Tag: slurry pumps

Which Industries Are Best Served by Slurry Pumps?

When it comes to slurry pumps, there’s a wide variety of applications and industries that come to mind. Essentially, any process that requires the movement of corrosive materials or large amounts of slurry needs a slurry pump. At Vulcan Pumps, we’re dedicated to serving each and every industry that needs us with the best custom solutions and best customer service. 

Industries That Rely on Slurry Pumps

While the list of all industries that require a slurry pump as part of a process is extensive, here we’ll go over a few of the big players we serve at Vulcan Pumps. 


The extraction of coal, valuable minerals, and metals is an essential process in the mining industry, and they’re often extracted in very large amounts. Slurry pumps are what make this process both safer and more efficient so that more material can be extracted. 

Sand & Gravel

The term “aggregate” encompasses a wide variety of construction materials, including sand, gravel, and crushed stone. Slurry pumps make gathering and/or mining these materials safer and faster. 


Sewage that isn’t treated properly can lead to all kinds of complications. That’s why a slurry pump is required to make the treatment process as smooth and thorough as possible. 

Vulcan Pumps: Serving Your Industry with Pride

No one knows slurry pumps like Vulcan Pumps. Our team has decades of experience working in (and with) a variety of industries, and have been creating custom solutions for them for a long time. We’ve gained industry-wide recognition for our solutions that stand up to abrasive and corrosive conditions—conditions that cause other, lower-quality pumps to fail. 

Our pumps are verified suitable for any sump service that regularly faces abrasive, corrosive, or otherwise adverse conditions. Some of our regular industry partners include power generation, mining, steel, oil and gas, and more. 

As part of our custom-crafted pumping solutions, we also offer incredible customer service. As a client-focused company, we believe the two go hand in hand. We create solutions to fit your specific needs, without ever sacrificing quality. We make sure to respect your budget and your timeline. And because everything we offer is American-made and locally stored, our lead-times are quick regardless. At Vulcan Pumps, you can maintain your peace of mind knowing that we put you and your needs first. You’ll always get a custom response and a custom solution. If you’re ready to invest in a high-quality slurry pump that respects your budget and your timeline, get in touch with Vulcan Pumps today. We look forward to serving you.

Tips to Increase Efficiency of Slurry Pumps

Regardless of which industry you’re working in—mining, wastewater, mineral processing, you name it—you need a specialized slurry pump system. The fact of the matter is that no two slurries are completely alike. They vary greatly when it comes to things like density and viscosity. So you need a system that can handle it all. 

That being said, there are things you can do to help increase the efficiency of slurry pumps, regardless of how specialized they are. Keep reading for more. 

How to Increase Efficiency of Slurry Pumps

It Starts with the Pump

If you already have a slurry pump system, file this step away for when it needs to be replaced. Efficiency in slurry pumps all starts with the pump itself. As we mentioned above, not all slurries are created equal! You need a specialized pump system built and designed with your application in mind. Working with a partner who specializes in customized solutions is your best bet. 

Particle Impact and Sliding

This is a very common issue, and one that eventually can lead to erosion (which we’ll get to in a minute). Your slurry pump operator should always have this in mind, and should be aware of any issues or potential issues. The earlier you can detect and handle particle impact and sliding, the less damage it will cause. 


Some wear and tear is, unfortunately, inevitable. However, you can take steps to mitigate how quickly or how severely erosion occurs. Because they’re wetted components of your slurry pump, the impeller and casing are extra susceptible to erosion. Monitoring the wear, increasing the case width, or investing in a specialized pump with internal lining can all go a long way in preventing erosion. 

The Head

Keep an eye on the head that your slurry pump is producing for a good idea of how things are running. For water-based slurries, your slurry pump should be producing a head of 10–25% lower than a standard water pump. This number will vary, of course, but be aware of the expected head for your particular pump and keep an eye on the numbers!


The first step to proper slurry pump maintenance is monitoring. Without hard data to refer to, it’s more difficult to know what needs maintaining, replacing, or repairing. And because replacing or repairing typically means a complete slurry pump shut down, preventive maintenance is of the utmost importance. 

Increase Efficiency with the Right Industry Partner

At Vulcan Pumps, we have decades of experience providing customized slurry pump solutions to a wide variety of industries. We’ll work hard to supply the perfect system for your specific application, respecting your timeline and your budget. We provide American-made products delivered with the kind of incredible customer service you expect and deserve. Get in touch with Vulcan Pumps today to start a conversation. We look forward to serving you!

