Advancements in slurry pipeline flow predictions with the SRC PipeFlow Models


Dr Ryan B.Spelay (Senior Research Engineer - SRC)

The pipeline transport of slurries is a critical process in the mining and mineral processing industry. The SRC Pipe Flow Technology Centre™ has been conducting research on slurry pipeline flows for nearly 60 years. The completion of a wide range of projects for the oil sands and mineral processing industries with a variety of slurries has led to the development of the SRC PipeFlow Models. These are mechanistic models which use force balances along with semi-empirical correlations to provide predictions of the friction losses and deposition velocity for heterogeneous (settling) slurries in turbulent pipe flow. Older versions of the SRC PipeFlow model required the slurry to be characterized by a single coarse particle size (d50) and single coarse particle density (ρs). However, recent advancements have been made which have led to the release of a new model, SRC PipeFlow M1.0. This model includes a multi-species functionality that is now able to deal with multiple coarse particle sizes and densities, making it ideal for predicting the pipe flow behaviour of hydrotransport and coarse tailings slurries. It is also capable of handling the added complication of multimodal slurries containing lumps (rock) or slurries with broad particle size distributions. In the presentation, an overview of the SRC slurry classification system and the key concepts behind the SRC PipeFlow Models will be given. Practical examples, highlighting the capabilities of the model, will be provided for a number slurries typically encountered in the mining and mineral processing industry.