Tag: slurry

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!