Transport of solid-liquid slurries in pipeline transport over short and medium distances is very important in many industries, including mining related processes. The particle image velocimetry technique was successfully utilized to investigate the velocities and kinetic energy fluctuations of slurry particles at the tongue region of an optically-clear centrifugal pump. The experiments were conducted using 500 micron glass beads at volumetric concentrations of 2.5% and 5% at pump speeds of 725 and 1000 rpm. The fluctuation kinetic energy increased approximately 200% to 500% as the pump speed was increased from 725 rpm to 1000 rpm. The directional impingement mechanism is more significant at the pressure side of the blade, tongue and the casing. This mechanism becomes more important as the speed increases. This suggests that the impeller, tongue and the casing of the slurry pump can wear out quickly, especially with an increase in speed. In this paper the emphasis is on the tongue region. The random impingement mechanism caused by the fluctuation kinetic energy of the solids can play an important role on the erosion of the tongue area.

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