How to Choose a Slurry Pump and Extend Its Life

October 30, 2015


Slurry is a mixture of a fluid, such as water, and a pulverized solid. Slurries are used to handle solids in mining, steel processing, foundries, power generation, and frac sand mining. They flow under gravity and can also be pumped.


Slurries are thick and sometimes corrosive. Non-settling slurries contain very fine particles. They usually have low wearing properties, but they do not behave in the same way as a normal liquid. Settling slurries consist of coarse particles that tend to form an unstable mixture.


It is important to choose the right slurry pump for your needs. Compare components such as the impeller size and design, construction materials, and discharge configurations to be sure that the pump will be able to withstand wear from an abrasive slurry. Slurry pumps are usually larger than low-viscosity liquid pumps and generally require more horsepower because they are less efficient. Bearings and shafts need to be more rugged and rigid. When choosing a pump, pay special attention to flow and power calculations. Most slurries contain coarse particles and have higher wear properties.


Several types of pumps are used to pump slurries. The most common type is the centrifugal pump. A rotating impeller generates centrifugal force that impacts kinetic energy to the slurry, similar to the way a water-like liquid moves through a standard centrifugal pump.


Pumping slurries can be difficult because they are heavy and cause excessive wear on equipment. They can clog suction and discharge lines if they do not move fast enough.


You can make pumping slurry easier and extend the life of your pump by finding a way to run the pump as slowly as possible to reduce wear, but fast enough to prevent solids from settling and clogging the lines. Lower the pump’s discharge pressure to the lowest point possible to reduce wear. Follow proper piping principles to deliver the slurry to the pump at a constant and uniform rate.