Why Is a Slurry Pump Necessary Over a Standard Water Pump?

Slurry pumps and water pumps are not one and the same, which rings true for other pumps as well. Each serves a different purpose, which helps to inform why they’re not interchangeable systems. But why, exactly, is a slurry pump necessary over a standard water pump in certain, specific applications? Read on for the full answer. 

Know the Difference Between Slurry and Water Pumps

As mentioned, a slurry pump differs from a water pump in many key ways. First, slurry pumps and water pumps (as their names suggest) pump different materials. Slurry pumps pump mixtures of fluids not present when pumping hot water, hot oil, or thermanol, which can include or involve gravel, copper, sand, alcohols, acids, petroleum, abrasive mixtures, and more. Slurry pumps are specially made to handle these abrasive and/or caustic materials, having replaceable, durable, and robust pump parts. 

On the other hand, hot water pumps are able to bear high temperature pressure, but don’t have the hydraulic capacity to pump solid or slurry particles effectively. Hot water pumps also lack the ability to stand up to the highly abrasive and corrosive nature of slurries. 

Why a Slurry Pump Works for Intended Use

What makes a slurry pump so effective at handling slurry? It has many wear-resistant properties, including a bigger impeller diameter, bearings, shafts, and internal system. It also typically boasts heavy-duty construction—much more so than standard water pumps possess. 

Due to this, slurry pumps can transport solid and slurry materials more effectively and efficiently. The other core component to slurry pump success is the utilization of centrifugal force. Centrifugal force propels material(s) outward from the center of the pump. Centripetal force does the opposite: It propels material(s) toward the pump center. However, slurry pumps have to perform on a centrifugal basis. This is due to the way in which forces produce velocity to the slurry, which fast tracks material transportation. Operationally, a centripetal pump would render ineffective for slurry, causing the slurry and solids to conglomerate together rather than flow freely. 

Means for Slurry Pump Implementation

There are three main ways to pump slurry based on what the specific situation calls for. These are semi-dry, dry, and wet. Semi-dry installations are almost exclusively used for dredging applications that utilize horizontal pumping orientation. Dry installations are when pump drive and bearings stay out of slurry, and the “wet” end is free from liquid and stands on its own. Here, the wet end comprises the impeller, shell, suction liner or hub, and shaft sleeve. For wet installations, which Vulcan Pumps specializes in, the slurry pump and drive are wholly submersible. This is essential for a range of slurry pump applications, including those done underwater. 
Vulcan Pumps’ HDS submersible slurry pump is built for long-lasting use through quality assured, U.S.-made manufacturing. Contact us for more info on this product, and how our locally inventoried parts and fast lead-times can benefit your operation.

What Makes or Breaks a Slurry Pump

With how crucial slurry pumps are for certain industries, the stakes for a good one are great. Applications that aren’t well-served by a quality slurry pump experience disruption, breakdown, and increased maintenance and/or replacement costs. This being said, there are a handful of key aspects that inform a slurry pump’s performance—in layman’s terms what “makes or breaks it.” Here’s a helpful primer on these aspects, as well as what makes them so important to the success of a slurry pump. 

#1: Design

Intuitively, design is among the most critical aspects of a slurry pump. It has to be in order for the slurry not to wear down or downright destroy the impeller and other key components. 

Slurry is often highly abrasive and/or corrosive and, for this reason, slurry pump design has to be top-notch. Slurry also has a high possibility for the presence of unexpected solids, which has a chance to clog up or bottleneck pumps—potentially affecting the volume and causing loss of suction. The right slurry pump design is critical to keeping volute integrity (over time) in the most abrasive settings. 

#2: Construction

Design’s close counterpart, construction, is also top of list for slurry pumps. Abrasive-resistant metallurgies must be utilized if applications are heavily harsh and/or caustic. 

Typically, a high chrome is the preferred construction material for highly abrasive settings. In these cases, Vulcan Pumps builds our submersible slurry pumps with metallurgy 28% chrome iron, ASTMA532. 

Additionally, we manufacture duplex stainless steel construction pumps for slurry that exhibits both an abrasive nature and low pH. Good examples of where this construction is necessary are places with a high presence of chemical or chloride concerns. 

#3: Seal

Pump seal loss of function can have a devastating effect; oftentimes, motor manufacturers offer a generic seal, which can prove ill-suited for specific applications. Per application needs, the ideal seal is absolutely necessary. Often seals need to incorporate hard set, tungsten or silicon carbide faces in order to avoid cracking. 

