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Pumps

Principle , Operation and Maintenance




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5.0 CONSTRUCTION OF CENTRIFUGAL PUMPS:
Casing
Casings are generally of two types: volute and circular. The impellers are
fitted inside the casings.

1. Volute casings build a higher head; circular casings are used for low
head and high capacity.
A volute is a curved funnel increasing in area to the discharge port as
shown in (Figure 5.1). As the area of the cross-section increases, the
volute reduces the speed of the liquid and increases the pressure of the
liquid.
















Figure5.1: Cut-away of a pump showing volute casing

One of the main purposes of a volute casing is to help balance the
hydraulic pressure on the shaft of the pump. However, this occurs best
at the manufacturer's recommended capacity. Running volute-style
pumps at a lower capacity than the manufacturer recommends can put
lateral stress on the shaft of the pump, increasing wear-and-tear on the
seals and bearings, and on the shaft itself. Double- volute casings are
used when the radial thrusts become significant at reduced capacities.

2. Circular casing have stationary diffusion vanes surrounding the impeller
periphery that convert velocity energy to pressure energy. Conventionally,
the diffusers are applied to multi-stage pumps.

The casings can be designed either as solid casings or split casings.
Solid casing implies a design in which the entire casing including the
discharge nozzle is all contained in one casting or fabricated piece. A
split casing implies two or more parts are fastened together. When the
casing parts are divided by horizontal plane, the casing is described as
horizontally split or axially split casing. When the split is in a vertical
plane perpendicular to the rotation axis, the casing is described as
vertically split or radially split casing. Casing Wear rings act as the seal
between the casing and the impeller.


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Figure 5.2: Solid Casing

Types of Pump Casing:
Centrifugal pumps are used in a very wide range of applications and
therefore vary considerably in their construction. Because of this, pump
casings are made in many different forms and sizes, some of which are
shown in (Figures 5.3 and 5. 4).

Casings may be split either vertically, horizontally or diagonally (at an angle
between vertical and horizontal).

Vertically split casings (also known as radially split casings) are used in
close coupled designs as shown in (Figure 5. 5).

Horizontally split casings (also known as axially split casings) usually have
the suction and discharge branches fixed to the lower half of the casing so
that the top half can be easily removed for internal access to the rotating
assembly and bearings. (Refer to Figure 5. 6).

For very high pressure applications a barrel casing is used. The split inner
casing fits inside the stronger barrel casing and in some designs the
discharge pressure between the two casings helps to keep the two halves of
the inner casing sealed together. (Refer to Figure 5. 6).








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Figure 4.22: Types of Pump Casing










Figure 5.3
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Figure 4.23: Types of Pump Casing








Figure 5.3

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In a single volute pump the pressures around the impeller are
not uniform. This has the effect of creating a radial thrust upon
the impeller which produces a bending action on the shaft.

If radial thrust becomes too great then the shaft may deflect
to cause excessive wear of bearings, wear rings and even shaft
breakage.
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Heavier shafting could reduce shaft deflection, but this would not be an
economical solution. The ideal design would be one which reduces radial
thrust to an acceptable level.

Such a design is often used in the casings of horizontally split pumps and is
known as Double Volute. This design consists of two liquid passages placed
180
o
apart, so that any pressure imbalance around one volute is equalized by
the other volute. (Refer to Figure 5. 7).



















Figure 5. 7: Single and Double Volute Pump Casings

In seeking to overcome the problem of radial thrust, some pump casings
use a split volute design instead of a double volute.

Part of the volute and discharge branch is separated into two halves by a
dividing wall and this helps to balance the hydraulic radial forces acting on the
impeller. (Refer to Figure 5. 8).













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Figure 5. 8: Split Volute Type Casing

Diffuser Pump Casings:
Some pumps do not have a volute type of casing, but instead use a
diffuser which converts the velocity energy of the pumped liquid into
pressure energy.

The impeller is surrounded by the guide vanes of the diffuser which
enable liquid to leave the impeller at high velocity and enter the diffuser
without shock. This is done by carefully choosing the correct angles for the
vanes.

As the pumped liquid flows through the spaces between the diffuser
vanes, the velocity of flow is decreased because of the enlargement of the
area of liquid flow path.

