Germany-based pipe and pump solutions provider Carl Hamm has embarked on an aggressive growth strategy which has seen it establish a South African subsidiary Carl Hamm Pipes Pumps Solutions (Pty) ltd business to focus on mining-related dewatering opportunities on the African continent using its proven ZSM coupling system. It offers a safe, quick and flangeless installation solution which is ideally suited to managing acid mine drainage (AMD)
While Carl Hamm has not largely focused on the South African/African market over its 90 year history, Munnick recognised the potential its ZSM coupling system offered in heavy-duty, hanging AMD applications and oversaw its successful implementation in all three of the country’s AMD treatment plants across the three Witwatersrand Basins.
The design and advantages of the ZSM coupling, noting that ZSM is a German acronym for ‘Zo spoedig mogelijk’, which in English simply translates to ‘as quickly as possible’. “This is the core benefit of our system, which is far quicker to install and maintain than the alternate flange pipe connection,” he highlights.
ZSM is an axial, non-positive and detachable tight sleeve pipe connection which is ideally suited to hanging pipe/pumping vertical shaft dewatering applications. The patent-protected tight sleeve connection is, according to the company, a “unique” alternative to other conventional connection systems thanks to its quick and easy assembly/disassembly, space-saving design. The design is available from 50 nb to 1.4 m nb and can be installed in from surface over 1 400 m.
Basically, the combination of a spigot end, sleeve, O-rings and shearing elements enable pipes to be joined quickly, securely and are also electrically safe – unlike a flange which takes a significant time to install and requires attention to detail to ensure accuracy.
The ZSM connection excels owing to its cost effectiveness, especially when used with high-performance submersible pumps where time-saving assembly and disassembly deliver major impacts on heavy-duty pumping requirements. The uncomplicated disassembly of the pipe section guarantees shorter times (up to a third less time) when changing a pump which in an AMD application is critical. This is highly relevant to the South African environment when AMD generated from the enormous underground workings of historic gold mines requires intensive pipe and pumping activity to prevent millions of litres of water from decanting to surface every day.
The system is safe in that staff no longer have to enter the mine to work on equipment. All is controlled, installed and removed from surface.
Outside of dewatering applications, the hanging pipe/pump system is perfectly suited to concrete batch pumping systems which are used for shaft sinking projects. Munnick explains that pumping concrete underground works optimally with a perfectly straight pipe system – which is exactly what ZSM delivers.