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 challenging course of and requires the largest slurry pump in the oil sands trade.
When it comes to pumping slurry, there could be very few functions which are more challenging than the hydro-transport of heavy-duty slurries in oil sands manufacturing. Not solely do the pumps have to contend with the extremely aggressive nature of the fluid being pumped, they’re also 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, specifically the Tie Bolt Construction (TBC-92). Named after its ninety two in (2337 mm) impeller, the TBC-92 is the biggest and heaviest slurry pump out there in the oil sands industry and the latest in a line of highly effective high-pressure pumps provided by GIW.
Slurry transportation Slurry transport covers a considerable range of trade sectors, starting from meals and beverage to mining. What is frequent to all, is that the pumps used should have the flexibility to transport liquids containing particles and solids of various sizes and viscosities. In mining, dredging and oil sands production, the biggest challenge is to accommodate high density slurry and highly abrasive grits.
It is crucial that the slurry passes via the pump with the minimum quantity of damage to the pump casing, impeller, shaft and sealing mechanism. Furthermore, the pump should be able to delivering excessive flows and capable of stand up to harsh working 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 challenging, involving the removing of bituminous ore which is transported to a crushing plant. The crushed ore is then blended with heat water to form a dense slurry that could be transported within 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 often transported through different pumps to settling ponds.
The processes require extensive use of slurry and water transportation pumps capable of handling huge portions of liquids at high pressures and excessive temp- eratures. Drawing on its lengthy experience of designing slurry pumps for mining, GIW has custom-engineered slurry pumps that mix advanced supplies, hydraulics and patented mechanical designs, the most recent of which is the TBC-92.
Meeting challenges Mollie Timmerman, GIW business development supervisor, explains extra: “Our consumer wanted a higher capability pump which was able to 10,000–11,000 m3 per hour of output at practically forty m of developed head and a most working pressure of 4000 kPa. The pump also wanted to have the ability to cross rocks of approximately a hundred thirty mm in diameter with a complete passage size requirement of 10 in (or 254 mm) and handle slurry densities in extra of 1.5 SG.
In addition, the client was concentrating on a upkeep interval (operational time between planned maintenance) of around 3,000 hours. They had expressed an curiosity in maximising the upkeep intervals and based mostly on preliminary wear indications, they are currently hoping to realize around 6,000 hours between pump overhauls (i.e. 6–8 months).”

The immediate software for the primary batch of GIW’s TBC-92 pumps in Alberta is in hydro-transport service the place they’re used to maneuver bitu- minous ore from the crusher to the extraction plant. The liquid pumped is a combination of water, bitumen, sand, and enormous rocks. ไดอะแฟรม are in place to maintain these rocks to a manageable dimension for the process, however the high size can nonetheless usually attain 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 within the trade. Wear and erosion are facts of life, and GIW has decades of expertise in the design of slurry pumps and the event of materials to assist lengthen the service life of those crucial elements to match the planned upkeep cycles in 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 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 handling larger rocks so we responded with the development of the TBC-92 which offered the best answer for maximised manufacturing.”

The TBC collection The construction style of GIW’s TBC pump vary options large, ribbed plates held along with tie bolts for very high-pressure service and most wear efficiency. First developed for dredge service, then later introduced into the oil sands within the 1990s, 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 functions.
The pumps are often grouped collectively in booster stations to construct stress as excessive as 750 psi (5171 kPa) to account for the pipe losses encountered over such lengthy distances. The strong construction of the TBC pump is nicely suited to do the job, whereas making certain most availability of the gear under closely abrasive wear.
Capable of delivering pressure as much as 37 bar and flows of more than 18,200m³/h and temperatures as much as 120o C, the TBC range is a horizontal, finish suction centrifugal pump that offers maximum resistance to put on. Simple to maintain, the pump’s tie-bolt design transfers stress hundreds away from the wear and tear resistant white iron casing to the non- bearing side plates with out the usage of heavy and unwieldy double-wall development.
The TBC-92 combines one of the best components of earlier TBC fashions, together with the TBC-84 oil sands tailing pump, also referred to as the Super Pump. The pump additionally incorporates features 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 features of the pump embrace a slurry diverter that dramatically will increase suction liner life by lowering particle recirculation between the impeller and the liner. The large diameter impeller permits the pump to run at slower speeds so that wear life is enhanced. The decrease speed also provides the pump the power to function over a wider vary of flows to be able to accommodate fluctuating move conditions.
To make maintenance simpler, the pump is fitted with a particular two-piece suction plate design which helps to cut back tool time and supply safer lifting. Customers obtain pump-specific lifting units to facilitate the safe elimination and installation of wear 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 important milestone for GIW, which now has pumps in service at all working Canadian oil sands plants for hydrotransport functions. The TBC-92 has been designed to deal with heavy-duty slurry transport while providing a low complete price of possession. Minimal labour and maintenance time help to maximise production 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 technologies,” says Mollie Timmerman. “Because this is the heaviest TBC pump we’ve ever designed, explicit attention was given to maintainability, in addition to material choice and building of the pressure-containing elements.”

That GIW has established itself as a big drive in pumping options for the oil sands industry is much from stunning provided that it has been developing pumping applied sciences and put on resistant supplies within the world mining industry since the 1940s.
These pumps have had a considerable impression on the method in which that excavated sand, rock and bitumen are transported to the upgrader plant. By adding water to the excavated materials it turns into extremely environment friendly to pump the slurry along a pipeline to the upgrader. The pipeline agitation assists in separating the bitumen from the sand as it’s transported, plus there’s the extra advantage of removing using trucks.
GIW has estimated that the cost of shifting oil sand on this method can reduce prices by US$2 a barrel, and it’s far more environmentally friendly. These pumps also play a significant position in transporting the coarse tailings to the tailings ponds. GIW provides pumps used in the extraction process and different areas of production (HVF, MDX, LSA).
Understanding slurries Understanding the nature of slurries and how they behave when being pumped has been elementary to the development of those merchandise. GIW has been acquiring slurry samples from customers over a few years for testing hydraulics and materials each for pumps and pipelines. Research & Development amenities embody a quantity of slurry take a look at beds on the campus, along with a hydraulics laboratory that’s devoted to pump performance testing.
These actions are central to the company’s pump improvement programmes. If corporations are experiencing problems the GIW R&D personnel can see where the issue lies and supply recommendation for remedial motion. Experience does indicate that in many instances the problem lies not with the pump nevertheless, however in the interplay between the pipeline and the pump.
Feedback from customers about appli- cations helps within the growth of latest tools and pump designs. By bringing to- gether customers and teachers from all around the world to share their experience and analysis with in-house experts, the large investment in analysis, growth and manufacturing has advanced the design of the entire GIW pump merchandise,materials and wear-resistant elements.
The future “There is a clear trend toward bigger pumps in mining and dredging and oil sands aren’t any 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 facilities for higher and better production and demanding the identical of the gear that retains their manufacturing moving. While these bigger pumps demand more energy, they also enable for greater manufacturing with less downtime required for maintenance. Overall, the effectivity improves when in comparison with the identical output from a larger quantity of smaller pumps. “

In conclusion, he says: “Larger pumps go hand-in-hand with larger amenities, larger pipelines, and elevated production, all of which proceed to development higher 12 months after yr. Other clients and industries have also proven an curiosity in this size, and it would be no surprise at all to see extra of those pumps constructed within the near future for related applications.”