Alumina Shaft and Bearing Pump Components
In addition to our established pressing and extrusion capability, our leading-edge Ceramic Injection Moulding (CIM) facility minimises the need for grinding, hence reducing overall manufacturing costs for complex shapes by producing “as fired” geometry with tolerances of +/- <0.3%.
This advance in process technology opens the door to a wide variety of application possibilities and intricate designs.
Ceramic advantages include:
- Maintenance free operation for pump life in excess of 15 years
- Exceptional corrosion resistance in aqueous based pumping applications
- Shaft/bearing clearances down to <=40μm to ensure minimal pump running noise
- High material thermal stability
- Extreme resistance to wear during high speed rotation (>3,000rpm) in abrasive fluid systems
- Alumina, being chemically inert and insulating avoids both electrochemical and electrolytic action
- Silicon Carbide offers dry running endurance
The materials used within pump applications include 96% & 99.5% alumina, zirconia & silicon Carbide.
Alumina offers a combination of good mechanical and electrical properties suitable for a wide range of applications. It has a high compressive strength, hardness and is dense, non-porous, has low toxicity and vacuum tight. It has excellent dimensional stability across very wide temperatures and resists chemical attack.
Silicon Carbide materials exhibit superior mechanical, wear and thermal shock resistance properties which provide excellent seal and bearing performance for heavy duty applications.
Ceramic materials can be produced in a range of purities and/or with additives designed to enhance certain properties depending on the requirements of the application (hence the different grades listed above). It can be formed by different ceramic processing methods and can be machined or net-shaped formed to produce a wide variety of sizes and shapes. In addition, ceramic components can be readily joined to metals or other ceramics using metallising and brazing techniques.
Types of Pumps
Domestic pumps are primarily hot water circulators (central heating pumps) used in residential and office buildings pumping hot water from a central boiler system to radiators. The pump designs usually incorporate an Alumina bearing with a Carbon thrust bearing. Domestic appliances such as dishwashers and washing machines often incorporate pump designs using Alumina/Carbon based seals.
Industrial pumps are used in pumping water from deep wells. These pumps often use Alumina thrust bearings with a lapped or polished working face, which are ideal for this application as they mate with the Carbon thrust pad.
Submersible pond pumps for garden water features and aquariums
These typically use two alumina bearings housed in the impellor and magnetic rotor assembly, running on a stationary Alumina shaft. The bearings are usually of wider tolerances than for circulating pumps as the load and noise requirements are less demanding.
Hybrid vehicle cooling pumps
Automotive water pumps often use an Alumina ceramic/Carbon seal assembly because of the alumina's high wear and corrosion resistance to anti-freeze solution. Advances in battery technology are leading to ever more demanding thermal management systems. MTC manufactures ceramic pump components which are a critical feature for the cooling systems. The exceptional properties ceramic offers provide electric and hybrid vehicles with the pump technology necessary to circulate aggressive coolant through the Lithium-Ion batteries.
Vertical pumps such as those used for pumping water above ground into high-rise residential or commercial buildings often are designed with precision-machined Alumina bearings
Hydrothermal and enhanced geothermal systems
Capturing the heat that is stored in the earth and use it to heat our buildings is a growing trend. In the global search for low carbon energy alternatives, the need for a robust downhole pumping system is critical. Our material solutions enable efficiency and longevity at elevated temperatures associated with downhole pump components. Ceramic shafts and bearings do not experience material creep common with metals which leads to significant deterioration of efficiency. Replacement and servicing of pumps is a prohibitive as the pump is mission critical.
Removing salts to produce a supply of water requires high performing materials. We provide high purity alumina to precision ground tolerances to deliver maintenance free and reliable operation. Ceramic material is significantly harder than steel preventing corrosion from the very aggressive salt water. The precision finish enables low friction operation which is essential for optimising energy recovery systems.
For more information on our pump components, contact us today.