At Vulcan Pumps, we partner with U.S.-based John Crane Co. for the most robust, application-made seals and seal designs. This ensures top quality from the get-go. 

#4: Size & Power

Slurry pump power and size is also a critical element that can inform the success of the pump for the application. With the abrasiveness of slurries, a pump must be of adequate size to operate slow enough to extend pump life. Ideally, a pump will be set to run between 900 and 1200 RPM; more than this can wear out the pump at its wear points through abrasive blasting. 

#5: Method of Use

The deployment or use method for the pump is the final key aspect to ensuring slurry pump success. Submersible pumps, the kind Vulcan Pumps specializes in, are pumps completely submerged in a liquid. This avoids the requirement for priming, as the pump is immersed in the liquid being pumped. Other pumping setups may involve priming (or be self-primed) or have additional needs prior to pumping. Knowing which pumping method the intended application calls for helps the pump be most effective and last longer. 

Find Your Ideal Submersible Slurry Pump

Vulcan Pumps offers top-of-the-line, U.S.-made submersible slurry pumps—with parts inventoried locally in the Southeast. Contact us to see how our pumps can best meet your application needs. 

How Do I Know My Slurry Pump Is Up to the Task?

A slurry pump is a non-negotiable when having to pump slurry, which often comprises a mix of difficult-to-move solids and fluids. This is because of the abrasive nature of slurry—and the operational toll it often takes. For this reason, standard water pumps can’t stand up to the harsh wear and tear. Plus, in the grand scheme, slurry pumping costs carve out a significant portion of industrial operational pumping costs (even at a smaller overall pump distribution): some estimates being up to 80%. With everything that depends on quality slurry pumps, how do you know that a pump can handle the pressure?

How the Slurry Pump Is Made Matters

It stands to reason that pump make matters—and that holds true, if not more so, for slurry pumps. 

The materials slurry pumps move, coupled by the space they occupy (sump, discharge point, pipeline, etc.), increases the chance for higher wear rates. Typically, this results in larger, thicker, and heavier pumps (when compared to water pumps) in order to handle the materials present. Some may also incorporate heavy-duty internal liners and/or weightier components for the same (or similar) reason. 

But slurry pumping is anything but a one-size-fits-all model. The diverse application and pump-performance requirements among industries and sites necessitate an equally diverse arsenal of pump size, types, and mounts. This is all the more reason why custom submersible and slurry pumps are a must—not a maybe. 

Similarly, overall quality is of the utmost importance. If quality is sacrificed for cost-efficiency or another consideration, the over-time effects can be more than felt: They can be paralyzing. Maintenance may need to be called in year-round (increasing costs) or there may even be an all-out pump breakdown (decreasing production). 

Other Considerations

Slurry pumps don’t exist in a vacuum. What this means is this: Things external to (and involved with) the slurry pump need to also be regularly assessed. For instance, pump systems rely heavily on adequate motor power availability. With so many mills functioning on variable speed drives, taking an involved and real-time look at pump pressure and flow in regards to time has to happen. This information helps work out considerations like adequate and optimal pump size for the mill, plant, or site. 

Additionally, pipe sizing, floor sump space, gland seal pressure, and gearbox cooling are other considerations to have in order to inform your decision-making—and ensure pump systems are operating optimally. The correct pipe sizing reduces friction and wear. Well-sized floor sumps are able to deal with site-specific volume. A proper gland seal size ensures a constant flow of gland water throughout operational conditions. The gearbox needs to be properly calibrated to avoid overheating, especially at increased altitudes and temperatures. 

Have Your Pump Perform

Again, as for the pump itself, durability is a stand-out feature. For pumping slurry, you want a well-rounded pump—one that continually performs, offers resistance to wear, provides needed power, is easy-to-maintain, and is applicable to the pumped material. Specific pumping conditions and requirements will often inform what pump will work where. For instance, pumps may differ depending on pump rate (steadfast vs. intermittent), as well as the amount of heavy mechanical wear present in conditions. 
Vulcan Pumps offers a completely U.S.-made pump and pump components that differ in metallurgies based on conditions at hand (including 28% chrome iron, ASTMA532 for abrasive). Reach out to learn more about what we can do for pump systems—from high-quality product to ongoing support.

Pumping Slurry: The Basics

Slurry is not known for its easy-moving properties. That makes pumping slurry a difficult task, especially if the pump is not suited for it. Here’s a helpful primer on what you need to know to more successfully pump slurry—and avoid headaches in the process. 

