Low cost sensors to measure the flow, pressure and density of slurry

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Weir Group are looking for low-cost sensor technologies to measure flow, pressure and densities of slurry at both the inlet and outlet of a centrifugal pump, regardless of slurry type (i.e., iron, copper, sand, salt, etc.)  

Ideally, it would like to see a single sensor with the ability to measure each of these parameters simultaneously. 

While its main objective for the sensor(s) is to monitor the slurry passing through our pumps at a mine site, the company is looking for sensors that could also be adapted for other equipment such as cyclones, hoses, and pipes. 

Background 

Slurries with high viscosity are difficult to pump and can therefore result in large back pressures.  Excessive pump back pressures can lead to blockages which can, in turn, prevent successful pump processes.   

Monitoring the process properties (i.e., flow, pressure, and density) of slurry is important to prevent blockage and to ensure the safe transportation of the waste.   

However, reliable and accurate instrument readings are often difficult or even impossible to obtain in equipment carrying slurry due to the range of solids concentrations and changes in particle size distribution.   

While process measurement sensors do exist, many of these sensors are quite costly.  As a high volume of sensors is required at each site, expensive sensors make it difficult for the company to keep costs low for its customers.    

Criteria 

Potential solutions must be:

  • Low-cost: $500 USD or less per sensor that measures one parameter, $2500 USD or less for sensors that can measure multiple parameters
  • Able to measure flow, pressure, and/or density of slurry (pressure and flow rates can vary between 1L/s to 5000 L/s, and pressures can reach 1500 kPa
  • Suitable for mounting to the pump/cyclone/hose/pipe while in-situ, and therefore must be practical in terms of size and weight

Preferred collaboration types are to be negotiated.

Items to be submitted

The group is looking for a concise abstract/executive summary.

The proposal should briefly describe the technical approach and provide information on technology performance, background and description of the responding team and their related experience. 

Please note that only non-confidential information can be accepted.  By submitting a response you represent that the response does not contain and will not be deemed to contain any confidential information of any kind whatsoever.

By submitting a response, you acknowledge that the Need’s sponsoring organisation, in its sole discretion, may select or reject a response or any portion thereof.

Your summary/abstract should contain all required information in order to provide us with appropriate contact information for your responses. Responses must be submitted by April 15, 2018.  

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