Document Type : Original Research Paper


1 Department of Mineral Processing, Faculty of Mining Engineering, Sahand University of Technology, Sahand New Town, Tabriz, Iran

2 Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Sahand University of Technology, Sahand New Town, Tabriz, Iran


In the current research work, a piping system is designed for slurry transport to the tailing dam in the Kooshk lead-zinc mine, Iran. The experiments are carried out primarily to investigate the rheological behavior of the slurry at different densities and obtain a non-Newtonian model for the shear stress variation with the deformation rate. It is shown that the shear stress of concentrated slurry follows the plastic Bingham model. The results obtained also indicate the increasing trend of the yield stress and the apparent viscosity of the slurry with the density. Appropriate correlations are proposed for the apparent viscosity and yield stress as a function of pulp concentration. At the next step, the required design parameters such as the slurry flow rate, pressure drop, critical velocity, and minimum required head for flow initiation and head losses are calculated for different slurry densities and pipe sizes. The appropriate piping system is finally designed based on the experimental data and the calculated parameters. It is concluded that the 3 in diameter pipe can be used to deliver the slurry with solid concentrations between 44% < Cw < 60% by weight, without a pumping system.


[1] . Fangary, Y.S., Ghani, A.A., El Haggar, S.M., and Williams, R.A. (1997). The effect of fine particles on slurry transport processes. Minerals engineering. 10 (4): 427-439.
[2] . Islam, S., Williams, D.J., Llano-Serna, M., and Zhang, C. (2020). Settling, consolidation, and shear strength behaviour of coal tailings slurry. International Journal of Mining Science and Technology. 30 (6): 849-857.
[3]. Wasp, E.J., Kenny, J.P., and Gandhi, R.L. (1979). Solid-liquid flow slurry pipeline transportation. Gulf Pub. Co.
[4]. Wilson, K.C., Addie, G.R., Sellgren, A., and Clift, R. (2006). Slurry transport using centrifugal pumps. Springer.
[5]. Dunne, R.C., Kawatra, C.A., Young, C.A. (2019). SME Mineral Processing and Extractive Metallurgy Handbook, Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration, 743 P.
[6]. McKetta Jr, J.J. (1992). Piping design handbook, CRC Press, 94 P.
[7] . Pinto, T.S., Junior, D.M., Slatter, P.T., and Leal Filho, L.S. (2014). Modelling the critical velocity for heterogeneous flow of mineral slurries. International journal of multiphase flow. 65: 31-37.
[8] . Durand, R. (1952). The Hydraulic Transportation of Coal and Other Materials in Pipes, Colloq, off National Coal Board, London.
[9] . Wilson, K.C. and Addie, G.R. (1997). Coarse-particle pipeline transport: effect of particle degradation on friction. Powder technology. 94 (3): 235-238.
[10]. Thomas, A.D. (1979). Predicting the deposit velocity for horizontal turbulent pipe flow of slurries. International Journal of Multiphase Flow. 5 (2): 113-129.
[11]. Wasp, E.J. and Slatter, P.T. (2004). Deposition velocities for small particles in large pipes, In international conference on transport and sedimentation of solids particles, 12th, Prague: Institute of Hydrodynamics, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, 20-24.
[12]. Doron, P. and Barnea, D. (1993). A three-layer model for solid-liquid flow in horizontal pipes. International Journal of Multiphase Flow. 19 (6): 1029-1043.
[13]. Lahiri, S.K. and Ghanta, K.C. (2008). Prediction of pressure drop of slurry flow in pipeline by hybrid support vector regression and genetic algorithm model. Chinese Journal of Chemical Engineering. 16 (6): 841-848.
[14] . Gillies, D., Sanders, R.S., and Gillies, R.G. (2010). Determining the maximum coarse particle concentration for slurry pipeline flow, Hydrotransport 18th, Rio de Janeiro, BHR Group, 105-115.
[15]. Turian, R.M. and Yuan, T.F. (1977). Flow of slurries in pipelines. AIChE Journal. 23(3): 232-243.
[16]. Miedema, S.A. (2017). A new approach to determine the concentration distribution in slurry transport, Proceedings Dredging Summit and Expo, Western Dredging Association, Bonsall, CA, USA. 189-203.
[17]. Kaushal, D.R. and Tomita, Y. (2007). Experimental investigation for near-wall lift of coarser particles in slurry pipeline using γ-ray densitometer. Powder technology. 172 (3): 177-187.
[18] . Wilson, K.C. and Sellgren, A. (2003). Interaction of particles and near-wall lift in slurry pipelines. Journal of Hydraulic Engineering. 129 (1): 73-76.
