An Albany GX gear pump was installed at the Barry, Vale of Glamorgan plant of Dow Corning Limited to carry out a challenging duty. The company needed a pump which would cope with a 4–1 turndown ratio on a silicone process fluid of widely varying viscosity.
The pump operates at 5 bar, maintaining the level in a vacuum process vessel. Delivery flows vary from 75-250 l/h. Pumping light viscosities at lower speeds increases the possibility of slip and inefficient operation.
Albany suggested the pump, as the design minimised ‘dead’ areas of fluid around the seals. In addition, the pump, which was supplied in iron for this application, has double mechanical seals, providing the extra security against leakage which Dow Corning required.
Another feature of the design, which increased its attractiveness for this application, is ease of maintenance. Simply unscrewing four bolts allows the rotor assembly to be withdrawn for service, without disturbing the process pipework.
Albany manufactured special branches and a bedplate to fit the existing pipework and pump plinth. This minimised the cost of changing to the new pump.