Category Archives: Boulden News

Over the past decade, Boulden Company has grown into a global distributor of DuPont™ Vespel® CR-6100, supplying to North America, EMA (Europe, Middle East, Africa), Australia, New Zealand, and Singapore. We have a huge inventory of material to supply end users, OEMs, and repair shops with raw material or machined parts. In recent years. Contact Boulden to learn more!

VibVue–Visualizing Vibration

What if You Could Actually SEE Vibration?

Background

Mechanical Solutions, Inc. is well-known for their ability to accurately diagnose difficult rotating machinery problems, AND to provide an engineered, implementable solution. They also have 22 years in solving problems using high-speed video. Recently, those two threads came together to bring the VibVue™ system to market through MSI’s Envision Motion division.

What is VibVue™?

This exciting new technology uses high-speed video to analyze vibration on a pixel-by-pixel basis, and then to visualize that vibration for the entire machine through significant amplification (up to 1000 times!) at distinct frequencies. The VibVue™ Pro system facilitates full-machine analysis and visualization at frequencies over 600Hz, enabling diagnoses involving many multiples of running speed, such as vane and blade pass. The resultant high-definition videos provide a comprehensive, realistic, data-enhanced view of the machine or piping system’s motion for problem identification and solution determination.

For example, this video of a pipeline station vent is amplifying vibration at 418 Hz. VibVue™ lets you find the needle in the haystack. To learn more, head to the Envision Motion website.

Whole Installation of the VibVue

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Close Up of the Station Vent – Vib Vue

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To learn more about MSI’s capabilities, including an extensive array of case studies featuring their rotating machinery solutions, go to the MSI website.

Come See Boulden

Boulden is working with MSI to help introduce this new technology. Come check out VibVue™ at the Boulden booth 1434 at the Texas A&M Pump and Turbomachinery Symposium in Houston next week.

As always, Boulden will also have Vespel® CR-6100, the Boulden PERF-Seal™ design, and some other new things for you to see.

If you can’t make it to the show, Contact Us for more information.

 

Helpful Boulden Links:

Standard Stock Sizes of Vespel® CR-6100

Vespel® CR-6100 Product Data Sheet

Vespel® CR-6100 Machining Guide

3MW Boiler Feed Pump Case Study

Today’s Photo

Mount Vernon was George Washington’s plantation house. situated on the banks of the Potomac River in Fairfax County, Virginia.

Contact Us Today To Learn More About Vespel and Boulden Company!

 

14 Reasons to Reduce Wear Ring Clearance

Use DuPont™ Vespel® CR-6100 to reduce the clearance in your pumps and improve pump reliability and efficiency.

Vespel CR-6100 Review

A couple weeks ago, we looked at all of the negative consequences from increasing the wear part clearance in you pumps: wear rings, inter-stage rings, throttle bushings, and center bushings. In the past, increasing the clearance was a typical response to pump seizure.

Now, there is a better way to address the issue and make your pump more reliable and efficient at the same time. Instead of increasing the clearance of the metal parts, replace the stationary wear parts with non-seizing, non-galling Vespel® CR-6100 and reduce the clearance. With this simple change, all the contact points in the pump become metal-to-composite and the risk of seizure is minimized.

What if you reduce the clearance?

Because Vespel® CR-6100 is non-seizing, you can safely reduce the clearance at the wear parts in your pumps. Even if the pump runs dry, Vespel® CR-6100 will not seize like metal components.

 

 

When you reduce the clearance at your wear parts, essentially every aspect of the pump hydraulic performance improves. Reduced clearance also tends to produce lower vibration levels. In short, the pump will likely be easier to operate, more reliable, and consume less power.

 

14 Benefits of Reduced Clearance using Vespel CR-6100 

 

Hydraulic Benefits Mechanical Benefits
Higher head Increased rotor stiffness
Higher flow–higher potential maximum flow rate Potentially lower vibration
Increased efficiency–reduced power consumption Potentially reduced shaft deflection
Lower NPSHR–lower risk of cavitation Reduced risk of shaft breakage
Reduced motor load Potentially longer seal life
Steam turbine drivers can run at lower speeds Potentially longer bearing life
Reduced need to run pumps in parallel Reduced potential for motor tripping or over-heating

 

The PERF-Seal™

The benefits of reducing the clearance can be augmented using the patented Boulden PERF-Seal™ design. The design is simple to implement, increases the potential efficiency gain from the upgrade, adds a significant amount of hydraulic damping, and generally amplifies the benefits of your upgrade to Vespel® CR-6100. Contact Boulden for details.

