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Improving pump efficiency with protective coatings

Pumps are valuable assets that need to be protected and maintained if they are to operate reliably. They are subject to some of the most extreme operating conditions, such as chemical attack, impact, erosion and abrasion, which are constantly at work reducing the efficiency and lifespan of users’ pumps. Protective coatings can improve flow efficiencies by up to three per cent and are a practical, cost-effective way to protect pumps against these extreme conditions.

Coatings not only improve pump efficiency and operation but can also extend the life of a pump when coupled with regular maintenance.

Protective coatings such as those manufactured by Chesterton ARC can be used to repair and rehabilitate pumps that have displayed a reduction in operational reliability.  
ARC coatings are specially engineered to be used on pumps to improve flow characteristics through achieving reduced surface energy and increased smoothness. This helps improve pump efficiency and reduce energy consumption, as well as increase equipment longevity which helps reduce whole of life costs.

Effect on corrosion and erosion

pumps_pump_efficiencyCorrosion and erosion decrease pump efficiency by reducing the wear to the interior material of the pump that can cause weakening. Coatings minimise these effects on the pump, enhancing productivity and reducing the cost of operation.

Corrosion occurs when a chemical reaction happens between the material surface of the pump and the pumping liquid.

Erosion describes the natural process of wear that occurs when pumping fluids carry abrasive substances like sand.

Both increase the roughness of the interior pump surface. This causes an increased need for energy expenditure. High flow velocities can exacerbate this issue, creating points of frailty.

While choosing a pump with appropriate materials for an application can help mitigate some of the effects of corrosion, there are some cases where this does not provide enough protection against damage. This is where coatings can help maximise efficiency. By forming a protective barrier between fluid and material, coatings can prevent weakening, and extend the life of equipment.

Reducing friction

Closely related to the effects of erosion and corrosion, another benefit of protective coating is the reduction of frictional resistance to flow. This improves the hydro-dynamic conditions of the interior and increases efficiency by reducing the amount of wear on equipment.

The more friction that occurs within pump operations, the more energy required for it to function at a satisfactory standard. This increase in energy puts more pressure on equipment materials and parts, fastening the rate of wear. If this process is left without proper pump maintenance, a critical failure can occur.

Using a protective coating smooths and reduces friction while increasing wear resistance, which in turn ensures a longer period of efficiency, saving users money over the life of a pump.

Energy efficiency

Inefficiency caused by interior roughness increases the amount of energy a pump requires to move substances. The more wear that occurs, the more energy expended, and in turn, operational efficiency is lowered, resulting in extra costs for pump users both in terms of time and money.

In pump applications, coating technology involves reducing the interior roughness and pump friction losses that lead to inefficiency. Usually, this will mean sandblasting and applying an ultra smooth epoxy ceramic polyamide coating to the interior surfaces of pumping equipment.

This both smooths and protects against future corrosive and erosive forces that can quickly wear equipment that has only been sandblasted or scraped smooth.

Increased lifespan

Considering lifecycle cost analysis, pump users can save on energy expenditure and cost from increasing the energy efficiency of pumps using protective coatings. The cost of energy from running a pump over its lifecycle will be more expensive than the pump itself, moreso if the pump has issues with inefficiency.

High-quality pump coatings can increase the lifecycle of pumping equipment by reducing wear that causes higher energy expenditure and physical flaws such as points of frailty. If incorporated at installation, coatings can greatly reduce the lifecycle costs of running pumping equipment.

A high-quality protective coating for your pumps can save you countless time and money over the life of a pump. That’s why FITT’s servicing team is focused on both energy efficiency and operational performance – coating is the best way to get the job done.

FITT has found that the application of Chesterton ARC industrial coatings has shown improved flow efficiencies by up to three per cent over the original equipment manufacturer’s stated efficiency curves. Considered over the lifespan of a piece of equipment, this can mean significant improvements in energy efficiency compared to that of a mechanically maintained pump.

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