Whether you are in the mining, tunnelling or oil and gas industry, there is often a repetitious need to recover or transfer flowable substances such as fines-contaminated water or solids-laden slurries and sludges being a daily occurrence. Reliable pumping equipment is paramount.
Brain Industries Product Manager for pneumatic industrial pumps, Paul Harrison, answers some questions on the benefits of using Brain’s, pneumatic, industrial pumps to clean up and transfer materials.
What is special about Brain Pumps?
Unlike conventional pumps, Brain’s Australian made and manufactured pneumatic pumps combine high velocity suction airflow with a powerful vacuum to deliver a high performance and low maintenance solution.
What are some of the applications for Brain’s pneumatic pumps?
In underground mines they’re great for sumps, whether that be general collection areas or around winding shafts, pump lodges and tailgate lagoons
In above ground mines, we’ve seen them used to remove sludge and solids from drains and culverts plus they’re often used to recover compacted coal washings from places like settling tanks.
The beauty of Brain’s pumps is they’re adaptable across industries, whether it be mining, tunneling, the oil and gas industry – even chemical and industrial plants.
What are the advantages of the Mudskipper Pump?
The Mudskipper is a really great, easy to use pump, which, thanks to its size, makes it incredible versatile. We just recently sent one to a metropolitan tunnel contractor, while a number of our pumps go into both coal and hard rock mines here in Australia.
At one tunnelling site, where they were conveying sludge from a tunnelling storage bund to a dewatering unit, the pump was around 100 metres away from the dewatering unit. This shows, despite being a small unit, the Mudskipper has no shortage of power.
Now let’s say that I need to convey a substance further, but I’m also dealing with a height variance, what could be my solution?
Brain’s Airloader range of pumps are designed for a situation where you’re dealing with elevation. They’ve got the ability to achieve vertical suction lifts of up to 35 metres.
The Airloader pump can convey substances at incline without issue, whether you’re pumping water, or high viscous, high specific gravity materials.
Further to that, these pumps have a powerful discharge which can traverse materials more than 600 metres at 50 metre inclines.
Is there a limit to the type of materials Brain pumps can move?
The short answer is NO. If the material is safe to enter a pressurised system, then Brain’s pumps can convey it.
The Airloader is capable of passing solids up to 80mm in lump size, while the smaller Mudskipper unit can handle those up to 60mm.
We also see the Airloader Pump used onboard Floating Production Storage and Offloading Facilities to clean out holding tanks. These pumps are very adaptable.
When it comes to working underground, why would a mine choose to use a Brain Airloader Pump?
These pumps work incredibly well in hard to reach areas. The fact they run on compressed air means there’s no electrics. So, they are intrinsically safe, making them ideal for working in hazardous areas. With no internal moving parts, they’re reliability also reduces the constant need for monitoring by operational and maintenance personnel.
Now, as is often the case in mining, some challenges just can’t be solved with an off the shelf product, what can Brain do to help mines with a more unique challenge?
We pride ourselves on our ability to custom design and engineer our pumps to suit individual circumstances, whether that be the need for low height models or for the pump to be specifically designed for a specific location or purpose within the mine environment.
You can see in these drawings of a self-filling tanker which we’ve recently designed for a client (pictured below). The brief was for the unit to be smaller than the previously provided unit. These self-filling tankers can be provided on either a trailer, QDS or Skid and are great for hauling and dumping at your choice of location. And, similar to our other pumps, they can be powered by mine supplied air so there’s no electrics involved.
For those who buy a Brain pump, what kind of after-sales support do they receive?
As part of the commitment to our customers, we offer ongoing support for all our products including servicing, overhaul, and recertification.
For example, we just recently had an Airloader PD4x4(300) returned for overhaul and recertification from a long-standing client. We stripped the pump down to its bare bones, had the vessel independently inspected, replaced parts and now it’s ready to be returned back to site, fully compliant, for underground use.
On top of that, we can also help train your people on how to best use the equipment plus conduct audits for you.