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Mining piping

In mineral processing industry pipe routing and design is different from petrochemical piping. Temperature range is small, but pipes are larger and transporting medium is slurry or paste. Slurry transportation is big and complex subject and all aspects of slurry transportation cannot be presented in just one blog. However, in this article I will briefly discuss abrasion in slurry transportation as one of the most important aspect of piping slurry design. The most critical area subject to abrasion is elbows. Please see the figure below.
1-elbow-wearing-location
Bend radius strongly influence the rate of abrasion and 5D elbows or custom bends with large radius are very often deployed. In the more abrasive application very often steel rubber lined pipe is used with bends made as separated flanged fitting. Normally, pipes are flanged with length of 6 meters. Since critical area for abrasion is elbows, bends are made as separate fittings that can be replaced due to abrasion. In a less abrasive application HDPE or plastic pipe might the most economical. However, problem with abrasion at the elbows still will be present, and very often flexible hoses are used as replacement for elbows. If flexible hoses are used as elbow replacement, pipe must be anchored. Please see the figure below.
2-flexible-nozzle-in-mining
HDPE pipe are fusion welded or flanged depending of accessibility. If HDPE is on the rack, fusion welding will be difficult and flanged joints are used. For underground application, HDPE pipes are usually fusion welded. If pipe has many bends or direction changes, consider using lap joints for the purpose of easily installation and alignment of bolt holes. To avoid vibration and reduce thermal forces, flexible hoses are very often used for connecting pipe to mechanical equipment. Note that flexible hoses are similar to expansion joints in the way that they cannot withstand longitudinal forces and connecting pipe must be anchored. Please see the figure below.
3-elbow-thrust-force
Good choose for flexible hoses might be Metso Trelex hoses.
If piping system has menu bypass lines and valves which is often case around pumps, one possible solution is to use metallic piping around pumps and HDPE or GRP pipes when pipes are installed on the pipe rack. Please see the figure below.
4-hdpe-metail-pipe