Machined centrifugal pump

Maximizing Efficiency in Descaling Pumps

descale pump impeller damage

Damaged impeller showcasing severe corrosion.

A major steel plant on the East Coast had been experiencing catastrophic failures with its five-stage descaling pumps. The plant operated using three multistage axially split (BB3) pumps with two spares. All five of the pumps had a mean time between repair (MTBR) of two years. In this case, the plant water quality was considered to be less than ideal, and the entrained abrasives were a factor contributing to the repeated failures.

Poor water quality can lead to a number of pump reliability issues. When pumping fluids with abrasive material, pumps experience erosion and corrosion, and the effects can rapidly degrade both the casings and critical inner elements. While erosion and corrosion alone are not always a difficult problem to solve, it is important to have a firm understanding of the relationship between various types of erosion and corrosion and the metallurgy used in designing the pumps.

Further analysis showcased excessive clearances and inconsistencies with component fits that also contributed to pump performance degradation outside the abrasion. In order to increase the MTBR of the pumps at the plant, the aftermarket pump service provider recommended several engineered upgrades including new impellers to be manufactured using advanced mold technology, specifically addressing the surface finish and dimensional consistency.

Source: https://www.pumpsandsystems.com/maximizing-efficiency-descaling-pumps

Optimizing Reliability Through Material Upgrades

centrifugal pump test

The 14-stage boiler feedwater pump installed for testing to ensure that the performance achieves desired operating conditions.

At a combined cycle power plant, a boiler feedwater pump was experiencing problems. Dr. Gary Dyson of Hydro, Inc. and Larry White of HydroTex discuss how major cost savings were provided through engineering analysis, material upgrades and testing for validation.

A combined cycle power plant in the Pan Handle region of Texas found themselves experiencing repeated failure on one of their 14 stage boiler feedwater (BB3) pumps. The pump had recently been modified by the supplier to provide a short-term solution. This in turn reduced the mean time between failure (MTBF) of the pump, requiring continued support and further analysis.

Combined cycle plants are comprised of both gas and steam power production technologies, capable of producing up to 50% more electricity than traditional simple-cycle plants. With the ever-increasing demand for energy, this technology is becoming increasingly relevant in throughout the pump industry. As such, it is highly important that these plants operate at peak efficiency.

Originally, the stationary inserts at several locations in the pump assembly were modified in such a way that increased the likelihood of friction and galling of the stationary and rotating parts of the pump assembly. The consecutive failures experienced on site were repeatedly of the same failure mode, which strongly points toward a pump design problem.

Authored by Gary Dyson, Ares Panagoulias, Larry White, and Chris Brown.
Source: worldpumps.com

An Engineered Battle Against Cavitation

The pump after upgrades and repair now has an impeller that operates at run-out flow condition safely and as per design.

A power station’s cooling water pumps were constantly being repaired, costing the plant millions of dollars in costs and service time due to the severe operational disruption and logistics required to remove and transport such large equipment. Previous attempts made by the station to improve the reliability of the impellers through upgraded material selections had little impact on reliability.

It was clear that something had to change as the station’s pump reliability was now a major financial focus. The many vane cracks, cavitation and broken vane sections that were weld-repaired during inspections throughout the pumps’ life cycles prompted the station to investigate a more permanent solution to the issue.

During the last repair, the reliability engineer inspected the impellers and found the cavitation was similar to those reported during prior repairs. An engineering repair company that specializes in fluid dynamics was asked to investigate the root cause of the continuing pump issues. The team conducted an investigation on the system layout and operation parameters.

The results of the forensic analysis showed that the impeller blades were suffering cavitation to the low-pressure side of the vanes. Additionally, the cavitation and cracked vanes toward the eye also indicated that the sizing of the inlet and its associated blade angles may be active factors in the repeated failures.

Source: https://www.pumpsandsystems.com/engineered-battle-against-cavitation

a man cutting a cake

Build your skills: View Hydro’s upcoming pump training seminars

Interested in pump training? Hydro’s got you covered. Providing aftermarket-focused training is an important part of our commitment to our customers. We offer training on a range of topics from pump fundamentals to more specialized hands-on programs for high pressure multistage pumps.

Hydro’s training helps you do what you do – better. Visit our training page to view our upcoming seminars!

Pump Training Seminars | Hydro, Inc. from Hydro, Inc. on Vimeo.

a man wearing a suit and tie

George Harris Rewarded Lifetime Achievement Award From the West Central Association

The West Central Association recently invited George Harris, President and CEO of Hydro, Inc., to be a guest speaker for their 100th anniversary.

The WCA is the Chamber of Commerce for the West Central Area. They are also a delegate agency for Chicago’s Department of Planning and Economic Development. They promote the area to encourage healthy business and a growing community.

George Harris also received an award in recognition of his contributions to the community and to the development of businesses and networking within Chicago’s West Central Area.

George has always been one of the key pillars of the community. He has lived and worked within the city of Chicago all his life and graduating from the University of Illinois with a degree in Engineering. The association was pleased to celebrate the growth of Hydro.

Though it started as a small locally based business, it is now a global company with 19 locations worldwide. Congratulations, George, on an award well deserved!