Alberta, Canada has the world’s third largest oil reserves within the type of oil sands. Extracting and processing the oil from the sands and bedrock is a difficult process and requires the largest slurry pump in the oil sands industry.
When it involves pumping slurry, there could be very few applications that are more challenging than the hydro-transport of heavy-duty slurries in oil sands manufacturing. Not solely do the pumps have to contend with the extremely aggressive nature of the fluid being pumped, they are additionally expected to function in a number of the harshest environments on the planet.
In January 2020, GIW Industries, Inc., a KSB firm, commissioned its largest ever heavy-duty centrifugal slurry pump for operation in Canada’s oil sands, specifically the Tie Bolt Construction (TBC-92). Named after its ninety two in (2337 mm) impeller, the TBC-92 is the most important and heaviest slurry pump out there within the oil sands trade and the newest in a line of powerful high-pressure pumps supplied by GIW.
Slurry transportation Slurry transport covers a substantial range of trade sectors, ranging from food and beverage to mining. What is common to all, is that the pumps used must be succesful of transport liquids containing particles and solids of various sizes and viscosities. In mining, dredging and oil sands manufacturing, the biggest problem is to accommodate high density slurry and highly abrasive grits.
It is important that the slurry passes through the pump with the minimum amount of wear and tear to the pump casing, impeller, shaft and sealing mechanism. Furthermore, เพรสเชอร์เกจ should be capable of delivering excessive flows and in a position to withstand harsh operating environments.
Alberta in Canada has intensive oil reserves and these are in the form of oil sands. Extracting and processing the oil from the sands and bedrock is difficult, involving the removal of bituminous ore which is transported to a crushing plant. The crushed ore is then combined with heat water to kind a dense slurry that could be transported in the pipeline in path of extraction, the place the bitumen is separated from the sand and rock. After extraction, the remaining solids (or tailings) are often transported by way of totally different pumps to settling ponds.
The processes require intensive use of slurry and water transportation pumps capable of handling vast portions of liquids at high pressures and excessive temp- eratures. Drawing on its long experience of designing slurry pumps for mining, GIW has custom-engineered slurry pumps that combine superior supplies, hydraulics and patented mechanical designs, the newest of which is the TBC-92.
Meeting challenges Mollie Timmerman, GIW enterprise improvement manager, explains more: “Our client needed the next capacity pump which was capable of 10,000–11,000 m3 per hour of output at practically forty m of developed head and a maximum working stress of 4000 kPa. The pump additionally needed to have the ability to pass rocks of approximately one hundred thirty mm in diameter with a complete passage dimension requirement of 10 in (or 254 mm) and handle slurry densities in excess of 1.5 SG.
In addition, the customer was concentrating on a upkeep interval (operational time between planned maintenance) of around three,000 hours. They had expressed an curiosity in maximising the upkeep intervals and based on preliminary put on indications, they’re at present hoping to achieve around 6,000 hours between pump overhauls (i.e. 6–8 months).”

The quick utility for the primary batch of GIW’s TBC-92 pumps in Alberta is in hydro-transport service the place they are used to move bitu- minous ore from the crusher to the extraction plant. The liquid pumped is a combination of water, bitumen, sand, and enormous rocks. Screens are in place to keep these rocks to a manageable size for the process, however the high measurement can still typically reach as a lot as one hundred thirty mm in diameter or bigger.
The abrasive nature of the slurry is what separates a slurry pump from other pumps used in the business. Wear and erosion are information of life, and GIW has a long time of experience within the design of slurry pumps and the development of materials to help extend the service life of these important components to match the deliberate upkeep cycles within the plant.
“GIW already had a pump able to the output requirement, this being the MDX-750, which has been a well-liked size in mill duties for nearly 10 years through- out Central and South America,” explains Mollie Timmerman. ”However, the customer’s utility required a pump with higher strain capabilities and the potential of handling bigger rocks so we responded with the development of the TBC-92 which supplied one of the best solution for maximised manufacturing.”

