September 2017

Columns

Reliability: Choices—Treat the symptom or define and eliminate the cause?

In an urgent communication, a paper plant customer reported that the mechanical seals in one of its ANSI pumps were moving axially whenever an unexpected process problem caused the normally liquid pumpage to turn into a thick, odorous gel.

Bloch, Heinz P., Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

In an urgent communication, a paper plant customer reported that the mechanical seals in one of its ANSI pumps were moving axially whenever an unexpected process problem caused the normally liquid pumpage to turn into a thick, odorous gel. The flow would stop and the pump would vibrate and essentially run dry until the gel-induced plugging condition was cleared. “We need help now,” the customer wrote. Fig. 1. Wide spacing and a slender shaft between the pump impeller and the inboard (radial) bearing often lead to vibration excursions at high speeds. A suitably designed support bushing (inserted at the arrow) is among the possible remedies. Image source: NSK

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