Two-stage product shipping pump upgraded with the PERF-SEAL deign

The Poster Pump, continued…

Two weeks ago, we wrote about an 11-stage horizontal pump which had seized several times. Each time it seized, the wear part clearance was increased. After the clearance had been increased multiple times, the pump would vibrate beyond alarm limits and the pump was no longer operable.

The plant upgraded the pump with Vespel® CR-6100 case rings, center bushing, and throttle bushing, using the Boulden PERF-Seal™ design. They subsequently reduced the clearance to less than the original design clearance. After the upgrade, the pump ran without seizing, very low vibration, and a significant efficiency gain.

 

Conclusion

What do you think of our list of benefits from reduced clearance? Is there anything we should add? Anything you disagree with? Let us know your ideas. We will be happy to hear from you.

 

Until next time, if you have a pump in your shop which can benefit from an upgrade to Vespel® CR-6100 and reduced clearance, contact Boulden. We can answer your questions and we have material in stock and available for immediate shipment.

 

Helpful Links:

Standard Stock Sizes of Vespel® CR-6100

Vespel® CR-6100 Product Data Sheet

Vespel® CR-6100 Machining Guide

3MW Boiler Feed Pump Case Study

Today’s Photo

Place Stanislas is considered to be one of, if not the most beautiful royal squares in Europe. It was added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 1983.

Contact Us Today To Learn More About Vespel and Boulden Company!

 

 

14 Reasons to Avoid Increased Wear Ring Clearance

If you increase the clearance, the long-term reliability and efficiency of the pump will suffer.

Happy Summer!

We hope you have had a chance to enjoy your summer holidays. From New Orleans to Narvik, it’s hot out there, so be safe, and wear sunscreen.

In our messages, we frequently highlight how Vespel® CR-6100 does not seize and therefore allows you to reduce the clearance at the wear parts in your pumps: wear rings, inter-stage rings, throttle bushings, and center bushings.

Today we want to look at things from another perspective–negative effects which can happen to your pump when you increase the clearance at the wear parts.

 

What can happen when you increase clearance?

If a process plant has a problem with a pump seizing during operation or galling during commissioning, the traditional response has been to increase the clearance at the wear parts.

Metal Case Ring After a Boiler Feed Pump Seizure

 

Although increasing the clearance might make the pump operable in the short term, there are several negative consequences from increased clearance.

Hydraulic Effects Mechanical Effects
Lower head Reduced rotor stability
Lower flow Potentially higher vibration
Lower efficiency–increased power consumption Potentially higher shaft deflection
Higher NPSHR–greater risk of cavitation Increased risk of shaft breakage
Higher motor load Potentially shorter seal life
Need to run steam turbines at higher speed Potentially shorter bearing life
Higher likelihood of needing to run pumps in parallel Higher risk of motor over-heating or tripping from excessive load

So, while you don’t want your pumps to seize, increasing the clearance can create some major issues. At a minimum increased clearance drives up the operating cost of the pump and likely compromises the long term reliability of the machine.

 

The Poster Pump

A while back, one of our clients had an 11-stage horizontal pump which was originally supplied with metal wear components. The pump seized soon after start-up, and the recommendation from the OEM was to increase the clearance. The pump seized again. The second recommendation was to use a “non-galling” metal alloy to address the problem. The pump seized again. The clearance was increased one more time. When the pump was started again, the overall pump vibration levels were beyond alarm limits. The multiple increases in clearance had resulted in a loss of rotor stability to the point that the pump was no longer operable.

The end of the story will be in our next email…

 

Conclusion

Until next time, if you have a pump in your shop which has galled or seized, contact Boulden to discuss an upgrade to Vespel® CR-6100. We will be happy to work through the details of the upgrade with you and we have material in stock and available for immediate shipment.

