Application: suction and cleaning of tanks containing aluminum processing sludge. In this company, aluminum semi-finished products are produced in three phases: starting from casting to obtaining billets, then many operations are carried out to obtain profiles of various shapes, and finally surface finishing steps are completed with anodization and painting of metal semi-finished product. These operations generate wastewater characterized by chemical aggressiveness and a charge of abrasive metal suspensions. The fluids are collected in tanks and the formation of sludge deriving from the heavy solid suspension precipitation to bottom of tank.
The tanks cleaning operations and the removal of wastewater are performed by submersible centrifugal pumps, but, as is often happens, the formation of thickeners creates large problems of blockage of submersible pumps making them inefficient. Normally an operator goes down into the tank in order to improve the sludge evacuation process through fluidification operations for the sediment homogenization.
This is big problem because during the emptying operations, the operator works immersed in the fluid mass at the same time as the electric pumps running. The potential risk for the operator is clearly evident (electric shock).
Safety and peristaltic pumps in tanks cleaning operations
It was proposed for the task solution , a self priming peristaltic pump hcp 40 complete with speed variator, due this, machine is perfectly adapted to variable viscosity of the sludge, The pump perform a very high suction capacity and completely isolates the operator from a potential electric shock. Insensitive to dry running, the peristaltic pump does not suffer damage resulting from the discontinuity of liquid inflow, moreover, the resistance to abrasion and chemical aggression is assured by the hose membrane perfectly compatible with the fluid. The absolute safety is guaranteed by the fact that the pump operates on the surface by introducing the only suction pipe moving it in the various points of tanks to obtain a perfect cleaning, as it would happen with a vacuum cleaner. No physical contact between mechanical or electrical parts of the pump with the pumped fluid prevents any risk.
A small company had the problem of intermittent sludge disposal which settle during the various steps of the marble and stone working. The fluids are collected in suitable unground tanks buried, placed in different areas of the plant. The water required to the machining process obviously is recycled, , after a certain period of tranquillity, solid substances in suspension precipitate separating from the water. The latter is recovered and restarted to the processing cycle.
The company had to carry out the operations of suction with submersible pumps equipped with sealing systems based on mechanical seals in Silicon Carbide. Despite this important characteristic, the pumps had a duration unsatisfactory, failures to the sealing system appeared after 8 -10 months of operation. The first time the pumps were repaired, it was subsequently adopted the habit to replace them ex-novo, choosing in the market “sacrificial” pumps among the less expensive. In a few years the pumps destroyed and replaced have become too many.
Probably the submersible pumps used have done their job as best as possible. But we know that the liquid mixture which had to deal was composed of water and dust generated by the cut with diamond tools. As far as a submersible pump can be adapted to the required work, operating with similarly liquid abrasive mixtures , there is no mechanical seal able to resist a time to meet the expectations of the user. The failure of the mechanical seal caused the flooding of the electric motor causing the “burning”.
Of course the submersible pumps, suffered the effect of the sedimentation of the deposited mud. in the course of time, frequent failures were generated. “Desperation” forced company to use the first pump available to replace the previous unusable, often with new one found on market but totally unsuitable for.
By purchasing a Hose Carrier HCP 5.0, this company has been able to solve two problems with one pump alone. The recovery of the limpid waters (or almost) in complete safety and with great easiness by moving the pump or the only suction hose on the various tanks. Occasionally one or two times per month with the same pump retrieving the sludge thicker from the bottom of the tanks to send them to the appropriate bag filters for subsequent disposal.
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