The reduction of kinetic (velocity) energy is balanced by an increase in
pressure energy. The liquid leaves the diffuser at a higher pressure than it
leaves the impeller, then enters the casing annulus and finally leaves at the
discharge branch. (Refer to Figure 5. 9).

Diffusers are frequently used in multi-stage pumps and are more
efficient than volute types of casing. However, diffuser designs are more
costly than volute designs and therefore single-stage diffuser pumps are
not used as often as volute types because of the expense.





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Figure 5. 9: Diffuser Type Pump Casing

Multi-Stage Pumps:
When the pressure required from a pump is greater than that which can be
provided by a single-impeller pump, there are two possible solutions:

(a) Connect several similar pumps in series so that the discharge from the
first pump enters the suction branch of the second pump and so on until
the required pressure is attained.

(b)Use a multi-stage pump.

Option (a) would work well, but is not efficient because each pump needs
its own driver and a great amount of space would be needed.

Option (b) needs only one driver and takes up much less space.

Multi-stage centrifugal pumps have several impellers which are all mounted
on the same shaft which fits into a single casing.
The pressure is increased by a fixed amount each time the liquid passes from
the outlet of one impeller into the suction inlet of the next impeller. Each
impeller is regarded as "stage" and the greater the number of stages used the
greater will be the final discharge pressure.

It is important to realize that a multi-stage pump cannot provide flow rates
greater than that of a single-stage pump which uses a similar impeller. Multi-
stage centrifugal pumps are therefore used for high pressure applications and
not for high flow rate purposes.

(Figure 5.10) shows the flow pattern in two adjacent stages of a multi-stage
centrifugal pump. The discharge from the first stage impeller is guided by the
vanes of a diffuser into the suction eye of the second stage impeller.

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In addition to guiding the liquid flow from one impeller to the next, the
diffuser also acts in a similar manner to a volute by converting velocity energy
(kinetic energy) into pressure energy.





































Figure 5.10: Flow Through Two Stages of a Multi-stage Pump



Hydraulic Balance Drum:
It has already been stated that a force called "Axial Thrust" can act upon an
impeller because of the pressure difference across it.

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With multi-stage pumps, this axial thrust is much greater than with a single-
stage pump and unless some method can be used to reduce it, excessive
wear would soon develop in the thrust bearing which would be needed to
accommodate this thrust.

One method used to neutralize axial thrust in a multi-stage pump is to fit a
balance drum (or balance disc) to the shaft near the discharge end of the
pump.

The principle of operation of a balance drum is shown below in (Figure
5.11). Because of the pressure difference across each impeller, an axial force
will tend to push the shaft towards the suction end of the pump.

The balance drum is secured to the shaft and because it also has a
pressure difference across it, an axial force will tend to push the shaft towards
the discharge end of the pump.

If the diameter of the balance drum is carefully chosen, then the axial thrust
developed by the impellers is balanced by a thrust in the opposite direction
provided by the balance drum.




















Figure 5.11: Balance Drum Operation


Suction and Discharge Nozzle
The suction and discharge nozzles are part of the casings itself. They
commonly have the following configurations.

1. End suction/Top discharge (Figure 5.12) - The suction nozzle is
located at the end of, and concentric to, the shaft while the discharge
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nozzle is located at the top of the case perpendicular to the shaft. This
pump is always of an overhung type and typically has lower NPSHR
because the liquid feeds directly into the impeller eye.

2. Top suction Top discharge nozzle (Figure 5.12) -The suction and
discharge nozzles are located at the top of the case perpendicular to
the shaft. This pump can either be an overhung type or between-
bearing type but is always a radially split case pump.





























Figure 5.12: Suction and Discharge Nozzle Locations.

3. Side suction / Side discharge nozzles - The suction and discharge
nozzles are located at the sides of the case perpendicular to the shaft.
This pump can have either an axially or radially split case type.

Seal Chamber and Stuffing Box
Seal chamber and Stuffing box both refer to a chamber, either integral
with or separate from the pump case housing that forms the region
between the shaft and casing where sealing media are installed. When the
sealing is achieved by means of a mechanical seal, the chamber is
commonly referred to as a Seal Chamber. When the sealing is achieved
by means of packing, the chamber is referred to as a Stuffing Box. Both
the seal chamber and the stuffing box have the primary function of
protecting the pump against leakage at the point where the shaft passes
out through the pump pressure casing. When the pressure at the bottom of
the chamber is below atmospheric, it prevents air leakage into the pump.
When the pressure is above atmospheric, the chambers prevent liquid
leakage out of the pump. The seal chambers and stuffing boxes are also
provided with cooling or heating arrangement for proper temperature
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control. (Figure 5.13) below depicts an externally mounted seal chamber
and its parts.



