KSB’s slurry handling 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 difficult process and requires the most important slurry pump within the oil sands trade.
When it involves pumping slurry, there can be very few purposes which are more difficult than the hydro-transport of heavy-duty slurries in oil sands production. Not only do the pumps should contend with the extremely aggressive nature of the fluid being pumped, they’re additionally anticipated to operate in some of the harshest environments in the world.
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, specifically 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 out there in the oil sands business and the latest in a line of powerful high-pressure pumps offered by GIW.
Slurry transportation Slurry transport covers a substantial range of industry sectors, starting from food and beverage to mining. What is common to all, is that the pumps used should be succesful of transport liquids containing particles and solids of various sizes and viscosities. In mining, dredging and oil sands manufacturing, the most important challenge is to accommodate high density slurry and extremely abrasive grits.
It is important that the slurry passes by way of the pump with the minimum quantity of wear to the pump casing, impeller, shaft and sealing mechanism. Furthermore, the pump must be capable of delivering high flows and able to withstand harsh working environments.
Alberta in Canada has intensive oil reserves and these are within the form 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 blended with heat water to kind a dense slurry that may be transported in the pipeline in the direction of extraction, the place the bitumen is separated from the sand and rock. After extraction, the remaining solids (or tailings) are sometimes transported through different pumps to settling ponds.
The processes require intensive use of slurry and water transportation pumps able to handling vast quantities of liquids at high pressures and high temp- eratures. Drawing on its long expertise of designing slurry pumps for mining, GIW has custom-engineered slurry pumps that combine advanced materials, hydraulics and patented mechanical designs, the latest of which is the TBC-92.
Meeting challenges Mollie Timmerman, GIW enterprise growth supervisor, explains extra: “Our consumer needed the next capability pump which was able to 10,000–11,000 m3 per hour of output at almost 40 m of developed head and a most working pressure of 4000 kPa. The pump additionally wanted to have the ability to move rocks of roughly a hundred thirty mm in diameter with a complete passage dimension requirement of 10 in (or 254 mm) and deal with slurry densities in excess of 1.5 SG.
In addition, the customer was targeting a upkeep interval (operational time between deliberate maintenance) of around three,000 hours. They had expressed an interest in maximising the maintenance intervals and based on preliminary wear indications, they’re currently hoping to realize around 6,000 hours between pump overhauls (i.e. 6–8 months).”
The instant application for the first batch of GIW’s TBC-92 pumps in Alberta is in hydro-transport service where they’re used to maneuver 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 dimension for the process, however the prime dimension can still usually reach 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. Wear and erosion are details of life, and GIW has a long time of expertise within the design of slurry pumps and the development of materials to help prolong the service life of those important components to match the deliberate upkeep cycles in 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 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 aptitude of dealing with larger rocks so we responded with the development of the TBC-92 which supplied the most effective resolution for maximised manufacturing.”
The TBC collection The development fashion of GIW’s TBC pump range options giant, ribbed plates held along with tie bolts for very high-pressure service and maximum wear efficiency. First developed for dredge service, then later launched into the oil sands in the 1990s, the TBC pump sequence has grown into a totally developed range of pumps serving the oil sands, phosphate, dredging and onerous rock mining industries for tailings and hydrotransport applications.
The pumps are often grouped collectively in booster stations to build stress as excessive as 750 psi (5171 kPa) to account for the pipe losses encountered over such lengthy distances. The sturdy construction of the TBC pump is well suited to do the job, whereas making certain most availability of the tools underneath heavily abrasive wear.
Capable of delivering strain up to 37 bar and flows of more than 18,200m³/h and temperatures up to 120o C, the TBC range is a horizontal, finish suction centrifugal pump that gives most resistance to wear. Simple to maintain up, the pump’s tie-bolt design transfers stress hundreds away from the damage resistant white iron casing to the non- bearing facet plates without the use of heavy and unwieldy double-wall development.
The TBC-92 combines the best elements of earlier TBC models, including the TBC-84 oil sands tailing pump, also recognized as the Super Pump. The pump also incorporates options from GIW’s MDX product line, which is used in heavy-duty mining circuits all through the world of exhausting rock mining.
In complete, 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 include a slurry diverter that dramatically will increase suction liner life by decreasing particle recirculation between the impeller and the liner. The large diameter impeller allows the pump to run at slower speeds in order that put on life is enhanced. The lower pace additionally gives the pump the power to operate over a wider vary of flows so as 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 device time and provide safer lifting. Customers obtain pump-specific lifting devices to facilitate the safe removing and installation of put on and tear comp- onents. The pump also contains a longlasting suction liner that can be adjusted without having to shut the pump down.
New milestone The commissioning of the TBC-92 marks an necessary milestone for GIW, which now has pumps in service in any respect operating Canadian oil sands plants for hydrotransport purposes. The TBC-92 has been designed to sort out heavy-duty slurry transport whereas providing a low complete value of ownership. Minimal labour and upkeep time help to maximise manufacturing and profit.
“This new pump incorporates the lessons discovered from working within the oil sands over many years, and features our latest hydraulic and wear technologies,” says Mollie Timmerman. “Because that is the heaviest TBC pump we have ever designed, particular attention was given to maintainability, as nicely as materials choice and construction of the pressure-containing components.”
That GIW has established itself as a significant drive in pumping options for the oil sands industry is way from stunning on condition that it has been creating pumping technologies and put on resistant materials within the global mining industry since the Forties.
These pumps have had a substantial impression on the greatest way that excavated sand, rock and bitumen are transported to the upgrader plant. By including water to the excavated materials it turns into highly efficient 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 trucks.
GIW has estimated that the worth of transferring oil sand in this method can cut prices by US$2 a barrel, and it’s far more environmentally pleasant. These pumps also play a major role in transporting the coarse tailings to the tailings ponds. GIW supplies pumps used within the extraction course of and different areas of manufacturing (HVF, MDX, LSA).
Understanding slurries Understanding the character of slurries and the way they behave when being pumped has been elementary to the event of those products. GIW has been obtaining slurry samples from prospects over a few years for testing hydraulics and supplies both for pumps and pipelines. Research & Development facilities embrace multiple slurry take a look at beds on the campus, together with a hydraulics laboratory that is devoted to pump performance testing.
These actions are central to the company’s pump growth programmes. If firms are experiencing issues the GIW R&D personnel can see where the issue lies and provide advice for remedial action. Experience does point out that in plenty of circumstances the problem lies not with the pump nonetheless, however within the interplay between the pipeline and the pump.
Feedback from customers about appli- cations helps within the improvement of new instruments and pump designs. By bringing to- gether prospects and lecturers from all round the world to share their expertise and research with in-house experts, the massive investment in analysis, development and manufacturing has superior the design of the entire GIW pump products,supplies and wear-resistant parts.
The future “There is a clear development towards larger pumps in mining and dredging and oil sands are not any exception,” feedback Leo Perry, GIW lead product supervisor. “The first TBC pump in the oil sands trade was the TBC-46 (46 in being the diameter of the impeller). Customers are designing their services for greater and better manufacturing and demanding the identical of the tools that keeps their production moving. While เกจวัดแรงดันลม10bar demand more power, additionally they permit for greater production with much less downtime required for maintenance. Overall, the efficiency 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 facilities, larger pipelines, and increased manufacturing, all of which continue to pattern larger yr after 12 months. Other prospects and industries have also proven an curiosity on this size, and it would be no surprise in any respect to see more of these pumps built within the near future for comparable functions.”
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