South Africa – A liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) pump manufacturer has been distributing its portable LPG gas pumps to rural areas around South Africa. These pumps are particularly suited to remote and mobile sites, which makes it all the more imperative that running costs and pump maintenance be kept to a bare minimum. The manufacturer opted for Vesconite piston-rod bushings and piston discs, due to the polymer’s low friction, high dimensional stability and ability to withstand temperature changes. As a result, maintenance and running costs were significantly reduced.
A pump containing three sleeve bearings made from a new bearing material, Hitemp 160 − which can operate to temperatures up to 160°C and is resistant to abrasive material − has been tested in a pump that has received South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) certification.
APE Pumps, a pump supplier to many countries, including Zambia, Iraq and South Africa, replaced every pump bushing that it was able to with Vesconite. The company had tried many different types of bushings but was impressed with Vesconite’s toughness, long-life and self-lubricating qualities.
When a large energy company in Africa required lineshaft and bowl bearings for condensate pumps at its 4,000 MW power station, it turned to Hitemp 150, an engineered polymer produced by Vesconite Bearings, that can survive temperatures up to 150°C (300°F). The condensate pumps in question reach temperatures of 110°C (230°F), so the contractor to the power producer is satisfied that the pumps will last and that the bearings will not melt, as would be the case with many other polymers.
One of South Africa’s largest independent polyurethane and plastic foam manufacturers restarted an important gear pump, used to pump glue to rebound foam chips, without difficulty after the company’s December-January closed period. Not only that, the Vesconite Hilube pump bushings, which were inspected at the time of the restart, showed no wear.
A large pump original equipment manufacturer compared energy usage on a typical submersible pump when a Vesconite Hilube wear ring was in place and when a bronze wear ring had been installed. The results independently proved Vesconite Hilube’s ability to improve pumping efficiency and decrease electricity usage.
When the team responsible for the maintenance of the irrigation system at one of South Africa’s premier golf courses was confronted with high levels of debris and pumps running dry for periods, it shifted to a high temperature resistant, high wear resistant polymer, Hitemp 150, for replacement pump bowl bushings. The bushings lasted a year without a scratch.
A Turkish OEM that supplied a Nile River project with one of its pumps that had been fitted with Vesconite Hilube polymer components in late 2018 reports that the line shaft bushings continue to operate well. The project is associated with abrasive water with a large proportion of sand particulates for which hard-wearing Vesconite Hilube is ideal.
The Australian distributor of Vesconite and Vesconite Hilube continues to supply the company that first proved Vesconite’s suitability for pump applications over 30 years ago. Some 40 to 80 sets of bearings end up in various pumps that this Australian branch of a global pump company uses in repairs or for unique applications, including models of different sizes employed in a variety of conditions.