KSB’s slurry handling success in oil sands

Alberta, Canada has the world’s third largest oil reserves within the type of oil sands. Extracting and processing the oil from the sands and bedrock is a challenging process and requires the biggest slurry pump within the oil sands business.
When it comes to pumping slurry, there may be very few functions which might be more challenging than the hydro-transport of industrial quality slurries in oil sands manufacturing. Not solely do the pumps should contend with the extremely aggressive nature of the fluid being pumped, they are also anticipated to function in a few 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, namely the Tie Bolt Construction (TBC-92). Named after its 92 in (2337 mm) impeller, the TBC-92 is the largest and heaviest slurry pump available in the oil sands business and the most recent in a line of highly effective high-pressure pumps offered by GIW.
Slurry transportation Slurry transport covers a substantial vary of industry sectors, ranging from food and beverage to mining. What is widespread to all, is that the pumps used should be capable of transport liquids containing particles and solids of varying sizes and viscosities. In mining, dredging and oil sands manufacturing, the largest challenge is to accommodate excessive density slurry and highly abrasive grits.
It is crucial that the slurry passes through the pump with the minimal amount of damage to the pump casing, impeller, shaft and sealing mechanism. Furthermore, the pump have to be capable of delivering high flows and in a place to stand 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 difficult, involving the removal of bituminous ore which is transported to a crushing plant. The crushed ore is then combined with heat water to form a dense slurry that could be transported in the pipeline in path of extraction, where the bitumen is separated from the sand and rock. After extraction, the remaining solids (or tailings) are sometimes transported via different pumps to settling ponds.
The processes require intensive use of slurry and water transportation pumps capable of dealing with vast portions of liquids at excessive pressures and high temp- eratures. Drawing on its lengthy experience of designing slurry pumps for mining, GIW has custom-engineered slurry pumps that mix superior materials, hydraulics and patented mechanical designs, the most recent of which is the TBC-92.
Meeting challenges Mollie Timmerman, GIW business improvement supervisor, explains more: “Our consumer wanted a higher 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 additionally wanted to find a way to cross rocks of roughly 130 mm in diameter with a total passage dimension requirement of 10 in (or 254 mm) and handle slurry densities in excess of 1.5 SG.
In addition, the client was targeting a upkeep interval (operational time between deliberate maintenance) of around three,000 hours. They had expressed an interest in maximising the upkeep intervals and primarily based on initial wear indications, they are currently hoping to achieve around 6,000 hours between pump overhauls (i.e. 6–8 months).”

The quick software 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 combination 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 nonetheless often reach up to a hundred thirty mm in diameter or bigger.
The abrasive nature of the slurry is what separates a slurry pump from different pumps used in the industry. Wear and erosion are facts of life, and GIW has many years of experience in the design of slurry pumps and the event of materials to help lengthen the service life of those crucial parts to match the planned maintenance cycles within 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 practically 10 years through- out Central and South America,” explains Mollie Timmerman. ”However, the customer’s application required a pump with greater pressure capabilities and the capability of dealing with bigger rocks so we responded with the development of the TBC-92 which supplied the most effective solution for maximised production.”

The TBC series The construction fashion of GIW’s TBC pump range features large, ribbed plates held along with tie bolts for very high-pressure service and most wear performance. First developed for dredge service, then later launched into the oil sands within the 1990s, the TBC pump series has grown into a fully developed range of pumps serving the oil sands, phosphate, dredging and onerous rock mining industries for tailings and hydrotransport purposes.
The pumps are often 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 robust building of the TBC pump is properly suited to do the job, while making certain most availability of the tools underneath heavily abrasive put on.
Capable of delivering stress up to 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 offers most resistance to put on. digital pressure gauge to maintain, the pump’s tie-bolt design transfers stress loads away from the wear resistant white iron casing to the non- bearing side plates without the use of heavy and unwieldy double-wall development.
The TBC-92 combines the best elements of earlier TBC models, together with the TBC-84 oil sands tailing pump, also called 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 hard 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 options of the pump embrace a slurry diverter that dramatically increases 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 decrease pace also provides the pump the flexibility to operate over a wider range of flows so as to accommodate fluctuating move circumstances.
To make upkeep simpler, the pump is fitted with a particular two-piece suction plate design which helps to cut back tool time and provide safer lifting. Customers obtain pump-specific lifting units to facilitate the protected removal and installation of wear comp- onents. The pump also includes a longlasting suction liner that can be adjusted while not having to close the pump down.
digital pressure gauge of the TBC-92 marks an necessary milestone for GIW, which now has pumps in service in any respect operating Canadian oil sands vegetation for hydrotransport purposes. The TBC-92 has been designed to sort out heavy-duty slurry transport whereas offering a low complete price of possession. Minimal labour and upkeep time help to maximise manufacturing and profit.
“This new pump incorporates the teachings discovered from operating within the oil sands over many years, and options our latest hydraulic and wear technologies,” says Mollie Timmerman. “Because this is the heaviest TBC pump we now have ever designed, specific consideration was given to maintainability, in addition to materials selection and development of the pressure-containing parts.”

That GIW has established itself as a significant drive in pumping options for the oil sands trade is much from surprising on circumstance that it has been creating pumping applied sciences and wear resistant supplies in the international mining business because the 1940s.
These pumps have had a substantial impact on the greatest way that excavated sand, rock and bitumen are transported to the upgrader plant. By including water to the excavated material it becomes 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’s transported, plus there’s the additional good factor about eradicating the utilization of vans.
GIW has estimated that the price of moving oil sand on this way can reduce prices by US$2 a barrel, and it’s far more environmentally pleasant. These pumps additionally play a serious role in transporting the coarse tailings to the tailings ponds. GIW provides pumps used in 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 fundamental to the event of these merchandise. GIW has been acquiring slurry samples from customers over a few years for testing hydraulics and supplies each for pumps and pipelines. Research & Development amenities embody multiple slurry check beds on the campus, together with a hydraulics laboratory that is dedicated to pump efficiency testing.
These activities are central to the company’s pump growth programmes. If firms are experiencing issues the GIW R&D personnel can see where the problem lies and offer recommendation for remedial motion. Experience does indicate that in lots of circumstances the problem lies not with the pump nonetheless, but in the interplay between the pipeline and the pump.
Feedback from customers about appli- cations helps in the growth of new instruments and pump designs. By bringing to- gether clients and lecturers from everywhere in the world to share their expertise and research with in-house consultants, the large investment in research, improvement and manufacturing has superior the design of the entire GIW pump products,materials and wear-resistant elements.
The future “There is a clear trend towards bigger pumps in mining and dredging and oil sands are no exception,” comments Leo Perry, GIW lead product supervisor. “The first TBC pump in the oil sands business was the TBC-46 (46 in being the diameter of the impeller). Customers are designing their facilities for greater and higher manufacturing and demanding the identical of the tools that keeps their production transferring. While these bigger pumps demand extra energy, in addition they allow for higher manufacturing with much less downtime required for upkeep. Overall, the effectivity improves when compared to the same output from a larger quantity of smaller pumps. “

In conclusion, he says: “Larger pumps go hand-in-hand with bigger facilities, larger pipelines, and elevated manufacturing, all of which continue to trend higher year after yr. Other customers and industries have additionally shown an curiosity in this dimension, and it might be no surprise at all to see extra of these pumps built within the close to future for similar applications.”


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