 

Helpful Links for Vespel and Pump Case Studies:

Standard Stock Sizes of Vespel® CR-6100

Vespel® CR-6100 Product Data Sheet

Vespel® CR-6100 Machining Guide

3MW Boiler Feed Pump Case Study

Today’s Photo’

Rossio Square in Lisbon Portugal with famous wave pattern stone pavement.

Contact Us Today To Learn More About Vespel and Boulden Company!

 

 

 

 

 

Make Your Vertical Pump Shaft Bearings Last Longer

DuPont™ Vespel CR-6100 resists seizing, can run dry, has high impact resistance, and a low wear rate for a long life under a wide range of process conditions.

Vertically Suspended Pumps

Vertically suspended pump types (API types VS1-VS7) use long, flexible shafts which are supported by a series of product-lubricated shaft bearings. Vespel® CR-6100 is a great upgrade for these components.

 

Typical Vespel Services

Vertically suspended pumps can be divided into two general categories: discharge through column (API Types VS1, VS2, VS3, VS6, and VS7) and separate discharge (VS4 and VS5).

 

Discharge through column pumps tend to be used in light, flashing products like butane, LPG, and natural gas liquids, or in water condensate or cooling water intake service. In flashing services, it is not uncommon for these pumps to run dry temporarily at start up, which can be a challenge for the shaft bushings. In many of these pumps the flexible shaft can create very large loads, leading to high wear rates of traditional materials.

 

Separate discharge pumps tend to be used as sump pumps. In API Type VS4 pumps, the shaft bearings can run dry at start-up until the flushing fluid arrives. Sometimes, the external water flush is turned off; sometimes the flush lines from the process fluid are plugged; sometimes the bearing grease is insufficient. In a chemical sump, the mix of chemicals can cause corrosion issues.

Vespel® CR-6100 Replaces Traditional Materials

Most vertical pump shaft bearings are made from either bronze/cast iron, carbon/graphite based materials, or stainless steel alloys. Bronze/cast iron bearings can have a high wear rate. Carbon/graphite bearings can break. Stainless steel bearings can seize.

 

Vespel® CR-6100 can replace all of these materials in process conditions from cryogenic to 500 F (260 C). Vespel® CR-6100 is low friction with a low wear rate. It is durable and impact resistant so it resists breakage during installation, transport, and operation. Plus, Vespel® CR-6100 does not seize like metal parts and is capable of surviving the run dry conditions which can occur with the flashing process fluids.

 

Documented Results

Consider the results from a long term study at an oil refinery. The plant upgraded 22 vertical pumps to Vespel® CR-6100 wear parts. The pumps were operating in light hydrocarbons, flare knock out drum, and several stop/start services like product transfer, comprising many “bad actors” in the plant. Looking at the number of repairs within this population for 5 years before Vespel® CR-6100 and 5 years after, the plant found the following.

 22 Vertical Pumps Number of Pump Repairs MTBR for the Population
5 Years Before

Vespel® CR-6100

40 2.75 years
5 Years After 

Vespel® CR-6100

8 13.75 years

Final Notes

Next time you are rebuilding a vertically suspended pump, consider upgrading the shaft bearings to Vespel® CR-6100. Contact Boulden with your process conditions and we will be happy to let you know if Vespel® CR-6100 is a good fit for your pump.

 

The Vespel® CR-6100 installation guide will walk you through the installation process. Vespel® CR-6100 is easy to machine and install, and Boulden is always happy to help if you have any questions. Finally, we have large quantities of Vespel® CR-6100 in stock and ready for immediate delivery in North America, Europe, and Southeast Asia.

 

Helpful Vespel Links:

Standard Stock Sizes of Vespel® CR-6100

Vespel® CR-6100 Product Data Sheet

Vespel® CR-6100 Machining Guide

3MW Boiler Feed Pump Case Study

 

Todays Photo

Bernkastel-Kues, Germany

 

Contact Us Today To Learn More About Vespel and Boulden Company!

The Final Installation Steps: Length and Clearance

Upgrading pumps with composite wear componentsSetting the final dimensions of your DuPont™ Vespel CR-6100 component

Review

We have discussed how to measure your pump, prepare the metal parts, and establish the press fit for your Vespel® CR-6100 installation. The final two dimensions you need to establish are the part length and the clearance.

