The next section on our series on diagnosing or understanding pump problems, will focus on rapid pump wear.
Rapid pump wear is caused by either abrasives in the liquid or operation under conditions for which the pump is not suitable, such as excessively low viscosity or excessively higher pressure or temperature. If abrasives are a normal condition of the pumping application, as in slurry pumping, then pump wear will be a fact of life, and the best that can be done will include pump and drive speed selection that provides the best economic evaluation over the pump life cycle. While requiring bigger displacement and more expensive pumps, slower operation on abrasive service often pays back far beyond the initial purchase cost differential.
Wear due to abrasives in the liquid is a function of speed raise to a power usually betwen 2 and 3. If the abrasives are deliberately introduced, as when fuel oil additives intended to reduce boiler corrosion are brought into a system, they should be injected downstream of any liquid recirculation to insure that they do not go through the pump. Obviously, if abrasive foreign material is not supposed to be present, strainers or filters should be employed wherever possible and practical.
Rapid wear is sometimes not wear in the sense of a non-durable pump, but rather a catastrophic pump failure that occurs very quickly. Looking at the pump internal parts alone can frequently not provide much help in setting a direction to search. So, it is important to know what was occurring in the time period immediately preceding the detection problem.
Often, pump manufacturers offer a checklist designed to help you understand potential causes to failure. Contact your supplier today to discuss your issue and what supporting information they have available.
I'm also pleased to announce that our IMO pump brand has an updated Application Data Sheet. The data included in the online tool enables our engineers to answer your questions and projects request quickly and accurately. Moreover, you can consider products from the entire Colfax product portfolio.Sean McCandless Industrial Market Manager Colfax Fluid Handling