Mechanical Performance

The mechanical performance of a pump would imply only the rotating mechanical masses, with no consideration given to hydraulic (process) effects. The rotating masses (impellers, sleeves, nuts, coupling, bearings, seals, and so on) can be examined as pure mechanics. A person concerned with mechanical performance should be intimately familiar with pump design, construction, and maintenance to be successful.

In discussing the mechanical performance of centrifugal pumps, two examples will be used. The first will be a horizontal, 500-hp (373-kW), single-stage (overhung impeller) American Petroleum Institute (API) process pump. The second will be a six-stage, horizontal, 1000-hp (746-kW), multistage boiler-feed pump.

Normally, the rotor dynamics will involve (a) a review of the shaft stiffness of the bearings and structure, (b) a mass model of the rotor, and (c) a critical speed analysis with mode shapes of the rotor or shaft.

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