Mark Doyle, Global Product Manager for Linatex® Rubber, looks at the process of pumping fine aggregates and explains why rubber is the most suitable wear material for this application.
The construction aggregate industry transports slurry in various forms, from fine sand to coarse aggregate.
Fine particle sand can be extremely abrasive and often rapidly wear down a slurry pump. The properties of coarse aggregates that can affect the performance of the pump are size, shape and surface texture, and gradation of particle sizes, with fine materials developing excessive friction in the pipeline.
Pumping fine aggregates
When pumping slurry in wet sand applications, we must evaluate the abrasive particles flowing through the pipeline and subsequently, how they impact the slurry pump. If the pump is lined by inferior rubber, the particles cannot rebound efficiently and as a result, the rubber begins to break away in chunks. The gouging then starts to accelerate and negatively impact the efficiency of the pump, often resulting in turbulent flow.
Rubber lining has been used for almost a century to protect plant and equipment from wear, and has retained its position as the preferred wear material for the pumping and separation of fine particle slurries.
The Rebound Effect with Linatex® Premium Rubber
Linatex® premium rubber is perfect for this process. The energy absorption and rebound of the particles are achieved through the properties of the latex.
As the particles hit the surface, the rubber deforms, absorbing the kinetic energy of the particle. The resilient nature of the rubber returns most of this energy to the particle, causing it to rebound with little or no wear.
The angle of impact of the particle relative to the wear surface is an important consideration as the effect of different angles on wear rate can be significant. Inside a pump, the angles of impingement inside a rotating impeller are varied and sporadic, but Linatex® premium rubber is designed to absorb all of that energy.
Natural rubber is an outstanding abrasion resistant material when handling wet sand slurry. Its strength, resilience and resistance to cutting and tearing have a positive effect on wear performance of the slurry pump, which is why our new and improved Warman® WGR® pump is lined with Linatex® premium rubber. (Read the Warman WGR pump launch article to find out more)
The Linatex® rubber advantage
The manufacturing process used to make the renowned Linatex® rubber incorporates ‘liquid phase processing’ and ensures that the original molecular structure of natural rubber is retained. This is critical to the performance characteristics of the product because, unlike conventionally milled compounds which have fillers such as carbon black or silica, Linatex® premium rubber has no fillers and is as close to natural latex as possible.
The proprietary manufacturing process ensures that Linatex® premium rubber is consistent in finish and performance, and eliminates the uncertainty and possibility of premature failure in the field when using inferior rubber products.
Rubber is lighter and more flexible than other wear liner materials. This helps with installation as it is easier to lift and install quickly and efficiently; a positive outcome for the health and safety of workers on site.
Using rubber as a wear lining material means:
- Less downtime
- Longer intervals between maintenance
- Lower inventory
- Better safety
Our 2nd generation Warman® WGR® pump has been designed specifically for the construction aggregate market. The replaceable impeller and liners are manufactured using Linatex® premium rubber, which as you have just read, is proven to deliver the best wear performance and lengthen maintenance intervals for wet sand applications. For more information on this new and improved pump visit the product page or contact your local warman representative.