The repeated failure of rubber-covered rotors and volute liners in a flue gas desulfurization system after conversion from lime slurry reagent to limestone slurry reagent was investigated. The pump was a horizontal 50 x 65 mm (2 x 2.5 in.) Galiger pump with a split cast iron case and open rotor (impeller). Both the case and the ductile iron rotor core were covered by natural rubber. Analyses conducted included surface examination of wear patterns, chemical analysis of materials, measurement of mechanical properties, and in-place flow tests. It was determined that the proximate cause of failure was cavitation and vortexing between the rotor and the lining. The root cause of the failure was the conversion from lime to limestone slurry without appropriate modification of the pump. Conversion to the limestone slurry resulted in fluid dynamics outside the operational limits of the pump. The recommended remedial action was replacement with a pump appropriately sized for the desired pressures and flow rates for limestone slurry.
Peter F. Ellis, II, Repeated Failure of Rubber Slurry Pump Impellers and Liners in a Flue Gas Desulfurization Plant, Handbook of Case Histories in Failure Analysis, Vol 1, Edited By Khlefa A. Esaklul, ASM International, 1992, p 284–286, https://doi.org/10.31399/asm.fach.v01.c9001087
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