Clean cargo needs to be stored in cargo compartments that are free of contaminants because of the sensitive nature of the cargo. Group A cargo is shipped containing moisture, while Groups B and C are shipped very dry. Examples of clean cargo are sand, heavy mineral sand, sodium nitrate, and milled rice, which is categorized as grain instead of any group. Sand is Group C, heavy mineral sand is Group A, and sodium nitrate is Group B. The cargo compartments must not have previous cargo residue, loose rust, loose paint and moisture. Mostly, clean cargo is shipped dry and clean.
Coal slurry, a Group A cargo, needs to be stored, loaded, transported, and unloaded as a slurry. The fine particulate coal may emit methane, so there is a possibility of spontaneous combustion when dry.
Dirty cargoes most likely will not be affected by small amounts of rust and paint. Their storage and shipment makes the compartments very dirty. Examples of this are coal, nickel ore, and scrap metal. Coal is Group B, nickel ore is Group A, and scrap metal is Group C. These materials come out of production very oily or muddy.
Unloading a barge holding cargo is difficult when dealing with these kinds of sensitive or dangerous materials. Vacuum loading helps to alleviate some of these concerns. A strong vacuum dredge pump is connected to a crane or excavator arm.
Vacuums are also applicable in conveying these materials. Sometimes the cargo needs to travel over thousands of feet in order to reach the proper loading trucks, and they need to be loaded onto those trucks as well. Vacuum pumps are attached to piping crossing that distance and load the cargo onto the trucks in a quick and contained manner.
The pump-excavator arm combination is also used to unload large solids, like piping, from cargo ships and trucks to the location of their intended use. The pump is attached to a special arm that is shaped to best fit the material being lifted and relocated. This allows for gentler handling and transport of the material, which is helpful for maintaining the material’s structural integrity and expected lifespan.
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Applications of Liquid Ring Vacuum Pumps
For wet cargo vacuum loading, the liquid ring vacuum pump is the best choice. Slugs of water, slurry, abrasive substances, flammable gasses, and particulate matter can be passed through the liquid ring pump without any noticeable effect on its pumping performance. The liquid ring vacuum pump is able to create quite deep vacuum and performs isothermal pumping so that flammable or explosive substances will not be prone to ignition during the pumping process. For application with wet processes involving flammable gasses, the port plate design can compress the gas and increase the speed at which the material is transported. The chamber of the pump is very robust and simply designed, so there will be no issues with complex repair or unexpectedly short service lifespan.
For vacuum conveying, it would be best to use the liquid ring vacuum pump. The air next to a water source is much more humid, which could have a large detrimental effect on a dry-running pump over time. The liquid ring utilizes the humidity in the air to increase efficiency by condensing the water vapor, drawing in more product. This is especially useful for powders and slurries. More powder can be drawn in, and more space is provided for the slurry, further preventing any unforeseen hindrance to performance from slugs. The liquid ring vacuum pump is also able to function well in dirty environments, which helps when pumping dirty cargo like coal slurry. In this case, the methane released by the coal is also contained in a safe manner by the pump because of its isothermal pumping properties. It is safely contained to prevent explosion, and it is safely transported to encourage the full use of all parts of the material.
For vacuum handling, liquid ring stands out for its long service life, robust and simple design, and specialization in dirty environments. The pump needs to pass any dust, dirt, and other contaminant that is on the surface of the material that it is suctioning through it while maintaining a secure, constant grip on said material.