The Part Length

Vespel® CR-6100 has an extremely low coefficient of thermal expansion in the radial plane (perpendicular to rotation). This is one of the principal reasons it performs so well in centrifugal pump components. The low coefficient of thermal expansion is achieved through the use of radially-oriented, long carbon fibers.

Conversely, the coefficient of thermal expansion along the axis is relatively high. Therefore, the part length for a Vespel® CR-6100 component should account for the axial thermal expansion at operating temperature. Table 4 of our installation guide provides the details on how to make this adjustment.

Table 4 of our installation guide provides the details on how to make this adjustment.

The Clearance

The clearance for the part is set depending on the diameter and component type. Tables 2a and 2b in the installation guide show the clearance recommendations for horizontal pump components such as pump wear rings, throttle bushings, center bushings, inter-stage rings, balance bushings, and throat bushings.

Tables 2a and 2b provide recommended minimum clearance for horizontal pump components.

Tables 3a and 3b show the clearance recommendations for vertical pump components like vertical pump shaft bearings, wear rings, and throat bushings.

Tables 3a and 3b provide recommended minimum clearances for vertically suspended pump parts.

The best way to set the clearance is to press the component into place, and then final machine the bore to the desired clearance. This is shown in steps 5a-7a in our installation guide, pages 8-9.

Where final machining after the press fit is not practical, you can design the component to have the correct clearance after the press fit. For most component geometries, you can assume the Vespel® CR-6100 will reduce at a 1:1 ratio with the press fit. This method is shown in steps 5b-7b in our installation guide, page 9.

Some sites have implemented a hybrid method. They measure the inside diameter of the Vespel® CR-6100 case wear ring after installation, and then machine the metal impeller wear ring to set the desired clearance.

Conclusions

Installing Vespel® CR-6100 is an easy upgrade to make your pumps more reliable, safe, and efficient. Follow the steps in our  installation guide and you can make your pump even better than the day it was new. If you need material, Boulden carries inventory of stock sizes in the USA, Europe, and Singapore.

Until next time, please feel free to contact Boulden with your application details or to request a quote. We’ll be happy to answer any questions you might have.

 

Helpful Links:

Standard Stock Sizes of Vespel® CR-6100

Vespel® CR-6100 Product Data Sheet

Vespel® CR-6100 Machining Guide

3MW Boiler Feed Pump Case Study

Today’s Photo

Rock of Gibraltar – was one of the Pillars of Hercules and was known to the Romans as Mons Calpe.

 

Contact Us Today To Learn More About Vespel and Boulden Company! 

The Interference Fit – Setting the interference fit value for DuPont™ Vespel CR-6100

The interference fit value for DuPont™ Vespel CR-6100

Review

We have discussed how to measure your pumps and prepare the metal parts. The next step is to machine the DuPont™ Vespel® CR-6100 part to have the correct dimensions.

Remember, Vespel® CR-6100 is used for stationary wear parts like wear rings, throttle bushings, and vertical pump shaft bearings. The rotating components running against the Vespel® CR-6100 remain metal. The Vespel® CR-6100 components are installed with an interference fit (aka “press fit”).

 

Installation Guide for Vespel CR-6100

The Boulden Installation Guide for Vespel® CR-6100 Tables 1a (Imperial) and 1b (Metric) outline the interference fit values for a Vespel® CR-6100 component based on diameter and the pump operating temperature.

If you only want the right value, follow the guide. You can stop reading and contact Boulden whenever you need material or if you would like to request a quote. If you want to know how we arrived at the values, continue reading.

 

Low Coefficient of Thermal Expansion

Vespel® CR-6100 has an extremely low coefficient of thermal expansion–about 60% lower than carbon steel in the radial plane. This property is one of the reasons Vespel® CR-6100 can survive pumps running dry and avoiding seizure.

The low coefficient of thermal expansion is a main factor in the interference fit value. At elevated temperatures, the metal parts will thermally expand more than the Vespel® CR-6100 parts. Therefore, as pump operating temperature increases, the interference fit increases.

 

Vespel CR-6100 Low Modulus of Elasticity

Vespel® CR-6100 parts press in relatively easily due to a very low modulus of elasticity. Vespel® CR-6100 can be used in temperatures up to 500 F (260 C). At maximum operating temperature, the recommended interference fit can be quite high. Due to the low modulus, the material generally presses in without issue.

