Sulzer refinery pump gets new lease of life at 40


The BB3 pump is one of the most widely used high energy pumps in the world.
The BB3 pump is one of the most widely used high energy pumps in the world.

A Sulzer BB3 pump removed from a refinery in Argentina has been given a new lease of life after 40 years of service by Sulzer engineers

The normal life cycle for a crucial asset such as a boiler feed pump is 20 years. In this case, the BB3 pump was one of a pair of boiler feed pumps in a refinery in Argentina and had to be taken out of service at short notice and refurbished quickly to ensure adequate capacity for the boiler. It had been in service for more than 40 years and the initial inspection revealed damage to the pump body as well as corrosion of the pump case. The shaft was damaged and all the wear rings needed to be replaced.

The pump shaft was replaced as it was damaged beyond repair and the casing walls were rebuilt and inspected. The new pump rotor was reassembled and balanced, while the wear rings were replaced when the casing repairs had been finished. The pump was reassembled and then hydro tested at 1.5 times working pressure by Sulzer’s engineers to ensure that pump was ready to be reinstalled.

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