In addition to selecting the proper materials of construction, other design features of the pump are vital to maximizing pump life. Mechanical shaft seals, for example, restrain product leakage around the pump shaft.
It’s also important to consider the sediments that will pass through the pump and the types of fluid that will be circulated through the pump. It may be beneficial to select a pump model that will pass expected sediments, such as fine rocks or sand concentrations. As a mechanism to protect pumps from clogging, seizing or reducing overall pumping efficiency through wear, pump manufacturers will publish a sphere size that can pass through the impellers and pump passageways.
Impeller and bowl wear rings provide a less costly replaceable component at the bowl and impeller running surface and can be added as the application dictates. Likewise, rifle drilling of the shaft can protect bearings in abrasive services and suction strainers will filter out large particulates from entering and harming the pump.
As mining operations continue to seek ways to reduce their overall operating costs and extend product life, a growing number of operators are considering rebowling their existing vertical turbine pumps with newer, more efficient bowls with hydraulic designs, or retrofitting their equipment with variable frequency drives (VFDs).
Product life expectancy of a turbine pump is enhanced by the operation of the VFD, which speeds up or slows down the pump depending on demand.
VFDs enable pumps to respond smoothly and efficiently to fluctuations in demand. Today’s VFDs are robust, reliable and cost-effective, helping users avoid the wear and tear of repeated on-off cycling.