 

Small Pilot Fit

To facilitate the large interference fit, machine a small pilot or “step” on the leading edge (Figure 1) of the Vespel® CR-6100 component. This will help the part sit squarely in the bore as it is being pressed in (Figure 2).

Figure 1: Pilot Fit on leading edge to facilitate press fit

Figure 2: Press fit operation

No Pins or Screws Required

Once Vespel® CR-6100 is installed with a press fit and a shoulder to retain the part against differential pressure, no further retention of the components is required. There are thousands of pumps running for many years with Vespel® CR-6100 components without retaining pins or screws.

If you insist on using retaining pins with Vespel® CR-6100, contact Boulden and we will discuss the possible designs given your part geometry.

 

Conclusions

When installing Vespel® CR-6100, make sure you are using the correct interference fit. Download our installation guide for the full installation procedure. If you need material, Boulden carries inventory of stock sizes in the USA, Europe, and Singapore.

Until next time, please feel free to contact Boulden with your application details or to request a quote. We’ll be happy to answer any questions you might have.

 

Helpful Links:

Standard Stock Sizes of Vespel® CR-6100

Vespel® CR-6100 Product Data Sheet

Vespel® CR-6100 Machining Guide

3MW Boiler Feed Pump Case Study

If you need any material or have any questions. Please contact us today. Until next time.

Contact Us Today To Learn More About Vespel and Boulden Company!

 

 

 

 

Todays Photo

Grand Canyon, Arizona USA

 

Boulden Company – Conshohocken, PA, USA | 1-610-825-1515

Boulden International, S.ar.L – Ellange, Luxembourg | +352 26 39 33 99

Prepping Your Metal Parts

Prepare your pump parts for an upgrade to DuPont™ Vespel CR-6100

Review on Pump Parts and upgrading to Vespel CR-6100

The National Geographic Channel used to run a show called Doomsday Preppers where survivalist families would prepare for apocalyptic disasters and societal collapse. Although that sounds like a lot of fun, at Boulden, we are more concerned with helping your pumps survive adverse process conditions with an upgrade to DuPont™ Vespel® CR-6100.

 

Last month, we outlined the measurements required for a Vespel® CR-6100 installation. When you have decided to go forward with the upgrade, the first step will be to prepare the metal parts to facilitate the installation.

 

Start with a Little Chamfer

Vespel® CR-6100 is used for stationary wear components–throttle bushings, case wear rings, center-stage bushings, inter-stage case rings, vertical pump shaft bearings, throat bushings, agitator bearings, API separator bearings-basically any product lubricated wear part.

 

The material is installed with a significant press fit. To facilitate the press fit operation, the metal bore into which you will be pressing the Vespel® CR-6100 requires a small chamfer or radius (Figure 1). It is very important that any corners or sharp edges are fully broken and smoothed with a stone so that the metal edge does not remove material from the outside surface of the Vespel® CR-6100 during the press operation.

Figure 1: Chamfer or Radius Leading Edge to facilitate press fit. (Note shoulder on low-pressure side.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Make Sure There is a “Shoulder” or “Step”

For any part exposed to differential pressure, it is important that the design features a shoulder or step at the low-pressure end (shown on the right side of Figure 1) to ensure the differential pressure does not dislodge the Vespel® CR-6100 during operation.

 

Some radially split multi-stage pumps (BB4 and BB5) pumps feature metal wear rings welded into the pump diffusers with no step or shoulder incorporated in the design. In this case, you can consider modifying the diffusers so that the case wear rings have an “L” shaped profile like the rings below which were used in a hydrocracker charge pump.

Figure 2: “L” Shaped wear ring profile for BB4 or BB5 pump type.

 

Conclusions

Vespel® CR-6100 can help you avoid pump seizure during extreme events like running dry. The temperature limit is 500 F (260 C), allowing it to survive infernal heat waves. The material is not affected by electromagnetic pulses. polar shifts, or solar flares. As an added bonus, Vespel® CR-6100 has an indefinite shelf life, making it an ideal material to stockpile in your underground bunker, and the material is likely to hold its value in the case of hyperinflation.

