Which Pipe Design Should I Avoid in My Slurry Pipeline?
Which of the following pipes should you avoid in a slurry pipeline?
- Horizontal pipes
- Vertical pipes
- Inclined pipes
Surprised? Many people think that a vertical pipe might be the most difficult angle to pump in. But inclined pipes of 20 to 50 degrees cause more flow problems than either horizontal or vertical pipes.
GIW Industries Inc. engineers discovered the problem when investigating recurring problems that customers were having with surges in their slurry flows. To determine what was happening inside the pipes, they constructed a clear-loop demo unit in its Grovetown Hydraulic Test Facility.
When they could see the action of the flow in the pipe, it became clear that solid material collects along the bottom of an inclined pipe, bunching up and eventually nearly blocking the flow. It’s the periodic release of that blockage that causes those surges.
To see the problem as it happens, take a look at this video clip:
There are two solutions that will prevent surging in the slurry line:
- Design your slurry system using only horizontal or vertical pipes. Don’t include any inclined pipes.
- If your system already has inclined pipes, use a smaller diameter pipe to increase the velocity through the inclined sections. The increased velocity will prevent materials from collecting and blocking the pipe.