Belzona Polymerics Limited, a manufacturer of polymer repair composites and industrial protective coatings has developed a hydrophobic, smooth-surfaced coating system which could improve pumps’ operational efficiency.

The coating, called Belzona 1341 Supermetalglide has been tested at the National Engineering Laboratories (NEL) which are part of the UK’s Department of Trade and Industry. In the tests, a single stage, end suction centrifugal pump with 10 inch suction and discharges branches ran at 1300 rpm, was found to deliver 875m3/hr at 26.5 meter head with an overall peak efficiency of 83.5% in its uncoated condition.

The same pump coated with Belzona Supermetalglide gave a 6% increase at peak efficiency, with a power reduction of 5.1kW at duty point. Assuming a 5,000 hour operating cycle/annum, the power saving over this period would amount 25,400kW/hr, the company says.

A major problem in pumps is increased turbulence caused by the detrimental effects of erosion corrosion. This leads to rough and pitted surfaces which, in turn, can increase drag, therefore reducing the efficiency of the system.

“It is not unusual for a pump which has been in service for a number of years to be operating at 15-20% below its design efficiency, due to the effects of erosion corrosion,” said David Blackwell, engineering director for Belzona explained. “By rebuilding and protecting these damaged areas with a Belzona corrosion and erosion resistant material it is possible to not only restore flow rates, but also increase the efficiency level of the pump to beyond that when it was newly installed.”

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