Slurry pumps are designed to transfer liquids containing a significant amount
of solid material. Slurry pumps are significantly more expensive than standard water pumps, so it is important to
ensure that the material to be pumped is truly a slurry before purchasing this type of pump.
Types Of Slurries Handled By Slurry Pumps
There are light, medium and heavy slurries. A light slurry typically occurs when a small amount
of solids are already present in the water. A heavy slurry, in contrast, is more likely to be man-made, for example
when it is really the solids that are needing transportation; then a slurry is made with water in order to make
these solids able to be pumped or otherwise easily transferred.
Factors To Consider When Selecting Slurry Pumps
When selecting slurry pumps, there are several things to consider. The level of slurry
is important (light, medium or heavy), but aside from the proportion of particulate matter it is also important to
note the shape, size, density and sharpness of the particles.
Slurry pumps come with a range of different features which each have their own pros and cons. As
an example, a pump with a larger impeller will have a much longer impeller life, but results in a heavier pump with
more expensive parts. It is thus imperative to ensure that the right features are present for the job at hand when
selecting the best pump.
Also, unlike standard water pumps, slurry pumps are best run at the lowest speed (in rpm) that is practical
for the desired task. This is because the faster a slurry pump is run, the shorter its lifespan. It is also
important to determine how fast the total slurry needs to be moved (in gallons per minute), to help select a
pump whose maximum capacity (expressed in gallons per minute) is safely above that needed.
Lifespan of slurry pumps is also naturally affected by how the pump is made. The particulate
matter hitting the inside of the pump has a huge effect on the wear on the pump. For longest life, a pump lined
with rubber (or another elastomeric material) are ideal - but these are only suitable for relatively small
particles which are not especially sharp. Otherwise, a metal pump must be used. For best pump lifespan, it is
important to ensure that the pump metal is harder than the particles.
Aside from abrasion, it is also important to consider corrosion. The pH of the slurry, as well
as the presence of certain chemical compounds in the slurry will determine how corrosive the slurry is. Information
is usually available from pump manufacturers as to the chemical compatibility of the slurry to a particular pump.
For example, Goulds Pumps offers a large table of data of how well suited the different pump materials are to
different chemical compounds that might be present in the slurry.
Slurry pumps are useful for transporting liquids containing significant particulate
matter. Before purchasing a slurry pump, it is important to ensure the material to be transferred truly is a
slurry. Slurry pumps receive much more wear and tear than other types of pumps, due to the particulate matter. Therefore when selecting the best slurry pump, a key
consideration is the maximum lifespan of the pump. This involves considering things such as the speed at which
the pump is run, the types of particles present in the slurry, the presence of any corrosive chemicals in the
slurry, and the material the pump is made of.