May 2014

Special Report: Maintenance/Reliability

Reliability tips for centrifugal process pumps

The pump’s behavior can be likened to that of a manual transmission in an automobile. While a car can be driven 80 mph in first gear, it would be a mistake to do this for an hour or so.

Bloch, Heinz P., Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Without pumps, there would be no hydrocarbon processing industry.1 Pumps are simple machines that lift, transfer, or otherwise move fluid from one place to another. Process pumps are usually configured to use the rotational (kinetic) energy from an impeller to impart motion to a fluid. The impeller is located on a shaft; together, shaft and impeller(s) make up the rotor. This rotor is surrounded by a casing. Located in this casing (or “pump case”) are one or more stationary passageways that direct the fluid to a discharge nozzle. Impeller and casing are the main components of the hydraulic assembly; the region or envelope containing bearings and seals is called the mechanical assem

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