From the magazine, Microtunnelling, Tunnelling

New vacuum technology unveiled

By using wear resistant alloy compounds to produce light weight water ring vacuum pumps, Kaiser has brought a new dimension to the mobile vacuum industry, not to mention substantial efficiency increases. The massive weight of older water ring pumps not only resulted in a big reduction in pay loads, but in many instances required lots of space on the back of a truck, resulting in big and cumbersome rigs with relatively small carrying capacity.

The new alloy water ring vacuum pumps are particle tolerant, achieve up to 90 per cent vacuum (27 inch HG), scrub all exhaust emissions to ensure they discharge only clean air to the atmosphere and have legendary reliability. It is also inaudible during normal operations, which is a huge bonus for night operations!

Available in capacities from 900 m3/hr (530 cf/m) to 7,000 m3/hr (4,120 cf/m) new versions include intercoolers to prevent vacuum fade during prolonged suction operations. With the aid of air injectors, the high pump air volumes now allow deep suction work down to 50 m depth, albeit with reduced efficiencies.

Vacuum power packs are also now available, pre-assembled in a frame with mounting brackets and include a sealed water tank, particle separator, intercooler silencers, pressure/vac change-over facility, drainage pipes and valves plus automatic lubrication. They power packs come ready for mounting on a truck. Hydraulic drives are most common, but mechanical drive arrangements can be supplied. It is said that the vacuum power pack makes the installation of a water ring vacuum pump extremely simple, low cost and quick. Its compact size helps to save valuable space and offers standardisation to those who run a fleet of such vehicles.

Hydro excavators praise the pumps for their high efficiency which substantially reduces excavation times. Because of the ability of the pump to change air flow from vacuum to pressure, it is also used for pneumatically conveying material which is first removed with vacuum suction and then redeposited pneumatically. The pressure feature also allows sludge to be dewatered, with the average 10,000 litre tank taking approximately 120 seconds to be fully dewatered. In the same manner, large amounts of fluids can be educted and pumped on with air pressure in double quick time.

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