Integrated Pump Technology reports an unprecedented demand for Grindex stainless steel pumps from customers on the Zambian and DRC Copperbelt. Grindex stainless steel pumps are engineered to operate reliably in contaminated water and handle corrosive slurries with abrasive solids. Recent months have seen the company replace cast iron and aluminium pumps with these units across a range of operating applications, and on remote mines in this region.
Sales manager, Jordan Marsh attributes the move to stainless pump units to the poor water quality in the region which has seen acidity levels increase and pH drop. “In areas experiencing acid mine drainage, we see many instances where initial pumps selection did not properly consider the operating conditions, and excessive strain was placed on pumps that are not practical for use in such highly corrosive applications.”
“This is one of the reasons why we urge our customers to do a proper assessment of the operating environment and ensure that the pump selected is capable of dealing with conditions,” he continues.
Marsh stresses that a standard submersible drainage and sludge pump, even with a protective coating, is not able to withstand the levels of acidity and abrasion and will fail within a matter of weeks or even days.
A major advantage that the company’s range of pumps offers is that that these are essentially plug and play units and easy to install and operate. The pumps are manufactured from acid-proof stainless steel and operate reliably in pH levels ranging from 2 to 10. This makes the pumps more than suitable for use in mining applications on the Copperbelt.
“What sets the range apart from other similar stainless-steel pumps is that it incorporates SMART motor protection,” Marsh explains. “This facilitates pump operation without requiring an external control panel and prevents damage being caused in the event of a power outage.”
The cast acid-proof stainless-steel impeller ensures pumping capacities in corrosive slurries, while the diffusers in the drainage pumps are rubber-lined and adjustable to maintain optimum pumping performance. In the sludge pumps, the rubber-lined pump housing is highly abrasive resistant and oil-resistant for longer life.
Included in the Grindex pumps recently installed and operating successfully on the Zambian and DRC Copperbelt are dewatering, drainage and sludge pumps ranging from 2 kW all the way up to 8 kW units as well as 85 kW Grindex N/H stainless steel Inox pumps.