Horizontal slurry pumps are designed to handle liquids containing solid particles, making them the right choice in various industries such as mining, construction, and wastewater treatment. In this article, we will delve into the definition, types, uses, and advantages of horizontal slurry pumps.

What is an horizontal slurry pump

A horizontal slurry pump is a type of centrifugal pump specifically designed to handle heavy and abrasive slurries. Unlike standard pumps, which are primarily used for water or clean liquids, slurry pumps are constructed with robust materials that can withstand continuous contact with solids. The impeller of a slurry pump is specially designed to create a turbulent flow, ensuring efficient solids handling and preventing clogging.

Horizontal slurry pumps play a crucial role in various industries, including mining, mineral processing, dredging, and wastewater treatment. In the mining industry, for example, slurry pumps are used to transport ore, tailings, and other mining by-products. These pumps are also commonly used in dredging operations to move sediment and gravel from water bodies.

Horizontal slurry pumps, functions, and characteristics

One of the key characteristics of horizontal slurry pumps is their ability to transport slurry horizontally through pipelines. This feature minimizes the need for manual labor and reduces maintenance costs. The pumps can be installed at a distance from the source of the slurry, allowing for efficient and convenient transportation.

Horizontal slurry pumps are known for their rugged construction and durability. They are designed to withstand the harsh conditions often encountered in industries where slurries are present. The pump casings are typically made of high-quality materials such as cast iron, stainless steel, or various alloys, ensuring long-lasting performance even in corrosive environments.

Efficiency is a key consideration in slurry pump design. The impeller, which is the rotating component responsible for creating the centrifugal force, is carefully engineered to handle the specific characteristics of the slurry. The impeller blades are designed to generate a turbulent flow, effectively moving the solids along with the liquid. This design prevents clogging and ensures optimal performance.

A Pemo horizontal slurry pump
A Pemo horizontal slurry pump.

Different types of horizontal slurry pumps

Horizontal slurry pumps are available in a wide range of sizes and configurations to suit different applications. They can handle varying flow rates, pressures, and solids concentrations. Some pumps are designed for high-pressure applications, while others are optimized for handling large volumes of slurry. The most common types of horizontal slurry pumps include:

  • End-suction slurry pumps. These pumps feature a single casing design and are suitable for applications requiring high flow rates and moderate pressure. End-suction pumps can handle large-sized particles and are often used in mining operations.
  • Split-case slurry pumps. With a split-case design, these pumps offer easy maintenance and can accommodate larger impellers. They are commonly employed in industrial processes that involve large volumes of abrasive slurries.
  • Submersible slurry pumps. These pumps are designed to operate underwater, making them ideal for dewatering pits and handling abrasive slurries in mining and construction sites.

Each type of horizontal slurry pump has unique features and advantages, ensuring that there is a suitable pump for every application. Understanding the differences between these types allows industries to make informed decisions when selecting a pump.

The right horizontal slurry pump

When it comes to end-suction slurry pumps, their single casing design provides several benefits. This design allows for easy installation and maintenance, reducing downtime and increasing operational efficiency. Additionally, the ability to handle large-sized particles makes end-suction pumps ideal for applications where the slurry contains solid materials.

On the other hand, split-case slurry pumps offer distinct advantages in industrial processes that involve large volumes of abrasive slurries. The split-case design allows for easy access to the impeller and other internal components, simplifying maintenance and reducing the time required for repairs. Furthermore, the ability to accommodate larger impellers enables these pumps to handle higher flow rates, making them suitable for applications that require efficient transportation of large volumes of slurry.

Submersible slurry pumps, as the name suggests, are designed to operate underwater. This feature makes them highly versatile and suitable for a wide range of applications. In mining and construction sites, these pumps are commonly used for dewatering pits, removing excess water from excavation areas, and handling abrasive slurries. The ability to operate underwater also minimizes the risk of pump cavitation, ensuring reliable and efficient performance.

It is important for industries to understand the unique features and advantages of each type of horizontal slurry pump. By doing so, they can make informed decisions when selecting a pump that best suits their specific application requirements. Factors such as flow rate, pressure, particle size, and the nature of the slurry should be carefully considered to ensure optimal pump performance and longevity. Furthermore, industries should also consider factors such as energy efficiency, reliability, and ease of maintenance when choosing a horizontal slurry pump. 

