Codelco, Division Chuquicamata
Doré Plant, Anodic Slurry
A9 pump with WCD4 material
ICodelco Chuquicamata is the largest open pit copper mine in the world, located in the north of Chile, just outside Calama. It began operations in 1952 and has copper reserves of 40 years.
Chuquicamata wanted to improve wear life and seal reliability in their pumps handling Anodic Slurry. There were using Alloy 20 with a wear life of six months. The Anodic slurry is a subproduct from the Copper Electrolytic Refinery and has content of precious materials as gold, silver and weak sulfuric acid. The combination of acid and solids were a challenge to mechanical seals.
The Wilfley team suggested to use the WCD4™, Wilfley’s proprietary material that is chemically similar to ASTM A890, but with an average hardness of 345 Brinell. In addition, the Wilfley team suggested a Wilfley A9 pump with its Wilfley Waterless Seal System.
The pump was still in operation after two years of continuous operation and components were found in good condition and returned to service. Thanks to the Wilfley A9 and its material WCD4™ , Chuquicamata was able to reduce the maintenance shutdowns by extending the life of the pump.
Pump Material Comparison
IWCD4™ is chemically identical to standard CD4MCuN but has significantly improved mechanical properties and corrosion resistance. These improvements are achieved through proprietary manufacturing processes developed at Wilfley.
IWCD4™ is ideal for erosion-corrosion applications in extremely corrosive environments. Pump wear parts made from WCD4™ are expected to have exceptional wear life due to its increased hardness and improved corrosion resistance.
Typical Tensile Strenght
Typical Yield Strenght
Increase over standard CD4MCu