Could the application of hydrophobic epoxy coatings to pumping systems offer industry a saving in energy consumption?

Manufacturing operations are faced with many challenges in today’s marketplace. With Global energy prices soaring, many industries are being impacted in the form of rising production costs, supply chain issues and lower output.

The British Pump Manufacturers Association (BPMA) estimate that pumping systems account for almost 20% of the world’s electrical demand and the cost of energy represents 95% of the cost to run pumping equipment. It is clear that solutions developed to increase pump performance would be of great benefit to industry.

Fluid handling equipment can suffer from several physical and mechanical problems, including general and/or localised corrosion, cavitation or reliability linked with poor efficiency or performance. All these parameters may affect the power consumption of the equipment, increasing considerably its lifetime running cost.

One effective way to reduce the loss of equipment performance is to protect pumping systems using erosion/corrosion resistant coatings. In this area, Belzona Polymerics Ltd has provided coating technology solutions for over 70 years within all industry sectors.

Belzona 1341 offers a unique hydrophobic surface coupled with high erosion/corrosion resistance, which reduces friction losses and thus the energy input required. Belzona 1341 (Supermetalglide) can also be used on new equipment to enhance pump efficiency and reduce electrical consumption. Its unique system provides gains in hydraulic efficiency from 3% – 8% on new pumps as well as up to 20% on those already in service. 

Pump Efficiency Coating – Case Study

The Situation

A car manufacturer had four long-coupled end suction pumps that had been deemed beyond economical repair by another third-party repairer. Each new replacement pump would cost £18,000 and had an expected lead time of up to five months from the USA, meaning an expensive and drawn-out process for the Customer.

Hayley 24/7 Industrial Pumps team were given the opportunity to offer a second opinion.

One of the pumps was sent to the Hayley 24/7 facility, installed on the state-of-the-art test rig and its performance was analysed. Its hydraulic efficiency was down at 38.3%. Work began on a strip and inspection with reports of both processes submitted to the Customer.

The Solution

The Customer was keen to proceed, and the team set to work. This started with the heavily eroded volute casing being repaired with Belzona 1111 (Super Metal), a metal repair composite.

The volute casing was then re-profiled to suit the impeller vane tips and Belzona 1341 (Supermetalglide) was applied to improve the units’ hydraulic efficiency, flow rate and head characteristics. Flow rate was an important factor in the Customer’s operation, and this was identified as a key metric for improvement prior to the refurbishment.

The pumps’ seals were also upgraded to the latest EagleBurgmann SN Single cartridge seals, with bearing isolators installed to help eliminate bearing contamination. Reassembly of the unit was completed, and the pump was re-tested before being shipped back to the Customer’s facility.

The Result

The refurbishment and upgrade cost the Customer significantly less than what they had been quoted for a new replacement pump, from the American OEM. By providing this service, Hayley 24/7 enabled the Customer to secure a capital expenditure saving of £11,500 and cut the delivery lead-time down to just 2.5 weeks.

It was calculated that the refurbished pump would deliver an annual energy cost-saving of £14,500, based on the following performance test results:

  • Hydraulic efficiency: increased to 48.3%
  • Flow rate: increased from 77.3% to 85.1%
  • Motor absorbed power: reduced from 42.6kW to 40.8kW
  • Pump differential head: increased from 20.6m to 23.5m

The Customer is now looking to roll-out a comprehensive programme of pump refurbishments at their site, including all 12 active pump assets. By doing this, the Customer will benefit from an annual energy cost-saving of around £173,000. The reduction in energy consumption will also have a positive impact on the company’s current environmental initiatives.




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