High-pressure pumping systems within the steel industry


The steel industry encompasses a large number of very different processes, from the smelting of the raw materials to the rolling and shaping of the finished product. In the modern economic climate, it is essential that the equipment used in these processes is as reliable and efficient as possible.

So when it comes to high-pressure pumping systems, which are used in various stages of production, the choice of supplier can have a significant impact on productivity and the overall quality of the final commodity.

In the current economic climate, energy saving benefits are at the forefront of client purchasing criteria. This requirement has not been lost on the designers, who can evaluate the running cycle of the pump to enable the customer to realise the maximum return on their investment (ROI).

As part of the specification process RMI Pressure Systems assesses all the various control methods and calculates a whole-life-cost, including original supply, servicing and running costs – which is then submitted to the client.

In some cases where variable speed pumps have been specified for applications, such as heavy presses and steel pipe de-scaling systems, the calculated payback period or ROI has been less than two years, illustrating how the RMI pump can be an extremely effective investment.

High-pressure pumps

The designers at RMI have used their years of experience in the mining, power generation and manufacturing environments to produce a versatile product that is capable of operating in a multitude of situations. The S-series of pumps is designed such that all the working parts are totally enclosed, enabling it to operate in dust laden and other hazardous atmospheres. The use of the highest quality materials, manufactured to exacting standards ensures that the final product will provide continuous, reliable performance.

The modular design system used by RMI allows it to design and manufacture high pressure pumping systems to meet precise customer specifications and ensure that all the prevailing environmental conditions are accommodated. Even the smallest component is rigorously tested and made from high-performance materials, such as the advanced ceramics which improve surface hardness and reduce maintenance.


With modern steel rolling mills producing an array of different steels, it is important that the facility has the ability to adjust any settings as easily as possible when the next product is about to be produced to make sure that the process is reliable and efficient for all steel types. These differing requirements pose potential problems for the production facility and, unless they are optimised, could lead to increased production costs and reduced margins.

This places added pressure on the de-scaling equipment as, not only must it perform reliably at all times, it is also required to allow for the adjustment of pressures and water flow rates as the steel type changes. This is how RMI differentiates itself from the traditional methods. The design of de-scaling equipment is an exact science with nozzle design and water pressures carefully calculated for the best results.

Some steel variants can require a water pressure of up to 400 bar, such as steels with a high silicon content, which are very problematical because of the intense adherence of scale, requiring high impact pressures as well as increased quantities of water for this kind of scale. It's important to use the correct pressures to achieve the proper impact force and to have the ultimate cleaning capability, as too low can result in scale being left while too high will be inefficient and lead to unnecessary costs.

The Trimax range of reciprocating plunger pumps are capable of producing flow rates of 50 - 670 litres/min at system pressures up to 1,000 bar making it an ideal choice for de-scaling plants. Every component of the pump is selected for robust and reliable performance with every pump assembly undergoing a comprehensive test procedure prior to delivery to the customer.

System integration

A completed design could include the pump skids, control systems, interlocks and the de-scale headers, all of which can be optimised for this particular application. Working in partnership with other system component suppliers, RMI will accept the responsibility for the verification of the performance of the completed system and be able to provide engineers on site to assist with the installation and commissioning.

Previous experience with a large number of similar projects has helped RMI develop an excellent understanding of the exact requirements of de-scaling plants and how to deliver them.

Based on this experience, RMI has been able to deliver individual high pressure pumping solutions to the steel industry with a calculated payback period of less than 2 years; an important factor when deciding on the most suitable package.

The S-series of pumps is designed such that all the working parts are totally enclosed, enabling it to operate in dust laden and other hazardous atmospheres.

About RMI Pressure Systems

For more than a century, RMI has been producing premium-quality high-pressure pumps for global mining and industrial applications. An early innovator in the design and manufacture of high-pressure systems for Longwall mining, today RMI employs the expert resources at its UK engineering research centre to great effect, introducing new solutions designed to reduce process complexity and optimise customers' productivity.

The collaborative relationships RMI forms with clients creates a climate of proactive response, inspiring progress and resulting in consistently high service levels. At RMI, we aim to deliver enhanced value and reliability to customers, focusing our efforts on helping them to become more productive by cutting operational costs and boosting output. We can only achieve these advancements by listening to - and learning from - the issues that are important to our clients. It is this unwavering commitment to the learning process that helps RMI drive innovation with, and for, the customer. It elevates our ability to better serve our customers - and, ultimately, the world in which we live.