Document Type

Conference Paper


Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


Materials engineering

Publication Details

Presented at MATRIB 2014: International Conference on Materials, Tribology, Recycling, Vela Luka, Croatia, 26-28 June, 2014.


The aim of this project was to design and develop a group pump and solve associated technical issues for a construction company in Ireland. The design is based on a high shear colloidal group mixing and pumping rig. The initial machine has failed in terms of bearing and seal performance, has high manufacturing costs and is poorly designed.

To account for these issues, extensive research of the design features of grout mixing units from various competitors and suppliers was carried out by research and field studies at trade fairs. Using the information gathered, and incorporating improvements into the existing design, a test rig was developed and tested. Performance tests consisted of varying the flow rates of the grout material through specified industrial flow rate ranges. The head loss through the system was plotted against flow rate to obtain system design curves. Design calculations were used to size the hydraulic motor, the impeller shaft diameter, dynamic loading on bearings and their operational lifetime. The result of the performance testing indicated that the machine performance met specifications. The new colloidal mixing unit met grout mixing standards for a water/cement ratio of 0.4. This was validated with flow cone testing. The dual bearing system design proved satisfactory, with smooth operation even at higher ranges of industrial flow rates. The mechanical seals were selected for aggressive environments and the seal system developed for the grout pump remained leak proof, as designed. The original machine’s was smooth and provided high quality batches of grout. The new pump design features includes a widened pumping impeller for increased shearing of the group and gives higher volumetric flow rates. This offers enhanced mixing attributes while retaining the positive aspects of the original design such as vortex mixing, high shear colloidal mixing and portability.