump embody a slurry diverter that dramatically increases suction liner life by reducing particle recirculation between the impeller and the liner. The giant diameter impeller allows the pump to run at slower speeds so that put on life is enhanced. The lower velocity also offers the pump the flexibility to operate over a wider range of flows so as to accommodate fluctuating circulate situations.
To make maintenance easier, the pump is fitted with a particular two-piece suction plate design which helps to scale back software time and provide safer lifting. Customers receive pump-specific lifting units to facilitate the secure removing and set up of wear and tear comp- onents. The pump additionally includes a longlasting suction liner that could be adjusted while not having to shut 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 applications. The TBC-92 has been designed to deal with heavy-duty slurry transport whereas offering a low total value of possession. Minimal labour and maintenance time assist to maximise production and revenue.
“This new pump incorporates the teachings realized from operating within the oil sands over many years, and features our newest hydraulic and wear technologies,” says Mollie Timmerman. “Because that is the heaviest TBC pump we’ve ever designed, explicit attention was given to maintainability, in addition to material selection and development of the pressure-containing parts.”
That GIW has established itself as a significant drive in pumping solutions for the oil sands business is way from shocking provided that it has been creating pumping technologies and wear resistant materials in the international mining industry for the rationale that Nineteen Forties.
These pumps have had a considerable impression on the way that excavated sand, rock and bitumen are transported to the upgrader plant. By adding water to the excavated materials it turns into extremely efficient to pump the slurry alongside a pipeline to the upgrader. The pipeline agitation assists in separating the bitumen from the sand as it is transported, plus there is the extra benefit of removing the use of vehicles.
GIW has estimated that the cost of shifting oil sand in this way can cut costs by US$2 a barrel, and it is much more environmentally friendly. 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 character of slurries and the way they behave when being pumped has been elementary to the development of those products. GIW has been acquiring slurry samples from customers over many years for testing hydraulics and supplies each for pumps and pipelines. Research & Development amenities include a number of slurry take a look at beds on the campus, along with a hydraulics laboratory that is dedicated to pump performance testing.
These actions are central to the company’s pump growth programmes. If companies are experiencing problems the GIW R&D personnel can see where the problem lies and supply advice for remedial motion. Experience does point out that in lots of circumstances the issue lies not with the pump nonetheless, but within the interplay between the pipeline and the pump.
Feedback from prospects about appli- cations helps in the growth of new instruments and pump designs. By bringing to- gether prospects and academics from everywhere in the world to share their expertise and analysis with in-house consultants, 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 toward bigger pumps in mining and dredging and oil sands are no exception,” feedback Leo Perry, GIW lead product manager. “The first TBC pump within the oil sands trade was the TBC-46 (46 in being the diameter of the impeller). Customers are designing their services for higher and higher production and demanding the identical of the equipment that keeps their production shifting. While these larger pumps demand extra energy, in addition they permit for greater manufacturing with less downtime required for maintenance. Overall, the effectivity improves when in comparison with the same output from a bigger amount of smaller pumps. “
In conclusion, he says: “Larger pumps go hand-in-hand with larger services, larger pipelines, and increased production, all of which proceed to trend larger yr after 12 months. Other clients and industries have also shown an curiosity on this size, and it would be no surprise at all to see more of these pumps constructed in the close to future for comparable purposes.”

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