In October 2021, Strata Worldwide announced an exclusive distribution agreement with Australia’s Brain Industries for its line of air-powered vacuum pumps. This distribution agreement makes Brain Industries’ pneumatic pumps available to the mining, tunneling and maritime markets of North America for the first time.
“These unique pumps will go a long way toward making mining and tunneling environments cleaner and safer,” stated Josh Behling, general manager of Strata Products (USA). “Very often, wet mines don’t have the time and manpower to constantly remove water and sludge in the working areas, and workers just get used to the wet and sloppy conditions.”
Brain Airloader Pumps are designed for handling heavily solid-laden slurries and sludges normally considered impossible to pump. The Airloader PD4x4 (300) is a portable compressed air-powered unit, certified intrinsically safe (IS) and low in height, which makes it particularly suitable for underground applications in mining and tunneling. At maritime facilities, Airloader pumps remove the mud, silt or oil left behind in the hull after conventional pumps pump out the bilge.
Unlike conventional units, which rely on vacuum displacement, the Airloader generates a high-velocity suction airflow (17cubic meter/hour (600cubic feet/hour)) combined with a powerful vacuum (0.88 Bar (26inHg) This results in a very effective suction performance. It also enables the thickest, most viscous of materials to be suction-loaded with horizontal distances in excess of 100 meters (330 feet), and vertical suction lifts of up to 35m (115ft). It can also pass solids up to 80mm (3.15in) in lump size.
Suctioned material is discharged from the pumping vessel by compressed air and displaced at distances up to 1,000m (3,300ft). With no moving parts making contact with the material, large lump solids, waxy, fibrous and abrasive materials can be handled effectively. Typical uses include sump cleaning, face slurry removal, pump lodge desilting, winding shaft sump cleaning, tank cleaning, sewer cleaning, culvert cleaning and pond desilting.
The Mudskipper pump is a compact, portable unit ideal for smaller jobs or confined areas. It easily handles any flowable substance with solids up to 60mm (2.5in) in lump size including rocks, coal, sand, water, slurries and sludges. It can achieve flow rates of up to 14cmh (500cfh) and discharge distances up to 500m (1,600ft). There are no moving or electric parts to the Mudskipper pump, which is Brain’s smallest and most popular model.
“I spent 22 years in underground mining,” says Behling. “These pumps would have made our lives much easier back then. We are very happy to be able to offer them to our customers so they can experience the difference.”
Unlike conventional pumps that require electric power and frequent permissibility checks in hazardous environments, Brain pumps are pneumatic and will require neither.