If you had been thinking dredge pumps and slurry pumps share a similar definition, you were not entirely wrong. Factors that tell apart about them are – Dredge pumps are heavy-duty, special category slurry pumps; while slurry pumps are designed to pump liquids, comprising solid particles. This type of pumps has variations in designs to fit several slurry types, varying in terms of solid concentration, particles’ size, shapes and composition of the solution.
Now, the selection of the right and suitable dredge pumps can be challenging sometimes, but if you understand the primary factors behind their smooth operation, the process can be simplified for you. Other than delivering higher performance, the right type of dredge pump will require less power, little maintenance and it will relatively have a longer life.
Dredging is defined as the process of underwater sediments transportation, which usually includes gravel, rocks or sands, from one location to another. Dredging happens in the shallow waters such as rivers, lakes, and oceans for the purpose of desalting, land reclamation, development or expansion of ports and flood prevention. Thus, most industries using dredge pumps are either mining industry or construction industry. Sometimes, oil & gas and coal industry too use dredge pumps.
Here are the basic selection requirements for dredge pumps:
Other than monetary considerations, two basic selection considerations would be a ‘minimal amount of corrosion’ and ‘no residues settling in the pump’ due to continued operation. The primary design parameters that you should keep in mind while choosing a dredge pump for your use include:
Knowing the dredge type
Before you start assessing the design parameters, the most important thing is getting familiar with the type of materials to be transported. Therefore, an approximation of pH and temperature of the dredge, concentration of the solids and precise gravity of the dredge make first fundamental paces towards making the selection of your ideal dredge pump.
Consider the rating of the pump’s power
Power consumption by the dredge pump must be assessed from the flow rate, specific gravity and discharge head of the pumped dredge. It’s important to corroborate that the energy rating of the chosen pump is higher than the estimated energy consumption after one considers all the reasonable discrepancies in operating conditions.
Selection of the right material
Usually, the materials used for the making of dredge pumps are stainless steel, high chrome steel, and cast iron. Certain dredge pumps are designed with lining for better problems dealing with dredge abrasion. Some elastomers, used in the lining material are natural rubber, neoprene or polyurethane. The choosing of lining material is always based on the pH of the dredge, operating temperature, and the existing abrasive fluids that are used in the dredging process.
Dredging pump installation types
Depending on the shaft orientation, the dredge pumps are divided as vertical and horizontal pumps. With vertical pumps, the shaft is aligned vertically, while horizontal pumps have the shaft horizontally positioned.
Horizontal pumps are the most widely used ones. They have advantages such as easy to install, easy to maintain; moreover, you can choose from a large selection of design materials and flow parameters. The vertical pumps, however, need relatively less space to be installed.
It’s imperative that you consider these factors religiously while going for dredge pump hire. Other than deciding on a reputed source to hire a dredge pump, it’s also crucial that you know what you are getting.