John Brooks Company Limited specializes in using fluid-control products to solve issues for businesses. One example: a uranium mine that was dealing with buildup on heat-exchanger plates caused by unfiltered sediment on cooling brine due to a piping failure. Here is how John Brooks Company customized a high-flow filter cartridge system to boost the efficiency of the mine’s cooling loop heat-exchanger system, resulting in higher productivity, less downtime, and lower costs overall.
Catching, removing unwanted sediment
In uranium-ore mining, cooling pipes inject brine into the ore body to freeze it. The pipes extract heat from the ore body, creating energy that heat exchangers must remove. For this customer, almost ten semi-truck loads of sediment was entrained in the brine, which created a compacted, tacky liquid that gummed up the heat exchangers’ thin pathways. The reduction in fluid velocity resulted in a buildup on the heat-exchanger plates, which had to be cleaned every few months – at a cost of $45,000 every time.
The mine and its engineering teams decided to collaborate with two application experts from John Brooks Company, to find the right combination of filter elements that would keep the sediment out of the brine while withstanding extremely cold temperatures. The answer: a customized, 60-inch, high-flow filter cartridge, with inside-out flow, accordion-pleated polypropylene felt, and milled acetal end caps bonded with epoxy.
The customer wrapped a light, six-inch-diameter polypropylene spiral around the exterior of the cartridge to mitigate any deformation in the filter housing. After the brine passed through the exchangers, potentially carrying unwanted sediment, it was pumped through the filter cartridge, which caught and removed the sediment from the brine.
After the cartridge installation, the mine saw immediate results, especially reduced maintenance and operational costs: eliminating heat-exchanger repairs saved about $200,000 a year, and eliminating downtime due to cleaning and repairing fouled exchangers increased productivity. The costs of topping up spoiled brine – always substantial because of the mine’s remote location – decreased substantially. Once again, John Brooks Company increased the success and competitiveness of a customer with the perfect solution.
For more information, contact John Brooks Company.