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Slurry Pump vs Standard Pump

Aug. 02, 2022

Pumping slurry is not as easy as pumping water. Depending on the type of slurry, there are many variables involved in selecting the right slurry pump. There is no formula to the design of the best slurry pump. You must combine knowledge and application specifics to choose the ideal slurry pump. Let's talk about how a slurry pump differs from a standard pump and how to narrow down your choices.

What is slurry?

A slurry is a semi-liquid mixture, usually consisting of fine particles. Examples of slurries may include manure, cement, starch or coal suspended in water. There are countless other combinations that can be considered "mud". Because of the added particles and thicker consistency, special pump requirements should be considered. A standard pump may be able to handle this liquid, but not as effectively as a properly sized slurry pump.

Ceramic Slurry Pump

Ceramic Slurry Pump

Slurry is one of the most challenging fluids to move. It's highly abrasive, thick, sometimes corrosive, and contains a high concentration of solids. No doubt about it, slurry is tough on pumps. But selecting the right pump for these abrasive applications can make all the difference in the long-term performance.

Let's consider the impeller. A slurry pump must have thicker vanes than a water pump to account for wear. Due to the increased thickness, the number of vanes will be reduced, otherwise the passages will be too narrow and will hamper the performance of the pump. The impeller should have a large enough passage so that the largest solid particles can pass through without being clogged.

SIC Ceramic Slurry Pump Parts

SIC Ceramic Slurry Pump Parts    

The corrosiveness of the liquid or slurry mixture: more corrosive slurries will wear pump components more quickly and may dictate the selection of the material from which the pump is constructed.

Pumps designed for pumping slurries will be heavier duty than those designed for less viscous liquids since slurries are heavy and difficult to pump.

Slurry pumps are typically larger in size than standard pumps, with more horsepower, and built with more rugged bearings and shafts. The most common type of slurry pump is the centrifugal pump. These pumps use a rotating impeller to move the slurry, similar to how a water-like liquid would move through a standard centrifugal pump.

Another important part of the slurry pump is its housing, which is responsible for handling all the pressure. The slurry pump casing should have a large clearance between the impeller and the cutwater tongue to reduce wear and prevent large solid particles from getting stuck. With the extra space, there is more recirculation within the slurry pump housing under a variety of operating conditions. Again, this accelerates wear compared to typical pumps.

SIC Ceramic Slurry Pump Parts

SIC Ceramic Slurry Pump Parts     

Materials of Construction

Metal and/or rubber pump liners are used to combat the erosion of solid particles in the slurry. The casing of metal slurry pumps is usually made of carbide to resist erosion caused by increased pressure and circulation. Sometimes wear-resistant steel is used on the pump casing so that the pump can be welded if repairs are needed.

Keep in mind that slurry pumps are designed to adapt to specific pumping conditions. Pumps used in the cement industry primarily handle fine particles at low pressures, so the pump casing can be of lightweight construction. In rock pumping, the pump casing and impeller must resist the impact of hard materials, so they must be built thick and strong.

Slurry pumps also have a provision for simple axial adjustment of the clearance between the impeller and the adjacent throat sleeve sealing surface. This helps maintain pump performance as internal components begin to wear.

If you are unsure which pump to use in your slurry application, please contact us our experienced engineers will be happy to assist you.

Предыдущий: How Do Centrifugal Pumps Work?

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