Vesconite Hilube bearings resilient in hypochlorite environment
24 May 2024

At a Gulf Coast seawater cooling pump station, the resilience of Vesconite Hilube bearings in hypochlorite came to the forefront, showcasing their superiority in challenging environments.

Sodium hypochlorite, commonly known as bleach, is a staple in water treatment and cooling systems and is hailed for its potent disinfectant, anti-microbial and marine-growth-inhibiting properties. These properties led to hypochlorite being adopted at the Gulf Coast deepwater cooling application where seawater must be disinfected before use.

However, when its concentration was inadequately monitored at the pump station, the consequences were severe.

Pumps fitted with conventional A106 seamless carbon steel and bronze wear components suffered considerable damage due to exposure to concentrations of hypochlorite exceeding the typical 2-3 ppm concentrations.

In contrast, pumps fitted with Vesconite Hilube parts emerged unscathed, demonstrating remarkable resilience to the corrosive effects of hypochlorite. Even after eight years of operation in these conditions, Vesconite Hilube bearings show no deterioration.

Commenting on this development, Vesconite Bearings application engineer Louis Gouws remarks, “We are delighted to see our Vesconite Hilube bearings deliver exceptional performance in environments challenged by hypochlorite.‚ÄĚ

‚ÄúThis reaffirms our commitment to providing solutions that withstand the most demanding conditions, ensuring uninterrupted operation for our customers,‚ÄĚ he says.

Damaged pump with deteriorated bronze bushings.
Damaged pump with unaffected Vesconite Hilube bushings.

Vesconite Bearings’ chemical-resistance chart underscores the suitability of Vesconite bearings and wear parts for environments exposed to various chemicals, including acids, alkalis, organic compounds, solvents, oils, and fuels. Notably, Vesconite Hilube bearings can withstand sodium hypochlorite solutions, making them the ideal choice for water applications where hypochlorite is used.

The success of Vesconite Hilube bearings in this demanding application has prompted the scheduling of replacements for pumps fitted with bronze components, with Vesconite Hilube parts set to take their place. This transition reflects a strategic shift towards reliability and longevity in pump operation, mitigating the risks associated with chemical exposure.

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