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Sealless pumps help solve 'sticky' problems

21 September 2011

Pumping resinous glue at high temperatures presents a sticky problem for certain types of pump, especially when there is an added complication of the glue containing particulates

This challenging pumping application is part of the process of manufacturing Oriented Strand Board (OSB) a timber based building product which is similar to plywood. However, Hydra-Cell sealless positive displacement pumps, available from Michael Smith Engineers have proved to be successful on this application, where other types of pump have failed.

OSB is recognised as an innovative, environmentally sustainable timber-based material for both structural and non-structural building applications and is manufactured by compressing strands of wood with resins at high temperature to create strong and versatile panels.

Originally gear pumps were being used to deliver the resinous glue into a mixing chamber, where it is sprayed onto wood fibres in the early stages of the manufacturing process.

Chosen for their high pressure capability, these pumps leaked persistently through their mechanical seals causing damage to them when hardened resin became trapped between closely meshing gears. This resulted in the need for the pumps and gearbox to be replaced three times on one month.

The installation of a Hydra-Cell pump at this stage of the process immediately solved the problem by providing reliable, high-pressure pumping of the resinous glue. The sealless design of these pumps means no dynamic seals to leak, wear, or replace and their spring-loaded, horizontal disk check valves enable the pump to process liquids which contain particulates up to 500 or greater microns in diameter without problems.

Following 6 months of trouble-free operation, the second pumping system was installed on the process with the same successful results for the Oriented Strand Board manufacturer.

The range of Hydra-Cell pumps covers flow rates from 0.4 lit/min up to 128 lit/min and pressures up to 172 bar, providing repeatable and accurate output. They can handle dirty liquids and liquids with particulates and because they are sealless by design, leak-free, self priming and can be run dry, they are also ideal for cleaning (CIP) applications.

Other applications include; machine tool cooling, reverse osmosis & separation, spray drying & abrasives, paper mill applications and oil production and refining.

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