ATC Williams New Pipe Loop Facility


Our Pipe Loop Facility is now running has now been installed in the Melbourne laboratory, with design and development by Prof. Paul Slatter and installation by our laboratory staff. The aim of the facility is to assess rheological and hydraulic behaviour of homogeneous and heterogeneous flow of slurry material. The pipe loop is fitted with six pressure indicators and transducers, flow and density meters and a variable speed pump. Parameters obtained from the pipe loop runs are used in design of pipe lines and open channels for tailings transportation and for characterisation of depositional beach profiles. Pipe loop runs are essential for evaluating the rheological and hydraulic characteristics of challenging slurries which cannot be readily interpreted from rotational rheometer results.

Our pipe loop testing uses three small diameter pipes and can provide a more accurate assessment of the transition from laminar to turbulent flow.

It provides four advantages:

  1. It’s easier to achieve laminar flow which is the correct flow regime needed to measure rheology. ·
  2. In small pipes the settled bed drag component of total friction losses is very small and so viscous drag forces dominate. In a large diameter pipe loop test rig, the settled bed drag component will be much higher compared to viscous forces when in laminar flow. This means small diameter test rigs can provide more accurate rheological data. Large diameter rigs still have a place as they can obviously measure the ‘real’ situation, but only if the test rig pipe diameter and actual project pipe diameter are of similar size.
  3. Only requires 100L of slurry for a test. 2500L or more are necessary for larger pipe diameter (i.e. CSIRO 100 to 150 mm diam.) ·
  4. Overall, our internal test costs are lower than our competition, and the client benefits from lower transport costs for samples.

For more information on pricing contact Charles Vuillier(