The TBC sequence The development type of GIW’s TBC pump range options large, ribbed plates held along with tie bolts for very high-pressure service and maximum put on performance. First developed for dredge service, then later launched into the oil sands within the 1990s, the TBC pump sequence has grown into a totally developed vary of pumps serving the oil sands, phosphate, dredging and hard rock mining industries for tailings and hydrotransport applications.
The pumps are often grouped collectively in booster stations to build strain as high as 750 psi (5171 kPa) to account for the pipe losses encountered over such long distances. The sturdy construction of the TBC pump is nicely suited to do the job, while making certain maximum availability of the tools under closely abrasive put on.
Capable of delivering pressure up to 37 bar and flows of greater than 18,200m³/h and temperatures as a lot as 120o C, the TBC vary is a horizontal, finish suction centrifugal pump that provides maximum resistance to put on. Simple to keep up, the pump’s tie-bolt design transfers stress loads away from the wear resistant white iron casing to the non- bearing aspect plates without the usage of heavy and unwieldy double-wall construction.
The TBC-92 combines the most effective parts of earlier TBC fashions, together with the TBC-84 oil sands tailing pump, also recognized as the Super Pump. The pump also incorporates features from GIW’s MDX product line, which is used in heavy-duty mining circuits all through the world of onerous rock mining.
In whole, the TBC-92 weighs about 209,000 lbs (95,000 kg), which is roughly equal to a fully-loaded Airbus A321 aeroplane. The casing alone weighs 34,000 lbs (15,500 kg). Key options of the pump embody a slurry diverter that dramatically increases suction liner life by reducing particle recirculation between the impeller and the liner. The large diameter impeller permits the pump to run at slower speeds in order that put on life is enhanced. The decrease pace additionally gives the pump the flexibility to operate over a wider range of flows so as to accommodate fluctuating flow situations.
To make upkeep easier, the pump is fitted with a particular two-piece suction plate design which helps to minimize back tool time and provide safer lifting. Customers obtain pump-specific lifting units to facilitate the protected elimination and set up of damage comp- onents. The pump also contains a longlasting suction liner that can be adjusted while not having to shut the pump down.
New milestone The commissioning of the TBC-92 marks an essential milestone for GIW, which now has pumps in service in any respect operating Canadian oil sands plants for hydrotransport applications. The TBC-92 has been designed to deal with heavy-duty slurry transport while offering a low whole cost of ownership. Minimal labour and upkeep time assist to maximise production and revenue.
“This new pump incorporates the teachings learned from operating within the oil sands over a few years, and options our newest hydraulic and put on technologies,” says Mollie Timmerman. “Because pressure gauge 10 bar is the heaviest TBC pump we now have ever designed, explicit consideration was given to maintainability, in addition to materials choice and building of the pressure-containing parts.”

That GIW has established itself as a significant pressure in pumping options for the oil sands business is far from shocking given that it has been growing pumping technologies and wear resistant supplies within the global mining trade since the 1940s.
These pumps have had a substantial impact on the way in which that excavated sand, rock and bitumen are transported to the upgrader plant. By including water to the excavated materials it turns into highly environment friendly to pump the slurry alongside a pipeline to the upgrader. The pipeline agitation assists in separating the bitumen from the sand as it’s transported, plus there is the additional benefit of removing the utilization of vehicles.
GIW has estimated that the value of shifting oil sand in this method can minimize prices by US$2 a barrel, and it is much more environmentally friendly. These pumps additionally play a serious role in transporting the coarse tailings to the tailings ponds. GIW provides pumps used within the extraction process and other areas of manufacturing (HVF, MDX, LSA).
Understanding slurries Understanding the nature of slurries and the way they behave when being pumped has been elementary to the event of those merchandise. GIW has been acquiring slurry samples from customers over a few years for testing hydraulics and materials both for pumps and pipelines. Research & Development amenities include multiple slurry check beds on the campus, together with a hydraulics laboratory that’s devoted to pump performance testing.
These activities are central to the company’s pump improvement programmes. If corporations are experiencing issues the GIW R&D personnel can see where the issue lies and provide recommendation for remedial motion. Experience does indicate that in lots of circumstances the issue lies not with the pump nevertheless, but in the interaction between the pipeline and the pump.
Feedback from clients about appli- cations helps in the improvement of new tools and pump designs. By bringing to- gether diaphragm seal and lecturers from all over the world to share their experience and analysis with in-house experts, the large funding in analysis, development and manufacturing has advanced the design of the entire GIW pump merchandise,supplies and wear-resistant elements.
The future “There is a clear development towards larger pumps in mining and dredging and oil sands are not any exception,” feedback Leo Perry, GIW lead product manager. “The first TBC pump within the oil sands business was the TBC-46 (46 in being the diameter of the impeller). Customers are designing their facilities for greater and better production and demanding the identical of the equipment that retains their production transferring. While these larger pumps demand more energy, additionally they enable for higher production with less downtime required for upkeep. Overall, the efficiency improves when compared to the same output from a larger quantity of smaller pumps. “

In conclusion, he says: “Larger pumps go hand-in-hand with bigger amenities, bigger pipelines, and increased production, all of which proceed to pattern higher 12 months after yr. Other customers and industries have also shown an curiosity in this dimension, and it might be no shock in any respect to see more of those pumps built in the near future for related purposes.”