Mine Pumps

Lawson, Robert W.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 29
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1982
INTRODUCTION Prior to 1705, underground mining was limited to mineral deposits located above or a very small distance below the water table. The development of the steamdriven mining pump was motivated by the need to extract minerals from deposits considerably lower than the water table. Today, the majority of mine pumps are driven by electric motors, although some small utility pumps are driven by compressed air. Of the numerous types of pumps that might be applied to mine service, the two types used most frequently underground are the centrifugal and plunger pumps. Each of these types has its proper application. In most instances, plunger pumps are best for handling low water volumes against high heads, while centrifugal pumps effectively handle either low or high water volumes against low heads or high water volumes against high heads. This chapter describes pumps applied to underground mine service, where the mine service consists of mine drainage (removing mine water as it accumulates), mine dewatering (removing water from a flooded mine), and pumping for special applications such as hydraulic mining and hydraulic hoisting. CENTRIFUGAL AND PLUNGER PUMPS Modern mine pumps are classified as either centrifugal (kinetic) or plunger (positive-displacement) pumps. The following paragraphs describe each of these classifications. Centrifugal Pumps Centrifugal pumps may be grouped into various types, depending upon their various features: Number of Stages: In a single-stage pump, the total head is developed by one impeller, while a multiĀ¬stage pump utilizes two or more impellers acting in one casing to develop the total head. Fig. I shows a cutaway view of a single-stage horizontal split-case double -section centrifugal pump. Fig. 2 shows a cutaway view of a six-stage medium-pressure split-case diffuser-type centrifugal pump. Type of Casing: A volute pump has a casing in the form of a spiral or volute. A circular-casing pump has a casing of constant cross section concentric with the impeller. A diffuser pump is equipped with a diffuser that converts velocity head to pressure head. Shaft Position: A horizontal pump normally has the shaft in a horizontal position, while a vertical pump normally has the shaft in a vertical position. Fig. 3 illustrates a vertical turbine-type slurry pump. Suction: A single-suction pump equips the first stage with a single-suction impeller, with fluid entering the impeller on only one side. A double-suction pump equips
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