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Course Outline


What is a slurry – the liquid to solid continuum

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  • How do we define a slurry:
    • Solids concentration
    • Density
    • Particle size distribution (PSD)
    • Particle morphology (shape)
    • Mineralogy/surface chemistry

Slurry rheology/flow properties

  • Explanation of the following flow properties and an overview of what they mean in the ‘real’ world:
    • Yield stress
    • Viscosity
    • Shear rate dependence
    • Time dependence
  • The effect of solids concentration, PSD, morphology on the flow characteristics of slurries

Slurry rheology measurement

  • Using an existing pipeline to measure rheology
  • Capillary rheometers
  • Rotational rheometers
  • Determination of the yield stress from slump tests
  • Data extrapolation
  • Reading rheograms

Activity 1: Yield stress testing using the vane and slump


Activity 2: Flow curve measurement, viscosity calculation and fitting flow models


Flow models – communicating data

  • Types of flow models
  • How to use flow models
  • Slurry rheology measurement problems and pitfalls – examples and case studies

Slurry rheology roadmap


A systematic ‘decision tree’ approach for a testwork program to obtain data necessary for slurry system design and optimisation.


Slurry surface chemistry/rheology relationships

  • Zeta potential, ionic strength and clay chemistry explained
  • Modifying rheology using surface chemistry effects

Activity 3: Demonstration - Using surface chemistry principles to modify slurry rheology


Non-Newtonian pipeline flow

  • Laminar flow equations
  • Reynolds numbers
  • Critical deposition velocity
  • Turbulent flow prediction
  • Types of flow – stationary bed, rolling bed, moving bed, suspended flow, homogeneous flow
  • Determination of optimum pumping conditions

Pumps, valves and fittings

  • Types of pumps, valves and fittings
  • Selection criteria


  • Abrasion
  • Corrosion
  • Mixed
  • Factors governing wear
  • Controlling wear, inc. materials


  • Compression rheology
  • Flocculation
  • Settling
  • Clarification

Activity 4: Flocculant screening demonstration



  • Thickener types and selection criteria
  • Control of the thickener for optimal rheology


  • Filter types and selection criteria
  • Filtration control
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