[19] . Tarodiya, R. and Gandhi, B.K. (2020). Effect of particle size distribution on performance and particle kinetics in a centrifugal slurry pump handling multi-size particulate slurry. Advanced Powder Technology. 31 (12): 4751-4767.
[20] . Knezevic, D. and Kolonja, B. (2008). The influence of ash concentration on change of flow and pressure in slurry transportation. International Journal of Mining and Mineral Engineering. 1 (1): 104-112.
[21]. Wu, D., Yang, B., and Liu, Y. (2015). Pressure drop in loop pipe flow of fresh cemented coal gangue–fly ash slurry: Experiment and simulation. Advanced Powder Technology. 26 (3): 920-927.
[22] . Wang, X.M., Li, J.X., Xiao, Z.Z., and Xiao, W.G. (2004). Rheological properties of tailing paste slurry. Journal of Central South University of Technology. 11 (1): 75-79.
[23]. Wu, D., Fall, M., and Cai, S.J. (2013). Coupling temperature, cement hydration and rheological behaviour of fresh cemented paste backfill. Minerals Engineering. 42: 76-87.
[24] . Senapati, P.K. and Mishra, B.K. (2012). Design considerations for hydraulic backfilling with coal combustion products (CCPs) at high solids concentrations. Powder Technology. 229: 119–125.
[25] . Xiao, B., Fall, M., and Roshani, A. (2021). Towards Understanding the Rheological Properties of Slag-Cemented Paste Backfill. International Journal of Mining, Reclamation and Environment. 35 (4): 268-290.
[26]. Verma, A.K., Singh, S., and Seshadri, V. (2006). Effect of particle size distribution on rheological properties of fly ash slurries at high concentrations. International Journal of Fluid Mechanics Research. 33 (5).
[27]. Cao, S., Xue, G., Yilmaz, E., and Yin, Z. (2021). Assessment of rheological and sedimentation characteristics of fresh cemented tailings backfill slurry. International Journal of Mining, Reclamation and Environment. 35 (5): 319-335.
[28] . Miedema, S.A. (2015). A head loss model for slurry transport in the heterogeneous regime. Ocean Engineering. 106: 360-370.
[29]. Wu, D., Yang, B., and Liu, Y. (2015). Transportability and pressure drop of fresh cemented coal gangue-fly ash backfill (CGFB) slurry in pipe loop, Powder Technology. 284: 218–224.
[30]. Kumar, N., Gopaliya, M.K., and Kaushal, D.R. (2016). Modeling for slurry pipeline flow having coarse particles. Multiphase Science and Technology. 28 (1):1-33.
[31]. Li, M. Z., He, Y.P., Liu, Y.D., and Huang, C. (2018). Hydrodynamic simulation of multi-sized high concentration slurry transport in pipelines. Ocean Engineering. 163: 691-705.
[32]. Ling , J., Skudarnov, P.V. Lin, C.X., and Ebadian, M.A. (2003). Numerical investigations of liquid-solid slurry flows in a fully developed turbulent flow region, Internal Journal Heat Fluid Flow. 24 (3): 389-398.
[33]. Li, M., He, Y., Jiang, R., Zhangc, J., Zhangd, H., Liu, W., and Liu,Y. (2021). Analysis of minimum specific energy consumption and optimal transport concentration of slurry pipeline transport systems, Particuology. In Press, doi:
[34]. Jati, H.A.  Monei, N. Barakos, G., Tost, M., and Hitch, M. (2021). Coal slurry pipelines: A coal transportation method in Kalimantan, Indonesia, International Jpurnal of Mining, Reclamation and Environmrnt, 
[35]. Cunliffe, C.J., Dodds, J.M., and Dennis, D.J.C. (2021).  Flow correlations and transport behaviour of turbulent slurries in partially filled pipes. Chemical Engineering Science. 235: 116465.
[36]. White, F.M. (1986). Fluid mechanics, 1st Ed., McGraw-Hill., New York.
[37]. Streeter, V.L., Willy, E.B., and Bedfard, K.W. (1998). Fluid mechanics, 3st Ed., McGraw-Hill.
[38]. Elvain, R. and Cave, I. (1972). Transportation of Tailings, World Mining Tailings Symposium.
[39]. Schiller, R.E. and Herbich, J.B. (1991). Sediment transport in pipes, McGraw-Hill., New York.
[40] . Hedstrm, B.O. (1952). Flow of plastic materials in pipes. Industrial and Engineering Chemistry. 44 (3): 651-656.
[41]. Darby, R. (1981). How to predict the friction factor for flow of Bingham plastics. Chemical engineering. 28: 59-61.
[42]. Hanks, R.W. (1967). On the flow of Bingham plastic slurries in pipes and between parallel plates. Society of Petroleum Engineers Journal. 7 (4): 342-346.
[43] . Darby, R., Mun, R., and Boger, D. (1992), Predict friction loss in slurry pipes, Chemical engineering. 99 (9):116–119.
[44] . Thomas, D.G. (1965). Transport characteristics of suspension: VIII, A note on the viscosity of Newtonian suspensions of uniform spherical particles. Journal of colloid science. 20 (3): 267-277.