A British-made pump is proving so reliable for a South African mine that its only downtime has been for hose replacement and annual plant maintenance.
The Verderflex VF40 is installed within the precipitation plant at the Xstrata Alloys Rhovan site which extracts vanadium, a metal whose principle use is for strengthening steel.
The Verderflex VF40 has been employed to pump abrasive mining slurry at 6-8 cubic metres/hour, a medium with 60% solid content. Whilst centrifugal pumps struggle to perform well with such slurries, the Verderflex peristaltic pumps continue to prove their ability to pump these dense fluids, continuously and problem-free.
Indeed the VF pumps regularly handle slurries with sub-micron content in excess of 80% and with a specific gravity rating of more than 2.0. For this reason the Verderflex industrial hose pump is now regarded by the majority of mining companies around the world as the industry standard for pumping abrasive, high density fluids.
Classified as a small heavy duty pump, the VF40 is designed to run dry without undue maintenance. This is an important feature for Xstrata as no gland water is used in its operation.
The company also praises the rotor design and flange arrangement that makes pump maintenance easy. Indeed the speed with which the VF can be maintained has resulted in many other brands of hose pumps being substituted for Verderflex models on site.
Another contributor to the VF’s reliability is the absence of any wearing parts other than the hose. Even this is designed and manufactured to minimize the effect of fatigue resulting on extremely long hose service life.
Xstrata’s Christelle van Vuuren says, “The Verderflex pump works well and is only off-line for scheduled maintenance. Quite simply, it’s a reliable pump.”

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