Selecting Pumps for Aggregate Recycling
Atlantic Pumps’ Chief Marketing Officer, Bill Noakes looks at some of the pumping challenges in the recycled aggregates industry.
Recycled aggregates are an important source of supply to the UK construction industry, now making up over 28% of the total supply of aggregates, up from 10% in 1990. This market share is three times the European average.
Washing the Aggregate
A vital stage of the recycling process is to remove any unwanted material and produce a clean, graded end product. Large pieces of wood or plastic can be removed before crushing, but the most effective way of cleansing the material is by using water to flush out the rubbish and scrub the aggregate, typically in a wash plant.
Pumps used on Aggregate Recycling Plants
Clean water feeding from the lagoon or external sources is pumped using a standard centrifugal or submersible water pump. More challenging is pumping water around the plant when it contains the washed sediment, often abrasive material such as sand, silt and stone. This is where specialist slurry pumps are used, with quality replaceable wear parts designed to resist abrasive materials. Pumps with liners correctly specified for your application will last much longer than standard pumps in this environment.
Maximising your Investment
Remarkably, the purchase price only makes up 5% of the lifetime cost of your pump. Spares, maintenance and the energy used to run it make up the rest. Correctly specified pumps use less energy, breakdown less often, and the wear-parts last longer. Plus, you have to factor in the cost of downtime every time your pump breaks down.
In conclusion, correctly specified pumps in this demanding environment will lead to more uptime, more production and lower costs for your site.