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New pump technology for Sables et Mineraux

Abaque HD100-series peristaltic pump

Company using Abaque HD100-Series peristaltic (hose) pump to optimize waste water removal process

SABLES et Mineraux S.A.S. (Sands and Minerals), a subsidiary of Quartz Mineraux, is one of France’s most prominent quarrying companies, with a network of sites dotting the French countryside. In early 2017, the company opened its newest sand and gravel operation near Livry, around 270km south of Paris.

Olivier Houx, maintenance manager for the new Livry facility, said: ‘At this plant, we extract and clean the gravel before the sand is used for cement. The sand-cleaning stage is a critical one in the production process.’

Waste water from the cleaning process is pumped to a 10m wide x 2m high holding tank where a highly viscous, fines-laden slurry settles to the bottom of the tank, whilst the cleaner water at the top of the tank is pumped back to the processing plant for reuse.

Finding the ideal technology to pump the viscous slurry out of the holding tank and into a retention pond some 800m away over a total elevation rise of 6m was a challenge that needed to be overcome when the facility was designed.

At most of their other facilities Sables et Mineraux have used progressive cavity pumps for waste water disposal, but these did not possess the power to adequately transport the water over both the distance and elevation rise that were a defining challenge at Livry.

As an alternative, Sables et Mineraux agreed to try a 100mm (4in) HD100-Series peristaltic (hose) pump from Abaque, a pump technology manufactured in Europe by France-based Mouvex (both Abaque and Mouvex are product brands of PSG, a Dover company).

‘Sables et Mineraux had been using progressive cavity pumps, but they were only able to pump 3–4m and they were also failing too often,’ explained Abaque product manager Arnaud Laigle.

‘They were not familiar with peristaltic pumps, so we suggested they switch to the Abaque pump because it can pump over longer distances through good suction lift, is self-priming and can run dry, and also it won’t stall like a progressive cavity pump if the slurry becomes too thick.’

The secret to the HD100-Series pump’s success in this application for Sables et Mineraux is a pumping action that is created by the compression of a circular loop of elastomeric hose through two diametrically opposed shoes. This rotational motion forces the fluid in the hose to move forward of each shoe. When each shoe reaches the top of the loop, the hose immediately returns to its original shape, which ensures suction and priming, and creates a strong vacuum that pulls more of the liquid inside.

Peristaltic pumps are also seal-less, which makes them leak-free, a strong consideration when handling waste water that may contain abrasive, aggressive or viscous fluids. In particular, the HD100-Series pump can produce a maximum discharge pressure of 16 bar (232 psi), handle viscosities up to 63,000cPs and has a maximum rotation speed of 30 rev/min.

To meet the needs of specific applications, hoses are available in nitrile rubber (NR), nitrile Buna rubber (NBR), NBR with FDA liner, Hypalon and EPDM.

Since its installation at Livry, the Abaque HD100, which is also equipped with a pulsation dampener to protect against product surges that can damage the discharge piping, has performed continuous duty 16 hours a day, five days a week.

At peak operating levels, the pump transfers upwards of 35–40m3/h (154–176 gal/min) of viscous waste water to the distant retention pond, and it does so without suffering any service interruptions that would hamper the facility’s production schedule.

Sables et Mineraux, who were open-minded enough to turn to a technology they were not familiar with, say they could not be more pleased with the results so far. ‘The Abaque pump moves the mud a long way and even if it runs dry, it doesn’t get damaged. We’ve only had to change the hose and the oil inside the pump once this first year,’ commented Olivier Houx.

‘We are very satisfied with the pump because it is very robust and heavy duty; we needed a pump like this and the Abaque HD100 is perfect for us.’

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