 

In reality, you don’t have to stockpile the material. Boulden carries a huge inventory of stock sizes in the USA, Europe, and Singapore. You can generally receive whatever material you need in a matter of days.

 

To prepare your pump for whatever the future holds, please contact Boulden with your application details and dimensions. We’ll be happy to walk you through the installation details–assuming we have not been wiped out by an asteroid strike.

Todays Photo

All this talk of disaster is making me hungry. This is some excellent Bun Cha in Vietnam.

 

 

Helpful Links:

Standard Stock Sizes of Vespel® CR-6100

Vespel® CR-6100 Product Data Sheet

Vespel® CR-6100 Machining Guide

3MW Boiler Feed Pump Case Study

If you need any material or have any questions. Please contact us today. Until next time.

Contact Us Today To Learn More About Vespel and Boulden Company!

 

 

Measuring Your Pump

Upgrading pumps with composite wear components

Which information is needed in order to upgrade your pump to DuPont™ Vespel® CR-6100?

Review

Using Vespel® CR-6100 wear parts with reduced clearance can help your pumps be more reliable, efficient, and easier to operate. Which measurements and which process data do we need to assemble for the upgrade?

Dimensions Needed for a Quote

Let’s start with the 3 dimensions we need to determine material sizes and availability shown in Figure 1:

  • “R” Outside diameter of the rotor running against the Vespel® CR-6100
  • “B” Inside diameter of the bore the Vespel® CR-6100 will press into
  • “L” Length of the bore
  • Alternative: the O.D., I.D., and Length of the existing parts

If we have those 3 dimensions for each part plus the quantity of each part required, we can provide a quote

Dimensions of Design

Figure 1: Dimensions for designing a Vespel® CR-6100 part

To design parts for fabrication, we will need the dimensions of the mating hardware. While many wear parts have a simple O.D., I.D., and Length profile, some parts have additional features for which we will want the dimensions:

  • Some pump wear rings have profiles like an “L”, “T”, or “Z”. In those situations, we need to know each of the diameters and widths of any of the “shoulders” or “ribs” of the parts
  • Is the pump axially or radially split?
  • Are any of the parts are axially split?
  • For vertical pump shaft bearings, it will be helpful to know if there is any groove profile required-spiral grooves, axial grooves, how many, what diameter, how deep…
  • What is the existing material and clearance of the vertical pump shaft bearings?

Process Conditions

Vespel® CR-6100 works in most process services. It is manufactured from Teflon™ PFA and carbon fibers, so it is chemically resistant to nearly all process chemicals and it has a broad temperature range. There are only two general limitations:

  • Temperature range is cryogenic -300 F (-200 C) to 500 F (260 C)
  • Avoid abrasive slurries, slops, and bottoms services

To design the parts, the pump operating temperature is required in order to determine the correct press fit for the Vespel® CR-6100 parts.

 

Differential Pressure

If the components are going into a high-energy pump, such as a multi-stage horizontal charge pump or boiler feed water pump, we recommend that the patent-pending Boulden PERF-Seal™ design be used on all horizontal multi-stage pumps. The PERF-Seal™ design is fabricated from Vespel® CR-6100 and increases the efficiency gain and rotor damping associated with the upgrade. If the PERF-Seal™ is not used, we will need to know the differential pressure across the components in order to verify that they are designed correctly.

 

Figure 2: PERF-Seal center bushing from a boiler feed water pump

Conclusions

In the ideal situation, you can supply the dimensions of the parts required, the pump cross-sectional drawing, and the API data sheet for the pump. From this information, we can confirm that the service is a good fit for Vespel® CR-6100, quote the material or machined parts required, and make a recommendation on how to install Vespel® CR-6100 into the pump.

Please feel free to contact Boulden with your application details and dimensions. We’ll be happy to provide a budget estimate or a fixed quote depending on the information available. Once you decide to go forward with the upgrade, we have whatever material you need in stock in the USA, Europe, and Singapore.

Todays Photo

Petronas Towers, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Helpful Links:

Standard Stock Sizes of Vespel® CR-6100

Vespel® CR-6100 Product Data Sheet

Vespel® CR-6100 Machining Guide

3MW Boiler Feed Pump Case Study

If you need any material or have any questions. Please contact us today. Until next time.

