William J Sembler

Pumps used in marine shipboard applications, both commercial marine and Navy, can typically be divided into several groups. These groups include pumps associated with a vessel's propulsion, pumps used with the generators that produce electricity, pumps used in ship's service systems, pumps used to provide hotel services for crew and passengers, and pumps that are used in cargo or other specialized systems.

Because marine pumps must operate on a moving platform, they should be designed to withstand dynamic loads resulting from vessel motion (for example, pitch, roll, and so on). In addition, they must often operate in a hot, humid, and potentially corrosive environment. In addition, marine pumps must frequently be suitable to operate with a range of flow rates to accommodate anything from operation of the vessel at full speed to operation in port with the propulsion equipment secured. Furthermore, the minimization of size (especially the required deck space) and weight is always important when designing marine equipment. For this reason, many shipboard pumps are mounted vertically (Figures 1 and 2), and smaller units are frequently furnished in a close-coupled configuration (Figure 3) with the pump's rotating parts mounted directly on the driver's shaft. To enable them to stand freely under pitch and roll conditions, vertically mounted shipboard pumps often have larger bases than comparable shore-side units. Typical materials used in the construction of marine centrifugal pumps are listed in Table 1.

A description of the features typically incorporated into the designs of pumps used in selected shipboard applications follows. This information is general in nature, however, and may not apply in all cases based on the requirements for specific installations or the preferences of vessel owners and designers.

FIGURE 1 Vertical between-bearings centrifugal pump (Flowserve Corporation)
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