Slurry is just what it sounds like – a wet, sloppy mix of water and something. Cement, wood pulp, lime, animal waste, and coal are common materials found in slurries. Many of these materials are formed into slurries to make it easier for them to be transported. Dry solid materials cannot easily be pumped or poured, but slurries can.
Slurries are often transported by pipeline, but pipelines are only viable for transporting large volumes to certain dedicated locations. Trucks that can carry slurries are a much more flexible solution for slurry transport. Dry bulk trailers can also carry slurries, which are pumped into the truck for transport and then pumped out again at their destination.
Lime slurries are a solution of calcium hydroxide in water. Lime is commonly transported as slurry because once suspended in water it becomes a non-hazardous material. Lime slurries are particularly useful because most lime applications actually require the lime to be suspended in water before application. Shipping the lime as slurry avoids the problems of dealing with caustic dust and needing special storage and application equipment.
Cement slurry is a common sight. It is transported to building sites as slurry and then poured into molds and forms to cure into the familiar building material, concrete. Because cement slurry begins the curing process as soon as it is mixed with water, it is not commonly transported long distances. Cement is usually transported as a bulk dry material to central sites. At the central site it is mixed with water and sand to form slurry, and is then transported by truck to the building site for pouring.
When considering the prospect of transporting bulk materials from place to place, it is possible that converting the material to a slurry will make it easier to transport. Of course, adding water to the material makes it heavier and more voluminous, which is a trade-off that has to be seriously considered when planning to transport bulk materials. Whether transporting bulk material in dry or slurry form, we can help.