Contact Us Today To Learn More About Vespel and Boulden Company!

 

 

When to Reduce the Clearance in Your Pump with DuPont™ Vespel® CR-6100

The industry “rule of thumb” says to reduce the wear ring clearance by 50%, but this isn’t always true.

Vespel® CR-6100 Upgrade Review

When you upgrade your pumps to Vespel® CR-6100, there are two steps:

  • Eliminate the metal-to-metal contact points in the pump
  • Reduce the running clearance (of the wear rings and throttle bushings)

However, you don’t always need to reduce the clearance. It depends on what you are trying to do and which component you are looking at. So, to determine whether or not to reduce the clearance, ask two questions:

 

What Problem am I Trying to Solve with Vespel® CR-6100?

Vespel® CR-6100 can be used to improve pump reliability and performance in many ways. Some benefits require reduced clearance, some do not. The following table gives some examples of where reducing clearance is needed vs. where it is not needed.

 

Reduced Clearance Required

Reduced Clearance Not Required

 

 

Is There Differential Pressure Across the Part?

Reducing the clearance can generally produce two beneficial effects in your pump:

  • Efficiency Improves: The leakage across the part will be reduced, improving pump efficiency and reducing the operating cost of the pump.
  • Improved Rotor Stability: The Lomakin Effect in the pump will be increased, increasing the hydraulic forces produce by the wear rings.

Both of these factors are driven by differential pressure across the part.

 

If the specific component you are upgrading to Vespel® CR-6100 is not exposed to differential pressure (i.e. vertical pump shaft bearing) there is no need to reduce the clearance.

 

Wear rings, throttle bushings, center bushings, balance bushings are all exposed to differential pressure. These are the parts where you want to reduce the clearance to obtain performance and rotor stability improvements. The rule of thumb is to reduce the clearance to 50% of the API minimum for metal parts. For most pumps in the hydrocarbon processing industry, this works.

 

These benefits are augmented using the patented PERF-Seal™ design from Boulden, which further reduces leakage across the part and dramatically increases the hydraulic damping from these components.

 

Exceptions to the 50% Wear Ring Clearance Rule

Because pumps come in all shapes and sizes, there are some places where we need to make exceptions and reduce the clearance by less than 50%.

  • Throat bushings-the throat bushing clearance often helps to control the mechanical seal flush rate. We recommend using the clearance recommended by your mechanical seal OEM to set the clearance of this part.
  • Wear rings in vertically suspended pumps-You don’t want to have the wear ring clearance tighter than the shaft bearing clearance. Therefore, our recommended minimum clearance for wear rings in vertically suspended pumps is the shaft bearing clearance + 0.002″ (0,05 mm).

Conclusions

Over the years, we have seen pump repair shops use a range of clearance values when applying Vespel® CR-6100 with great results. There is no single “best” way. That said, if you want to increase efficiency, you need to reduce the clearance of the parts exposed to differential pressure. If you are only trying to solve a run-dry or seizing problem, reducing the clearance is optional. For vertical pump shaft bearings, staying with the original design clearance is usually the best answer.

 

In any case, you can use our recommendations as a starting point. We supply these values in the clearance tables in our installation guide which you can download here:

 

Boulden Installation Guide for Vespel® CR-6100

 

Until next time, please feel free to contact Boulden if you would like to discuss the appropriate clearance for your pump upgrade. We’ll be happy to help and we have whatever material you need in stock in the USA, Europe, and Singapore.

 

Helpful Links on Vespel® CR-6100 and Wear Ring Clearance:

Standard Stock Sizes of Vespel® CR-6100

Vespel® CR-6100 Product Data Sheet

Vespel® CR-6100 Machining Guide

3MW Boiler Feed Pump Case Study

If you need any material or have any questions. Please contact us today. Until next time.

Upgrade to DuPont™ Vespel® CR-6100: 100%

Upgrading pumps with composite wear componentsThere is great satisfaction in doing a job all the way.

100%

In South Africa, when you make a statement that someone agrees with, they say “100 %”–similar to how other English speakers say “absolutely.” With that in mind, we want the pumps upgraded to Vespel® CR-6100 to be upgraded 100% whenever possible.

