Plant Operations/Maintenance/Creating A Vacuum



I'm a weekend miner with some others who are trying to figure a way to lift gravel, dirt and small rocks of up to "2"lbs, 150ft vertical. We are gold miners, and we are onto something potentially very large and need to move more debris, in a faster more efficient way. It would tremendously cut down on the man hours of the old slide rail and bucket system we currently use. We have no budget, yet we have access to many different types and sizes of air compressors. I have an idea of how to potentially build what we need yet I need to know the amount of air to create the lift from the suction point to the surface discharge. We also have access to 100's of feet of 4" victaulic pipe with which to use as our transportation tubing upward. If you want my idea on how to possibly create what we want to do, I'll gladly share it with you! Any help you can be would be greatly appreciated!

Hi Daryl, This is truly a challenge. VAcuum is a product of pressure. 1"hg =.49 psi, then consider weight and distance vertically and wow the pressure required is extremely high. Unfortunately my mining experience has been in Iron ore in a processing mill. I am limited in my ability to effectively design a system using suction to lift over 150ft of gravel. One bit of advise I can give based on my experience in dust collection is that the blower would have to be extremely large to move heavy gravel that distance vertically with 4 in pipe. Imagine a compressor larger than an average home. Thats what it would take.My opinion is to use an bucket elevator with a chain drive and a variable speed motor for that amount of lift. You would have to spend an unreal amount of money to design a suction system to do this job. I hope this helps. Good luck with the mining. Sincerely Mike Biro  

Plant Operations/Maintenance

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Mike Biro


I can answer any questions on Mechanical technology. Rigging, shop practices, Hydraulics, Pnuematics,Gears, bearings, belts, fasteners, Safety, Machine tools. Anything within the scope of the Millwright Apprenticeship. All areas of plant maintenance.


30yrs plant experience light packaging, heavy industrial( Steel and Auto). Taught the entire Millwright course for over 12yrs at three provincial colleges. Published the Study tool titled Millwright Exam Questions available from 2007-2009. Personally helped over 400 students successfully obtain their trade licenses.

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Licensed Millwright since 1991, Electronic Eng. Tech. since 1982. Bachelor degree 2008.

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