Figure 5.13: Parts of a simple Seal Chamber.

Gland: The gland is a very important part of the seal chamber or the
stuffing box. It gives the packings or the mechanical seal the desired fit
on the shaft sleeve. It can be easily adjusted in axial direction. The
gland comprises of the seal flush, quench, cooling, drain, and vent
connection ports as per the standard codes like API 682.

Throat bushing: The bottom or inside end of the chamber is provided
with a stationary device called throat bushing that forms a restrictive
close clearance around the sleeve (or shaft) between the seal and the
impeller.

Throttle bushing refers to a device that forms a restrictive close
clearance around the sleeve (or shaft) at the outboard end of a
mechanical seal gland.

Internal circulating device refers to device located in the seal
chamber to circulate seal chamber fluid through a cooler or
barrier/buffer fluid reservoir. Usually it is referred to as a pumping ring.

Mechanical Seal: The features of a mechanical seal will be discussed
in Part-II of the article.

Bearing housing
The bearing housing encloses the bearings mounted on the shaft. The
bearings keep the shaft or rotor in correct alignment with the stationary
parts under the action of radial and transverse loads. The bearing house
also includes an oil reservoir for lubrication, constant level oiler, jacket for
cooling by circulating cooling water.
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Impeller
The impeller is the main rotating part that provides the centrifugal
acceleration to the fluid. They are often classified in many ways.

Based on major direction of flow in reference to the axis of rotation
Radial flow
Axial flow
Mixed flow

Based on mechanical construction (Figure 5.14A)
Closed: Shrouds or sidewall enclosing the vanes.
Open: No shrouds or wall to enclose the vanes.
Semi-open or vortex type.



Figure 5.14A: Impeller types.

Based on suction type (Figure 5.15)
Single-suction: Liquid inlet on one side.
Double-suction: Liquid inlet to the impeller symmetrically from both sides.

(Figure 5.15a) shows an open type impeller whose vanes are attached to
central hub and have small shrouds between them. This type of impeller is not
so likely to become blocked by solids that may be present in the pumped
liquid, but it is not so efficient as the enclosed type.

(Figure 5.15b) shows a semi-open type impeller which has a shroud at one
side only. This type is also useful for pumping liquids containing solids and
gives better flow control than the fully-open type.

(Figure 5.15c) shows an enclosed type impeller which has a shroud at
each side to enclose the liquid passages and with the eye (liquid inlet) at one
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side only. This type of impeller gives better flow control and is more efficient
than open and semi-open types.

(Figure 5.15d) shows a double-suction impeller which has a liquid inlet
(eye) at both sides. This type is also closed-vane, but can handle larger
quantities of liquid flow and reduces axial thrust on the pump shaft because of
its hydraulic balance.






























Figure 5.15: Impeller types.

The pump may be constructed with a single impeller or when high pressure
applications are required, with two or more impellers mounted on the same
shaft. The impellers will be either the single-entry type or the double-entry
type, more commonly known as the single-suction and double-suction type.

In double-suction impellers the velocity of the liquid entering the eye of the
impeller is decreased, permitting better suction performance. This design is
used for low NPSH applications and where high flow rates are required.

Closed impellers require wear rings and these wear rings present another
maintenance problem. Open and semi-open impellers are less likely to clog,
but need manual adjustment to the volute or back-plate to get the proper
impeller setting and prevent internal re-circulation. Vortex pump impellers are
great for solids and "stringy" materials but they are up to 50% less efficient
than conventional designs. The number of impellers determines the number of
stages of the pump. A single stage pump has one impeller only and is best for
low head service. A two-stage pump has two impellers in series for medium
head service. A multi-stage pump has three or more impellers in series for
high head service.
(a) Open Design Impeller (b) Typical Semi-open Impeller
(c) Full y -enclosed Impeller (d) Double Suction Impeller
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Figure 5.16: Single and Double Suction Impellers

A centrifugal pump cannot operate properly with either air or gas because it
is designed to move only liquids. Before the liquid enters the impeller eye it
must overcome losses of suction pressure caused by pipe friction, valves,
turbulence, etc., which will, all tend to reduce the NPSH available.

