All About Slurry Pump Selection
The choice of slurry pump can depend on various factors, not least the type of slurry you’re dealing with. In this article, we’ll explore the distinction between slurry pumps and standard water pumps and provide insight on choosing a slurry pump to meet your needs.
Slurry, often a mix of fine particles or denser solids and liquid, can take various forms, such as mud, dust or silt, animal waste, cement, starch, or even coal suspended in liquid, usually water. With the amount of solid particles giving slurry a thicker consistency, it’s more challenging to pump slurries. While a standard water pump might be able to pump a slurry, this comes at the cost of reduced efficiency. Instead, you should select a correctly-sized slurry pump designed for the job.
What to look at when choosing a slurry pump
- Impeller – Slurry pumps have thicker vanes than water pumps. This is because thicker vanes take up more space than the impellers of water pumps, which have narrower passages. The thicker vanes allow wider passageways so solid particles can pass without clogging the pump or reducing efficiencies.
- Pump casing – the casing of the slurry pump is what handles the pressure. Larger gaps between the impeller and the cutwater tongue are there to ensure large particles don’t get stuck. The additional space allows more recirculation inside the slurry pump casing. While a typical water pump may be able to do the same job, pumping solids will gradually lead to the deterioration of a standard water pump.
- Material – Many slurry pumps are lined with metal or rubber to prevent the gradual erosion of components caused by the solid particles in a slurry. Extra heavy lining can be rubber, while metal pump casings are made of hard alloys to resist the increased pressure and circulation that occurs when pumping solids. Sometimes, steel is used on pump casings to withstand wear, which can be welded for repair. Using the right materials can lead to significant cost savings in the long run.
- Axial adjustment – Adjusting the gap between the impeller and the seal face helps to maintain consistent pump performance as the inner components of the pump start to wear.
Keep in mind that slurry pumps are engineered to match your requirements. For instance, pumps in the cement industry primarily deal with fine particles under low pressure, allowing for lightweight casings. Conversely, when handling rock slurry, the pump casing and impeller must withstand substantial impact, which means they are usually constructed from robust materials.
Need help determining what type of pump to use for slurries or what to look for? Give us a call at 1-800-367-4180 (toll-free). As your industrial pump supplier in Canada, we’re here to help you choose, install, maintain, and monitor a variety of equipment. And to answer questions about things you’ve previously tried gone wrong.