Composite Centrifugal Pump Wear Rings

 
Composite wear rings installed in a multi-stage LPG pump

Composite wear rings installed in a multi-stage LPG pump

Composite wear rings

Composite wear rings installed in a boiler feed water pump

Upgrading your pump wear rings to reinforced composite materials like Vespel® CR-6100 or Boulden B-835 is one of the simplest, fastest ways for you to improve your pump reliability and efficiency. Pump composite wear rings eliminate the metal-to-metal interface within the pump and replace it with a metal to composite interface.

Boulden composite centrifugal pump wear rings eliminate metal-to-metal contact points within the pump, which allows the clearance at the wear rings to be reduced, practically eliminating the risk of galling and seizure within the pump.

Contact us for more information regarding our pump composite wear ring options or call us at 800-523-0569 and we will gladly assist you with your exact centrifugal pump wear ring questions. Boulden is your trusted source for state-of-the-art composite centrifugal pump wear rings.

Pump Composite Wear Ring Key Features

Pump wear rings are simple components, but they have a profound impact on pump reliability, efficiency, and safety.

Most centrifugal pump designs include replaceable rotating wear rings on the impeller (impeller wear rings) and stationary wear rings inside the casing (case wear rings). The wear rings serve three key purposes:

  • Create the contact area between rotating and stationary parts inside the pump
  • Reduce internal recirculation from pump discharge to pump suction or between stages
  • Create hydraulic forces which stabilize the pump rotor

The wear ring running clearance impacts pump discharge pressure, flow, efficiency, power consumption, vibration, and cavitation. Using composite wear rings with reduced clearance has a positive impact on all these factors.

Composite Centrifugal Pump Wear Ring Advantages

Long-term, large scale field studies have shown that composite materials can improve pump life by up to 100%, reduce vibrations, and reduce seal leaks. Field tests and pump test stands have shown that reduce clearance can improve pump efficiency anywhere from 2-5% for typical process pumps. Additional pump composite wear ring material benefits include:

  • Eliminating the metal-to-metal contact points essentially eliminates the risk of galling or seizure
  • The wear rings will not seize or gall during slow roll or alignment
  • The pump will have a better tolerance of run-dry events and other process upsets, with a chance of surviving extended off-design conditions
  • Lower vibration due to improved damping at the wear rings
  • Fewer seal leaks due to reduced pump vibration and reduced shaft deflection due to tighter wear ring clearance
  • Higher efficiency due to lower leakage losses across the wear rings
  • Reduced risk of cavitation because tighter wear ring clearances improve NPSHR

To know which material is right for your application, send your pump data sheet and cross section when you, contact Boulden or request a quote. We will help you find the best fit for your pump. 

Pump Wear Rings Experience Wear

Pump wear rings are the contact zone between rotating and stationary parts. During start-up, shut down, and off-design operation, the rotating and stationary rings come into contact. This contact creates friction and wear. Under adverse conditions, the wear rings can seize causing severe damage. To avoid seizure, the pump industry has adopted two main approaches.

Standard Approach: Metal Wear Rings

The standard approach uses metal wear rings, with which there is an inherent risk of seizure. Per API610, to minimize the risk of seizure using metal rings, the impeller and case rings should have a Brinnell hardness number difference of at least 50, unless both rings have a Brinnell hardness number greater than 400. Furthermore, the rings should use a generous clearance as spelled out in the API610 11th Edition Standard for Centrifugal Pumps. For hot pumps or pumps which still seize, clearance is further increased.

Modern Approach: Composite Case Rings

The modern approach combines the use of metal impeller wear rings with case rings that are manufactured from composite materials like DuPont™ Vespel® CR-6100 and Boulden B-835. This upgrade eliminates the metal-to-metal contact points within the pump, essentially eliminating the risk of pump seizure. This allows for easier assembly, alignment, and operation of the pump and allows the pump to reliably run with clearances significantly less than API610 recommended clearances for metal parts (Table 1).

Table 1: API610 Wear Ring Clearance vs. Vespel® CR-6100 Clearance

Table 1: API610 Wear Ring Clearance vs. Vespel® CR-6100 Clearance

Inches

mm

Diameter

Clearance Metal

Clearance Vespel® CR-6100

Diameter

Clearance Metal

Clearance Vespel® CR-6100

3.000—3.499

0.013”

0.007”

80—89.99

0.33

0.17

3.500—3.999

0.014”

0.007”

90—99.99

0.35

0.18

4.000—4.499

0.015”

0.008”

100—114.99

0.38

0.19

4.500—4.999

0.016”

0.008”

115—124.99

0.40

0.20

5.000—5.999

0.017”

0.009”

125—149.99

0.43

0.22

6.000—6.999

0.018”

0.009”

150—174.99

0.45

0.23

7.000—7.999

0.019”

0.010”

175—199.99

0.48

0.24

8.000—8.999

0.020”

0.010”

200—224.99

0.50

0.25

9.000—9.999

0.021”

0.011”

225—249.99

0.53

0.27

10.000—10.999

0.022”

0.011”

250—274.99

0.55

0.28

11.000—11.999

0.023”

0.012”

275—299.99

0.58

0.29

12.000—12.999

0.024”

0.012”

300—324.99

0.60

0.30

13.000—13.999

0.025”

0.013”

325—349.99

0.63

0.32

14.000—14.999

0.026”

0.013”

350—374.99

0.65

0.33

15.000—16.000

0.027”

0.014”

375—399.99

0.68

0.34

 

Upgrading Pump Wear Rings to Composite Materials

Composite pump wear rings provide significant advantages over metal components. The following list provides you with what to do when upgrading pump wear rings to composite materials.

  • Replace the metal stationary wear rings with an appropriate composite material and continue using the current metallic components on the rotating rings. (Standard wear ring materials and finishes generally work fine but contact Boulden with any questions.)
  • Depending on the part geometry and operating temperature, the composite material can be installed as either an insert or a solid ring (see photos above).
  • Reduce the wear ring clearance to a minimum of 50% of the API recommended wear ring clearance (depending on pump geometry)
  • Make sure the pump overhaul results in good rotor concentricity. (The rotor should turn freely after assembly. Slight rubbing at the wear rings from shaft sag is normal, but any hard rubs should be corrected before putting the pump into service.)

Contact Boulden to upgrade your pump wear rings to composite materials Today

Contact Boulden with your application details to upgrade your pumps to Dupont Vespel® CR-6100 or Boulden B-835 composite materials today. We have the composite materials you need in stock and ready for immediate shipment. Or if you want to know more about the composite materials we offer and applications, sign up for our newsletter!