New Technologies

History of long-range slurry pipelines development


One of the first large engineering projects that involved transportation of solids by liquid was the dredging fro the Suez Canal in the 1860s in Egypt. It was reported to have used conduits to dispose of the sand-water mixture. Nora Blatch in 1906 was probably the firs person to conduct a systematic investigation of the flow of solid-water mixtures. She used a 25mm horizontal pipe and measured the pressure gradients as a function of flow, density, and solids concentration. As a result, between 1918 and 1924, a 200mm pipeline was installed in the Hammersmith power station, in London, England to transport coal slurry over a distance of 650 meters.

In 1948, in France, the Institute of Research SOGREAH began a series of tests on transporting sand and gravel in pipes with a diameter from 38 to 250mm.

In 1952, in the United Kingdom, the British Hydromechanic Research Association started to study the hydraulic transport of lump coal, sand, gravel and limestone. Limestone pipelines were constructed in Trinidad and England in 1960. The Trinidad pipeline had a diameter of 204mm, a length of 9.6 km and was designed to operate in a laminar flow regime. The limestone pipelines in England had a diameter of 250mm and was 112 km long.

In 1950 the Consolidated Coal Co. in the United States started to conduct research on hydro transport of fine "nonsettling" slurries. Concentrated coal with a weight concentration of 60% and a particle size between minus 1168microns(14 mesh) and minus 43 microns (325 mesh) was transported. The pipeline transported 1.5 million tons of coal each year between 1957 and 1964. The pipeline stretched 176 km from Cadiz, Ohio to Eastlake in Cleveland, Ohio.

In 1957, the Colorado School of Mines collaborated with the American Gilsonite Company and designed a slurry pipeline with a diameter of 200mm to transport crushed gilsonite. The pipeline was constructed between Bonanza , Utah and Grand Junction, Colorado. The particles size was minus 4.7mm (4mesh) and solids were pumped at a weight concentration of 48%. Two other pipelines were built in Georgia to transport kaolin in the 1960s.

In 1967, an iron ore concentrate slurry pipeline started to operate in Tasmania, Australia. The pipeline had a diameter of a 245mm. Concentrate was transported ar a weight concentration of 60% with an average particle size of mines 149 microns(100 mesh) over a distance of 85 km through extremely rugged terrain.

In 1970, the Black Mesa Pipeline, one of the longest pipelines ever built up to that time, started operation between the Black Mesa Coal fields in Arizona and the Mohave Power Plant in Nevada. Coal was ground to a particle size of mines 1168 microns and transported in a pipe with a diameter of 457mm over a distance of 437 km. Coal was dewatered at the end of the line through a mill before combustion with preheated air. Since 1970s, a number of short and long slurry pipelines have been constructed.

Our company produces various rubber elements for slurry transporting (pipes, hoses, compensators etc.) that can be used in all kinds of slurry pipelines. Besides, we make rubber lining for large-diameter steel pipes and elbows, that are used in long-range slurry pipelines.

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