Why Selecting the Right Slurry Pump Matters So Much

The makeup and properties of slurry are typically highly abrasive—and make wear and tear on ill-suited pumps incredibly likely. 

Generally speaking, slurry is any mixture of fluid, water included, and a broken up or granulated solid or solids. Slurry typically has a high viscosity (thickness), which can at times be corrosive or toxic. For these reasons and more, slurry can be hard on pumps. 

Slurries are often categorized into two main types: settling and non-settling. Settling slurries consist of coarse particles that generally develop into unstable mixtures. Conversely, non-settling slurries are made up of much finer particles that pass for being thicker in appearance. Non-settling slurries are tougher than liquid, but not as rough on pumps as setting slurries. However, most slurry applications contain coarser particles and behave harsher. 

Additionally, slurries are often weighty, making them more difficult to pump. But weight isn’t the only pumping difficulty they pose. They can clog up suction and discharge lines if not fast-moving enough, wear on pumps and their components, and even shorten pump life. This makes the right pump all the more necessary—so removal and replacement isn’t a constant occurrence. 

The Proof Is in the Pump

It might seem more intuitive now: Pumping slurry is as much about the pump as it is about slurry. A highly abrasive slurry will spell trouble for a pump or components not up to the task. Construction material, impeller size and design, bearings and shafts, and discharge structures all have to be properly made and calibrated to ensure a pump lasts under the pressure of slurry. 

Slurry pumps differ from other pumps, like water or low-thickness pumps, in size and ruggedness. Slurry pumps are generally larger and built with more rugged and rigid components for increased durability. This makes them stand up better to slurry’s abrasive properties, which is what you want in a slurry pump. 

Beyond following standard piping guidelines, finding optimal pump speed, and rigging discharge pressure to the lowest point possible, what you need to ensure a pump that lasts is just that: a pump that lasts. Vulcan Pumps provides exactly what you need to pump slurry effectively. Our U.S.-made pumps are quality control tested before assembly and during manufacture, custom-made for application requirements, and consist of materials (including 28% chrome iron, ASTMA532) that hold up against abrasive slurry. Contact us for more information today!

Slurry Pumps vs. Sludge: What Are the Differences?

Different pumps are often required for different, or more specific, applications. For instance, slurry pumps are made for pumping slurry—while other specialized pumps are made to pump thermal oil or hot water. Two common pumps used in many industries are sludge and slurry pumps. But these aren’t one and the same. Here’s a helpful primer on the differences between the two. 

First, Defining Sludge and Slurry

It stands to reason that if sludge and slurry pumps aren’t the same thing then sludge and slurry aren’t either. And that’s correct. There is a difference between the two materials. 

Sludge is a general term for any solids apart from suspension in a liquid. This could be any near-solid or semi-solid material that’s left over from a variety of processes: water/wastewater treatment and industrial being two primary ones. 

Slurry, on the other hand, is defined as any flowing or flowable suspension of particles in liquid. Cement slurry from construction applications is a highly recognizable example. Other industries where slurry is a routine byproduct includes mining and agriculture or renewable natural gas (RNG). 

Some forms of mining produce liquid waste which possesses high levels of toxicity; this waste is then pooled into sizable dams or slurry tailing ponds. Slurry is also common in agriculture—often a blend of animal waste, other organic compounds, and water—which is routinely saved as fertilizer in a slurry pit. 

Sludge and slurry are highly different from one another—there’s a big difference in thickness, which is due to the discrepancy in both particle shape and size. 

Sludge vs. Slurry Pumps

For this reason, slurry can be pumped in large part by slurry pumps or centrifugal pumps. This is not the case for sludge. Sludge requires a different kind of pump to adequately meet the needs of the material makeup. 

Slurry is essentially small solids inside of a liquid. Sludge is nearby solids in liquid, which calls for sludge pumps, diapham pumps, lobes, or progressive cavity pumps to properly pump the material through. 

Additionally, slurry pumps have certain key characteristics:

·        Large shaft and bearing  to reduce shaft reflection;

·        Low velocity reduce wear;

·        Heavier cast parts made from abrasion resistant materials;

·        Mech seal designed for slurries. 

Our Slurry Pump

Vulcan Pumps offers a first-rate submersible slurry pump that is made custom to your application. It is U.S.-made with premium metallurgy. Plus, we perform enhanced quality control prior to assembly and as we manufacture. You can learn about its key features and our quality standpoint across the board. Connect with us to see how we can best meet your specific application needs!