 

Review

 

When you upgrade your pumps to Vespel® CR-6100, there are two steps:

  • Eliminate the metal-to-metal contact points in the pump
  • Reduce the running clearance (of wear rings, center bushings, and throttle bushings)

Upgrading your pumps to Vespel CR-6100 Step #1

Our recommendation when upgrading to Vespel® CR-6100 is to convert all of the stationary wear parts to Vespel® CR-6100. All of the rotating parts remain metal, thus eliminating all of the metal-to-metal contact points in the pump. This essentially eliminates the risk of pump seizure.

 

Yet, once in a while, customers try to make a small change instead of fully upgrading the pump. The three partial upgrades we run into are:

Overhung Pumps

Older pumps with long slender shafts (high L/D ratios) create problems for mechanical seals due to excessive shaft deflection. If you want to increase the rotor stability of these pumps using the wear parts, you will want to upgrade the wear rings to Vespel® CR-6100 and reduce the clearance.

 

The reason is that the Lomakin Effect-the hydraulic force which stabilizes the rotor-is driven by differential pressure and the surface speed at the differential pressure interface. Wear rings have significant differential pressure and high velocity, creating a lot of stability from the Lomakin Effect. Throat bushings? Not so much.

 

Horizontal Multi-Stage Pumps

If a horizontal multi-stage pump like a boiler feed water pump seizes, it will usually occur at the center bushing or throttle bushing, depending on the pump type. These two components generally have the tightest clearance in the pump and will be the first points of contact. In these services, there is a temptation to only upgrade the one or two components which seized.

 

While this approach has been successful in reducing pump seizures, there are some limitations. Metal-to-metal contact points remain and thus there is still a possibility of seizure. If all of the wear parts are upgraded, the risk of seizure is essentially eliminated. Furthermore, the wear rings also add to the rotor stability and efficiency of these pumps. Upgrading the wear rings as well as the center and throttle bushings will make for a much better pump. Especially if you use the Boulden PERF-Seal™ design (patent-pending).

Two-stage kerosene pump with all the components upgrade to Vespel® CR-6100 and the PERF-Seal™ design

 

 

Center Bushing of a 2-stage pump.

 

Vertically Suspended Pumps

Vespel® CR-6100 is a great material for vertically suspended pump shaft bearings in LPG, butane, natural gas liquids (NGL), and other flashing products. It can survive running dry at start up with limited wear. It doesn’t break like a carbon part. This application for Vespel® CR-6100 is so common that Boulden carries a huge inventory of standard stock sizes for the dimensions typically used for shaft bearings.

 

What some users miss is the opportunity to also upgrade the case rings of these pumps and reduce the clearance. This addition to the upgrade eliminates the other potential seizing points in the pump. Furthermore, reducing the clearance increase the pump efficiency and reduces the NPSHR–all of this making the pump easier to operate.

 

In Summary

The only partial upgrade above which we do not recommend is trying to stabilize a rotor with a throat bushing. In our experience, this approach is marginally successful at best. The other partial upgrades have worked and there are situations where they are necessary. But, given the choice, why not do the job 100%?

 

The main point is to recognize that the maximum improvement in reliability, safety, and efficiency will be achieved if you upgrade all of the wear parts (Table 1) in your pump to Vespel® CR-6100.

Table 1: Components to upgrade to Vespel® CR-6100

Overhung Pumps Between Bearings Pumps Vertically Suspended Pumps
Case Wear Rings Case Wear Rings Case Wear Rings
Throat Bushings Throat Bushings Throat Bushings
Inter-Stage Bushings Line-shaft bearings  
Center-Stage Bushings Bowl bearings  
Throttle Bushings Bottom bushings

Contact Boulden Today for your Vespel® CR-6100 Needs!

If you have a pump operating at less than 500 F (260 C) where you want to improve the reliability or efficiency, contact Boulden today. We can provide you all of the details required for your upgrade and have the Vespel® CR-6100 material required for the upgrade in stock in a wide range of sizes available for immediate delivery.

 

Helpful Links:

Standard Stock Sizes of Vespel® CR-6100

Boulden Installation Guide for Vespel® CR-6100

Vespel® CR-6100 Product Data Sheet

Vespel® CR-6100 Machining Guide

3MW Boiler Feed Pump Case Study

 

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