Reasons to Choose Titanium Pumps for Highly Acidic and Abrasive Slurries
The thick viscosity and uneven texture of slurries make them difficult enough to pump on their own. Add in extra causes of damage such as corrosive fluids and abrasive materials and it becomes very difficult to maintain a slurry pump for any amount of time. Impellers and other parts quickly wear down or dissolve, resulting in costly pump repairs and replacements every few months to years. Titanium has long offered the potential for better resisting corrosion damage in particular, but machining limitations have prevented the metal from being used in pumps designed for slurries. EDDY Pump is currently developing a titanium-based slurry pump that offers many benefits to companies dealing with highly acidic and abrasive slurries.
Corrosion Resistance and Stainless Steel
Stainless steel is the most commonly used metal found inside slurry pumps. From the heavy duty impellers to outer casings, this material offers decent corrosion resistance when compared to aluminum or iron. However, stainless steel is not a perfect material, especially for slurry pumps that deal with a lot of daily wear and tear. The steel is relatively brittle at the higher hardness levels, which can cause it to crack in reaction to forces such as cavitation. Despite the addition of chromium and other metals like nickel and magnesium, stainless steel only resists a certain amount of corrosion depending on the exact alloy. All stainless steel alloys are prone to corrode when exposed to the harshest industrial chemicals, and the abrasive nature of slurries increases the chances of corrosion after pitting develops along interior surfaces.
Titanium’s Improved Corrosion Resistance
Titanium offers higher corrosion resistance to acidic chemicals on both extreme ends of the pH scale and chemical mixtures high in chloride. Stainless steel is only corrosion resistant on the surface of the metal due to a layer of oxidation that forms across the metal upon exposure to oxygen. When that protective layer is scratched or marred, a common form of wear in highly abrasive slurry processing systems, rust can quickly develop. Titanium and its alloys maintain corrosion resistance throughout the material and not just at the surface, preventing corroding from the beginning, even when there are wear and damage through mechanical means.
Aside from greater corrosion resistance than stainless steel, titanium offers other benefits that are particularly useful in slurry pumping applications. This metal has a higher level of elasticity than stainless steel or iron, increasing its ability to withstand shocks and the pressure of fluid cavitation during pump operation. Fewer cracks are likely to form in a pump casing made with titanium or an alloy containing it than one made from steel. Finally, titanium alloys are relatively strong when compared with steel. Pure titanium is slightly less resistant to abrasion than most forms of steel alloy, but this is easily improved with the addition of secondary metals. There are plenty of titanium alloys available for use in slurry pumps that have as much abrasion resistance, if not more, than the typical stainless steel material.
Which Common Chemicals and Slurries are the Most Corrosive?
In general, slurries are difficult to move through a pump and pipe system thanks to high viscosity and the potential for large pieces of debris or suspended solids. When the slurry mixture is also corrosive, due to an extremely high or low pH or the inclusion of highly reactive and oxidizing chemicals, keeping the pumps running and pipes intact increases in difficulty exponentially. Some of the most corrosive and difficult to manage slurries across industrial and manufacturing industries include:
- Sulfuric acid, commonly found in mining slurries and as a processing by-product
- Sodium hydroxide, a highly alkaline ingredient essential to paper processing that is commonly found in pulp slurries
- Mining products and mineral separation residues, especially copper and gold ore slurries
- Gypsum and limestone slurries used for manufacturing building materials and fertilizers
- Electroplating chemicals, which combine abrasive suspended metal particles with strongly acidic or alkaline liquids.
Combining Titanium and the Eddy Current Design
EDDY Pump’s newest titanium slurry pump won’t just offer more to the industry thanks to the use of corrosion-resistant titanium materials. Like all of the other designs from EDDY Pump, the new titanium model will be based around the power of the eddy current. Similar to the cyclonic forces generated by a tornado, the eddy current is generated by an open rotor rather than an impeller. This allows even the largest pieces of debris to pass through without clogging up the pump or producing impeller wear. Rotor-powered slurry pumps create a higher amount of suction without the critical tolerance restrictions impeding other pump designs. Combine this eddy current technology with the durability of titanium and enjoy a slurry pump that requires far less maintenance and repairs despite difficult conditions.
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HD (Heavy Duty) Slurry Pumps
Why EDDY Pumps Are Better – Highlights
This video shows how EDDY Pump outperforms centrifugal pumps when pumping high solids abrasive, viscous or corrosive slurries.