Shearpeller Pumps Froth to Help Customers Make Solid Profits


    September 21, 2008, Las Vegas, Nev: Mineral processing operations that use a froth floatation process to extract the valuable mineral from the ore can now use the Shearpeller, showcased for the first time at MINExpo, to dramatically improve productivity and lower costs. 

    The froth flotation process previously required conventional pumps to be oversized or specially designed “froth” pumps with large suction inlets to be used. The Shearpeller option on standard Goulds SRL-C pumps handles slurries with froth factors up to 2.5, reducing downtime and saving customers an average of 20 to 35 percent on capital investment by not having to purchase larger pumps.

    “Because the ‘froth factor’ is an issue in many applications, a lot of mine managers consider it as a special pump requirement to select and buy oversize pumps and accept this as a cost of doing business,” said ITT Goulds Pumps slurry pump product manager Haminder Ahluwalia. “When customers realize that our Shearpeller handles froth efficiently with a simple upgrade to the Goulds’ most proven SRL-C pumps, they are eager to try it. Once they see the effectiveness and benefits, many immediately order more.”

    For example, Ahluwalia described one copper mine in South America that tried Shearpellers on two pumps in frothy applications, and rapidly converted twelve other pumps. “With a simple parts replacement, this customer saw an immediate improvement in process efficiency and uptime,” he said. “That is why they’re converting the pumps that handle frothy slurries to the Shearpeller.”

    How Shearpeller works
    The flotation process is often used in refining metals such as copper, nickel, lead and zinc. Chemical reagents and air are used to create froth so that the hydrophobic ore particles can cling to air bubbles and rise to the surface. Conventional pumps are sized for moving liquid slurry, only. The addition of froth to the slurry will cause a decrease in the pump’s capacity since the impeller must now accommodate the added froth volume. This could eventually cause the impeller to air bind and cease pumping.

    One solution is to buy an oversized pump that can handle both the standard slurry and additional froth. However, the unique Shearpeller is a special open design impeller made out of durable urethane (or any elastomer) that can process the froth without changing pump size or other pump components. It can be retrofitted to all Model SRL-C pump sizes, and is made to be interchangeable with original standard closed impellers.

    The Shearpeller is able to handle froth factors of up to 2.5 – or two and a half times what traditional impellers can take. It has radial vanes and wide-open water passages that allow the froth-laden slurry to pass easily, and the elimination of the front shroud further extends the pumping capacity. It provides a positive pumping action and develops higher heads than fully recessed impeller pumps.

    To learn more about Shearpeller visit


    About ITT Corporation
    ITT Corporation ( supplies advanced technology products and services in several growth markets. ITT is a global leader in water and fluid transport, treatment and control technology. The company plays a vital role in international security with communications and electronics products; space surveillance and intelligence systems; and advanced engineering and services. It also serves a number of growing markets—including marine, transportation and aerospace—with a wide range of motion and flow control technologies. Headquartered in White Plains, N.Y., the company generated $8.8 billion in 2007 sales.