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Stories by a short, fat bastard

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We're developing a spray system that sprays a coating of product on the piles of contaminated dirt in tipper trucks. It binds the surface into a solid crust to stop the dust from blowing around and spreading arsenic and cyanide compounds around the country.

The first pump system to keep the product stirred was a failure; the pump clogged up after 5 minutes. The impeller looked like it had been pumping hag-fish. Steve says this product is the most disgusting thing he has ever had to handle.

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Hmm...I don't suppose a Tesla Turbine would work better?


No, the blades are too fine. We're going to use an Archimedes screw pump.

Ah yeah, hag-fish...the most successful evolutionary example of the "too disgusting to eat" survival strategy. Seriously, even sharks won't touch them.

Have I mentioned that my degree is in Chemical Engineering? Screw pumps will pump anything... It's the "big hammer" of pumping. What, exactly, are you spraying your product with, though? It seems that atomizing hag-fish would be difficult, too. (I worked for 14.5 years in automotive paint technical service. We sprayed a lot of things. Some worked better than others...). Is it not possible to drop your viscosity for improved flow?

The chemical is being pumped by Dulco peristaltic at 3 litres/second into the suction line of a Davy VM7 multistage, which mixes it with water and delivers through a 25mm line to an air-actuated mini-magnum spray head.

That part works brilliantly. The problem is that the raw chmical is in an IBC and needs to be stirred periodically.

Didja try calcium chloride, perhaps, or lignin sulfate? Seems like these common road dust treatments might do the job here, and they get sprayed all the time. And excuse my ignorance.

Course chloride RUSTS stuff, but.

We are washing these trucks. http://youtu.be/Q8_D7_hb5yw 480 tones loaded, 45 tons empty. The mine has 7 of them.

Back in the 60s the mine used cynaide and dumped the toxic talings in a huge pit. Surveys in 2000 showed the pit was sitting on top of the main ore body. So the company built the new processing plant near the ore, truck the ore from the old mine to the new plant, fill the empty road train with the cynide/arsenic contaminated material, and truck it back to the old mine for back-fill disposal. The product binds the surface to stop the cynide and arsenic from blowing around the country. It's a non-toxic, water soluable and bio-degradable (eventually) polymer.

something like watered down PVA?

Something like that, but I don't know the exact formula. It's a propriety product.

Curious, the first thought I would have had was to put in an agitator system on the tank... but then, what do I know of such things? I suppose it'd clag up the rotors in an agitator?

Still, if the product does what it's intended to do, I suppose you've gotta create the system to put it where it's meant to go. Though I'd hate to think of what the stuff is like if it fouled a screw-pump...

Hmmmm. Methinks Steve hasn't been on the Internet all that much. Sounds like a fun product to me?

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