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Optimal transfer of two-phase solid-liquid flow (slurry flow) has long been a major industrial challenge. Slurry pumps are among the most common types of centrifugal pumps used to deal with this transfer issue. The approach of improving slurry pumps and consequently increasing the efficiency of a flow transmission system requires overcoming the effects of slurry flow such as the reduction in head, efficiency, and wear. This study attempts to investigate the changes in the pump head by modifying the slip factor distribution in the impeller channel. For this purpose, the effect of splitter blades on slip factor distribution to improve the pump head was investigated using numerical simulation tools and validated based on experimental test data. Next, an optimization process was used to determine the characteristics of the splitter (i.e., length, number, and environmental position of the splitter) based on a combination of experimental design methods, surface response, and genetic algorithm. The optimization results indicate that the splitters were in a relative circumferential position of 67.2% to the suction surface of the main blade. Also, the optimal number and length of splitter blades were 6 and 62.8% of the length of the main blades, respectively. Because of adding splitter blades and the reduction in the flow passage, the best efficiency point (BEP) of the slurry pump moved toward lower flow rates. The result of splitter optimization was the increase in pump head from 29.7 m to 31.7 m and the upkeep of efficiency in the initial values.
The effect of solids on a centrifugal horizontal slurry pump performance is a major concern to the design of slurry transportation system. In the present study, the multiphase modeling of centrifugal slurry pump is performed using two models, Mixture and Eulerian-Eulerian multiphase. Sliding mesh approach is employed for unsteady simulation of the pump. The accuracy of the simulations is ascertained by comparing the performance characteristics of the pump obtained numerically The first major requirement of a mining slurry pump is to provide adequate service life. Erosion and corrosion effects of slurries, such as the impingement of high velocity flow of liquid/solid mixtures, are really challenging. In many applications, some solids in the mixture are larger than usually specified particles; so, the pump should be able to pass them without any damage or operational problems.
As a result of such requirements, a vertical slurry pump often is larger than its clear liquid counterpart. Moreover, it generally sacrifices efficiency, both maximum efficiency and efficiencies over the whole operating range, in exchange for the ability to achieve good operation in these challenging services.
Because wear is a function of velocity, a slurry pump’s speed should be as low as possible; units usually operate at 1,200 rpm or slower. Often, direct coupling between the pump and a low-speed electric motor or other driver makes most sense. On the other hand, many other applications favor gearboxes to meet the desired speed and duty point. In services requiring variable flow, variable frequency drives are used to provide the necessary continual speed changes.
Although the emphasis on a ceramic slurry pump tends to be on the size and percentage of solids to be pumped, corrosion resistance is also an important factor for material selection in many applications. In such cases, the material chosen must provide an adequate combination of both erosion and corrosion resistance.