Metals & Mining

SmartMeasurement™’s flowmeters have been installed successfully in a number of metal and mining industry applications. Our ALBRPD Series Positive Displacement Flow meters have been used for fuel monitoring in remote mining applications where external power is not available. The ALMAGWP Series Electromagnetic Flowmeter has been used to monitor the Hydro cyclone feed process while our ALCM-UT mass flow meter has been used for flow and density measurement in smelting furnaces. Smartmeasurement™ will continue to update our application examples in the Metal and Mining Industries section.

Fuel flow monitoring

Most mining activity occurs in remote locations, miles from the nearest conventional sources of power. Mining operations also entail the bulk movement of earth and minerals on a massive scale. In the vast majority of these operations, electric power is generated on site via diesel engine driven generators and/or steam driven generators.

Diesel fuel can only be brought into the mining sites in bulk at specific times of the year. Mines located in the polar or near-polar regions can only bring in fuel when the ground is frozen to the point that the soil will support the weight of the transport trucks. However, the transportation cycle must be completed prior to the full onslaught of winter conditions that make such transport overland extremely hazardous if not impossible. Diesel fuel is also a hazardous material in terms of accidental release into the environment and is often regulated as such by local jurisdictions.

The fuel received on-site and transferred from bulk storage facilities to individual points of use in the power generation plant and a second application at dispensing points for fueling the mobile equipment. These applications were all ideal matches for. SmartMeasurement™ fuel flow meter, which can be either the ALBRPD positive displacement meter or ALCM-UT mass flow meter. The choice of which type of flowmeter depends on the flow range and more importantly cost. The ALBRPD Positive displacement flowmeter is generally less expensive and doesn’t need external power than the ALCM-UT mass flowmeter should the requirement is to measure the total mass of the fuel.

SmartMeasurement™ fuel flow meter can be installed on all bulk fuel receiving lines. In storage tanks, air/gas can accumulate within a flow stream which must eliminated before fuel measurement and therefore these systems are equipped with air eliminators, the ALPDG, supplied by SmartMeasurement™. These flow meters are used to verify the actual fuel received from the tanker trucks. 

Two main distribution lines from a tank farm, feeds fuel to various secondary tanks that are located at various stations in the mine. The ALBRPD positive displacement flowmeter are installed on these two distribution lines which allows the mine to track their main fuel inventory. (Fuel received versus fuel transferred). These include heavy equipment refueling stations, along with boiler fuel consumption applications in the powerhouse. These flowmeters allow the mine to track the fuel each department uses.The flowmeters were calibrated for the average viscosity of P40 diesel fuel oil @15°C.

Advantages:

•    The ALBRPD provides an ideal solution for fuel flow monitoring where no external power is available.
•    Accessories such as filters (strainer), air/gas eliminators, flow computer and batch controllers are available for complete solution.

Steel Mills

The ALBRPD positive displacement flowmeter is used to monitor oil spray on the top and bottom of a continuous feed steel sheet for quality assurance and optimization of oil coating. In addition, to monitor return flow of unused oil to a storage tank to provide total oil used. Steel manufacturers use oil at various stages in the process of making steel. Some examples of specific uses follow: Oil, in combination with water, may be used as a cooling agent to quench steel which has been subjected to intense heat. It may be applied to the surface of steel for rust protection or to prevent scoring in case the steel rubs together. 

An oil supply monitoring system used in the sheet steel industry should be accurate, repeatable, but above all it must be reliable. Lack of oil on the steel sheets during processing may result in the failure of the processing machinery causing expensive down time or poor quality steel. The flow monitoring system must measure the total spray via multiple lines and the excess oil collected in the sump and returned to storage. With accuracies of either 0.2% or 0.1%, the ALBRPD bi-rotor meter positive displacement flowmeter is an ideal choice for oil measurement.

Advantages:

•    The ALBRPD provides an ideal solution for fuel flow monitoring where no external power is available.
•    Accessories such as filters (strainer), air/gas eliminators, flow computer and batch controllers are available for complete solution.


Hydro cyclone feed in mining industry using ALMAGWC ceramic electromagnetic flow meters

Hydro cyclones are used for the classification on particles in slurries. Light particles are removed with the overflow stream by an upward swirling flow through the vortex finder, while heavier particles are removed with an underflow stream by a downward swirling flow.  The particle size of the cyclone feed slurry ranges from 250-1500 microns leading to high abrasion. The flow of these slurries has to be reliable, accurate and responsive to changes in the plant load. This enables to balance the plant load and plant throughput.  In addition to this, the service life of the flowmeter is essential to minimize maintenance and replacement cost. The flowmeter sensor has to withstand major abrasive wear caused by this kind of slurry as long as possible.

The SmartMeasurement™ ALMAGWC electromagnetic flow meters with a ceramic liner and ceramic or titanium electrodes are an ideal solution for this application with an added bonus of reducing replacement intervals significantly. ALMAGWC has been chosen as the flowmeter system resulting in Best in class measurement and service life performance. The rugged ceramic liner material provides excellent abrasion resistance while the durable Tungsten carbide electrodes minimize signal noise. A protection ring (grounding rings) at the inlet of the flowmeter can be used to maximize service life of the sensor protecting the liner material from abrasion due to differences of the in inner diameter of the flowmeter and the connected pipe. ALMAGWC's most advanced electronic filtering technology separates the signal from the noise without losing responsiveness to changes of the flow rate. 

Advantages:

•    ALMAGWC electromagnetic flow meters with a ceramic liner and various choices of electrodes from ceramic to titanium or tungsten carbides can withstand corrosion, high noise environments which makes it ideal for Hydro cyclone systems.
•    ALMAGWC's most advanced electronic filtering technology separates the signal from the noise without losing responsiveness to changes of the flow rate. 

Mass flow meter in smelting furnaces 

In zinc manufacturing process compounds such as sodium hydroxide must be measured. Hydroxides must be processed and pretreated in washing plants to ensure that the smelting process achieves best results. The SmartMeasurement™ Coriolis Mass Flow Meter is an outstanding flowmeter for this process. The process involves 50 % NaOH concentration, if used at full concentration, the reaction is too fast and the control on the pH is too uncertain: Therefore it is diluted with water up to a 20 % concentration. The high and stable quality and concentration of the 20% NaOH is decisive for a constant control. If this parameter is not controlled, the in stream, polluted water can influence the pH value negatively and damage the production. Changes in density which means changes in concentration must be accurately monitored.

There is a direct relation between density and concentration, the density is the lead for the % NaOH (sodium hydroxide). The density for 50% NaOH is about 1.52 kg/dm³, diluted to 20% it's about 1.25 kg/dm³ (linear behavior). With this dilution, the control of the pH is perfect. The addition of a reagent gives the best result, when the density is controlled with an accuracy of 2 g/l or better. The SmartMeasurement™ Coriolis Mass Flow Meters provide a very accurate and stable density as well as mass flow signals, ideal for any control processes based on density.   

The Advantages

•    SmartMeasurement™ Coriolis Mass Flow Meters provide with various flow tube design are an ideal choice to accurately measure both flow and density simultaneously. 

See all flow meter applications