Polymer Solutions to Improve Pump Efficiency
The process of pumping fluids and slurries puts equipment under constant strain and can result in several damage mechanisms including erosion, corrosion, abrasion and cavitation. These issues can cause pump deterioration and wear, leading to efficiency losses, increased power consumption and overall higher asset lifetime running costs. If not addressed in time, the integrity of the pump components may be jeopardised, ultimately leading to equipment failure.
Minimising performance deterioration is therefore an important factor for pump manufacturers and end users. Hydraulic losses account for most of the efficiency decrease (from approximately 9% for a mixed flow pump to 20% for radial flow). Coating technology can help to minimise these losses, increase the pump’s performance, and reduce operational costs.
Erosion-Corrosion Protection and Efficiency Improvement
In fluid flow situations, isolating the metal surface from its environment is the only way to significantly reduce the effects of erosion-corrosion. This can be achieved by the application of a protective coating to the pump volute and impeller. Protecting pumping systems with erosion-corrosion resistant coatings helps to reduce the loss of performance, significantly extends maintenance free periods and prolongs the pump’s service life.
By protecting components with a Belzona polymeric coating, it is possible to restore flow rates and even increase efficiency levels beyond the original specification. Our high-performance coating, Belzona 1341 (Supermetalglide), has been specially developed to improve efficiency of pumps, pipes, valves and other fluid handling equipment while protecting them from the effects of erosion-corrosion.
Due to its ultra-smooth, hydrophobic surface, 15 times smoother than polished stainless steel, it has been proven in independent tests to reduce turbulence and surface tension. At the same time, the coating will protect against future erosion-corrosion, meaning the immediate effects on performance will be maintained over a long period, reducing power consumption and saving operating costs.
A test performed by the British National Engineering Laboratories (NEL) was conducted on a single-stage, end suction centrifugal pump with a 250mm suction and discharge branches before and after being coated with Belzona 1341 (Supermetalglide). The pump, in uncoated condition and running at 1,300rpm, was originally found to deliver 875m3/h at 26.5m head and with overall peak efficiency of 83.5% (overall efficiency defined as the ratio of water power output to mechanical power input at the shaft).
Testing of the Belzona Belzona 1341 (Supermetalglide)-coated pump gave a maximum of 6% increase in the peak efficiency and a reduction in power consumption of 5.1kWh at duty point. Assuming a 5,000 hours operating cycle/annum, the power savings over this period would amount to 25,500kWh.
Similar results have been measured by many pump manufacturers around the world, and feedback on industrial equipment protected with this coating show that it is possible to achieve a return in excess of a new pump.
Belzona 1341 (Supermetalglide) is also increasingly used in OEM situations to prolong service life and save on energy costs. It is also common practice to coat new equipment with Belzona to avoid lengthy fine machining and polishing time when the construction does not meet the original design efficiency specification.