Slurry pumps are special pumps engineered for handling slurries. Unlike water pumps, slurry pumps are subject to high wear so they are made more robust and heavy duty.
There are several types of slurry pumps, the most common being centrifugal pumps and positive displacement pumps. Centrifugal slurry pumps, which can deliver high capacity with limited head, are mostly used in pumping slurry through pipelines at concentrations below 70% solids by weight. Meanwhile, positive displacement slurry pumps, which can deliver high heads with limited capacity, are used in pumping slurry through pipelines with a very high concentrations of solids.
As with other applications, centrifugal pumps are the more commonly used type for handling slurry. Following the centrifugal pump working principle, slurry enters the pump through the eye of the rotating impeller which imparts a circular motion. The slurry is forced outwards by centrifugal force and moves between the blades of the impeller. The slurry attains a high speed by the time it reaches the edge of the impeller. In the casing, its high-speed energy is converted into pressure energy. The pump increases the pressure of a liquid and solid particles with the help of centrifugal force and converts electrical energy into kinetic energy to pump the slurry. This mechanism makes pumping hazardous and light slurry liquids easy and maintenance free.
Meanwhile, positive displacement slurry pumps may differ in their operating principle, depending on the type used.