Hydraulic Balance of Impeller:
Certain types of impeller create an unbalanced axial force or thrust which is
caused by the difference in hydraulic pressure between the suction and
discharge sides of the impeller, as shown in (Figure 5.17 a) below.

This axial thrust acts towards the suction side of the impeller and can
contribute towards premature bearing failure, especially in multi-stage pumps,
unless it can be reduced or eliminated by suitable design.

Several design options are possible to cancel out or reduce axial thrust,
some of which are:

Use of double suction type impellers. These are hydraulically balanced,
as shown in (Figure 5.17 b). a sectional view of a double suction pump
is shown in (Figure 5.18).

Use of hydraulically balanced impellers of the type shown in (Figure
5.19). these may be recognized by the provision of wear rings at both
sides and also by the balance holes in the shroud at the discharge side
of the impeller.

Mounting impellers of a multi-stage pump in a back-to-back manner
cancels out axial thrust, as shown in (Figure 5.20).

Double Suction Impeller Single Suction Impeller
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Use of a Balance Disc or Balance Drum (sometimes called a Balance
Piston). This device is described in a later section dealing with multi-
stage pumps.














Figure 5.17: Hydraulic Axial Thrust on Impellers


































Figure 5.18: Double Suction Centrifugal Pump.






DISCHARGE
PRESSURE
SUCTION
PRESSURE
DISCHARGE
PRESSURE
DISCHARGE
PRESSURE
SUCTION
PRESSURE
SUCTION
PRESSURE
Double Suction Impeller Single Suction Impeller
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Figure 4.39: Hydraulicall y Balanced Impeller.




Figure 5.19: Hydraulicall y balanced impeller.























Figure 4.5: Back to Back Impellers









Figure 5.20: Back-to-Back Impellers.


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Wear rings:
Wear ring provides an easily and economically renewable leakage joint
between the impeller and the casing. clearance becomes too large the pump
efficiency will be lowered causing heat and vibration problems. Most
manufacturers require that you disassemble the pump to check the wear ring
clearance and replace the rings when this clearance doubles.

Shaft:
The basic purpose of a centrifugal pump shaft is to transmit the torques
encountered when starting and during operation while supporting the impeller
and other rotating parts. It must do this job with a deflection less than the
minimum clearance between the rotating and stationary parts.

Shaft Sleeve:
(Figure 4.41): Pump shafts are usually protected from erosion, corrosion,
and wear at the seal chambers, leakage joints, internal bearings, and in the
waterways by renewable sleeves. Unless otherwise specified, a shaft sleeve
of wear, corrosion, and erosion resistant material shall be provided to protect
the shaft. The sleeve shall be sealed at one end. The shaft sleeve assembly
shall extend beyond the outer face of the seal gland plate. (Leakage between
the shaft and the sleeve should not be confused with leakage through the
mechanical seal).













Figure 5.21: A view of a shaft sleeve.

Coupling:
Couplings can compensate for axial growth of the shaft and transmit torque
to the impeller. Shaft couplings can be broadly classified into two groups: rigid
and flexible. Rigid couplings are used in applications where there is absolutely
no possibility or room for any misalignment. Flexible shaft couplings are more
prone to selection, installation and maintenance errors. Flexible shaft
couplings can be divided into two basic groups: elastomeric and non-
elastomeric:

Elastomeric couplings use either rubber or polymer elements to achieve
flexibility. These elements can either be in shear or in compression. Tire
and rubber sleeve designs are elastome r in shear couplings; jaw and pin
and bushing designs are elastomer in compression couplings.

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Non-elastomeric couplings use metallic elements to obtain flexibility.
These can be one of two types: lubricated or nonlubricated. Lubricated
designs accommodate misalignment by the sliding action of their
components, hence the need for lubrication. The non-lubricated designs
accommodate misalignment through flexing. Gear, grid and chain
couplings are examples of non-elastomeric, lubricated couplings. Disc
and diaphragm couplings are non-elastomeric and nonlubricated.