In short, here’s the advantages of horizontal slurry pumps:

  • Efficient solids handling
  • Improved wear resistance
  • Reduced downtime
  • Cost-effective.

These advantages demonstrate why horizontal slurry pumps have become a vital component in various industries, helping improve operational efficiency and reducing maintenance costs.

Uses of horizontal slurry pumps

Horizontal slurry pumps find application in a wide range of industries due to their ability to handle tough liquids containing solids. These pumps are designed to efficiently transport abrasive fluids, making them an essential component in many industrial processes. In addition to their primary function of pumping slurry, horizontal slurry pumps offer several advantages that contribute to their widespread use.

One of the most common applications of horizontal slurry pumps is in mining operations. In this industry, slurry pumps are vital for transferring large volumes of ore slurries and tailings. They play a crucial role in transporting valuable minerals from the mining site to processing plants. 

Another industry that extensively relies on horizontal slurry pumps is the construction industry. Construction sites often encounter excess water mixed with cement, sand, and other solid materials. Slurry pumps assist in dewatering these sites, effectively removing the water, and facilitating construction activities. 

Wastewater treatment plants also heavily rely on horizontal slurry pumps for their operations. These pumps play a crucial role in transferring sewage sludge and wastewater through various treatment processes. The ability of horizontal slurry pumps to handle high concentrations of solids ensures that the sludge and wastewater are efficiently transported, contributing to the overall efficiency and reliability of the treatment plant.

The versatility of horizontal slurry pumps makes them a valuable asset in various industrial settings. Their robust design and ability to handle abrasive fluids contribute to increased productivity and reduced downtime. 

In conclusion, horizontal slurry pumps are specialized centrifugal pumps that are designed to handle heavy and abrasive slurries. Their robust construction, ability to handle challenging liquids, and efficient transportation capabilities make them indispensable in industries where slurries are encountered. Whether it’s mining, dredging, or wastewater treatment, these pumps play a vital role in ensuring smooth operations and minimizing downtime.

A triple stage Pemo horizontal slurry pump
A triple stage Pemo horizontal slurry pump.

Answers to common questions

Here’s a list of FAQ about horizontal slurry pumps:

Can you turn a horizontal pump vertical?

Turning an industrial horizontal pump in vertical is not recommended, as it can cause several problems and risks. Horizontal pumps are designed to operate in a horizontal position, where the suction and discharge nozzles are aligned with the piping system. Vertical pumps have different configurations and orientations, such as inline, cantilever, or submerged. 

If a horizontal pump is turned vertically, it may affect the alignment, balance, lubrication, cooling, and performance of the pump. It may also increase the risk of cavitation, vibration, leakage, and damage to the pump and the piping system. Therefore, it is advisable to use a pump that is suitable for the intended application and orientation, rather than modifying a horizontal pump vertically.

How to align a horizontal pump and motor?

Horizontal pump alignment is the process of ensuring that the pump and the motor shafts are parallel and co-planar. This is important to reduce vibration, noise, wear and tear, and energy consumption. There are different methods of horizontal pump alignment, such as straight edge, dial indicator, laser alignment, etc. The general steps for horizontal pump alignment are:

  • Check the pump and motor foundation for levelness and stability.
  • Install the pump and motor on the baseplate and secure them with bolts.
  • Roughly align the pump and motor shafts by eye or using a straight edge.
  • Mount the dial indicator or laser alignment tool on the shafts and measure the angular and parallel misalignment.
  • Adjust the shims under the pump or motor feet to correct the misalignment until it is within the acceptable tolerance.
  • Tighten the bolts and recheck the alignment.
  • Connect the coupling and recheck the alignment again.

How to reduce flow split case horizontal pump?

Flow split case is a phenomenon that occurs when the flow rate of a pump is lower than the design point, resulting in uneven distribution of the fluid across the impeller. This can cause vibration, noise, cavitation, and reduced efficiency of the pump. To reduce flow split case in industrial horizontal pumps, some possible solutions are:

  • Adjusting the speed of the pump to match the required flow rate, using a variable frequency drive or a throttle valve.
  • Installing a bypass line or a recirculation valve to divert excess flow back to the suction side of the pump or to another location.
  • Replacing the impeller with a smaller one or trimming the impeller diameter to reduce the flow area and increase the head.
  • Adding a diffuser or a volute to the discharge side of the pump to improve the flow uniformity and reduce the pressure drop.

Discover here the range of Pemo horizontal slurry pumps.