Start Date

2018 8:00 AM

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Abstract

A critical structure in a modern mineral process plant is the slurry distribution box, that may receive inflows from different streams, and distributes the outflow to downstream unit operations in fixed proportions. The design of these structures is based on traditional hydraulic engineering considerations that apply to structures transporting or handling water. However, additional design considerations specific to slurries include settling of solid particles, the highly abrasive characteristics of the slurry and, occasionally, non-Newtonian rheology of the mixtures. For operational simplicity, and due to the abrasive nature of the slurry, orifices are principally used to distribute the flow. Lessons learned over the years from operation of these structures have resulted in various best practices that are applied during design, construction and operation. These include a receiving chamber for mixing of incoming flows, internal baffles between the receiving and distribution chambers to ensure even distribution, replaceable wear rings or plates to manage wear due to abrasion, and outflow chambers hydraulically independent from upstream conditions to feed downstream processes. This paper describes a number of design criteria and design adjustments made over time to ensure robust and reliable performance of these structures across a range of flow rates and operating conditions. One key aspect discussed is the way in which the receiving chamber should be fed, based on actual feedback received from operations and depending on the metallurgical sampling system used.

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May 17th, 8:00 AM

Best Practices for Design of Slurry Flow Distributions

A critical structure in a modern mineral process plant is the slurry distribution box, that may receive inflows from different streams, and distributes the outflow to downstream unit operations in fixed proportions. The design of these structures is based on traditional hydraulic engineering considerations that apply to structures transporting or handling water. However, additional design considerations specific to slurries include settling of solid particles, the highly abrasive characteristics of the slurry and, occasionally, non-Newtonian rheology of the mixtures. For operational simplicity, and due to the abrasive nature of the slurry, orifices are principally used to distribute the flow. Lessons learned over the years from operation of these structures have resulted in various best practices that are applied during design, construction and operation. These include a receiving chamber for mixing of incoming flows, internal baffles between the receiving and distribution chambers to ensure even distribution, replaceable wear rings or plates to manage wear due to abrasion, and outflow chambers hydraulically independent from upstream conditions to feed downstream processes. This paper describes a number of design criteria and design adjustments made over time to ensure robust and reliable performance of these structures across a range of flow rates and operating conditions. One key aspect discussed is the way in which the receiving chamber should be fed, based on actual feedback received from operations and depending on the metallurgical sampling system used.