If you work in the chemicals industry or blend chemicals, it is highly likely that you will use a pumping system to move aggressive and volatile fluids.

This month I’m looking at what you need in place when installing and running an operation of this type and also, what you should do to ensure everything is reliable and safe.

To think about first
The chemicals sector is very varied so you may work in paint or solvent manufacture, in agriculture, in pharmaceuticals, in the health and beauty industry or you may work within some other consumer goods or industrial sector.

You may receive a variety of chemicals delivered by road tanker which are initially transferred into bulk storage and later pumped out to support your manufacturing process.

A reliable pumping recommendation for this type of setup will be based on:

  • The operational conditions including initial setup and the liquid transfer needs
  • The properties of the liquids – whether they are viscous or non-viscous/ aggressive or non-aggressive/ flammable or non-flammable
  • The pumping capacity requirement
  • The ongoing maintenance requirement
  • The relevant Health & Safety legislation
  • Costs management.

Safety
Safety is of course, of paramount importance here and a high responsibility is placed on all employees.

Any failing may not just represent a Health & Safety breach; it could also result in litigation.

As a part of your operation, in some instances you will be required to meet the European ATEX Directive.

Reliability
When offloading and pumping chemicals into bulk storage tanks/ tank farms (and also when transferring them out) we generally recommend Gear Pumps or Centrifugal Pumps.

Let’s look at the benefits of these:

Gear Pumps
These include both internal and external Gear Pumps. These are long lasting positive displacement pumps and can be used for applications with viscous fluids delivering up to 17 Bar pressure.

Spares such as seals are readily available for repairs and refurbs.

Centrifugal Pumps
Centrifugal Pumps are very reliable and can be self-priming pumps or end suction pumps.

They’re good for moving large quantities of thinner liquid swiftly, and they may be used to support an in-flow production system.

Spares are also readily available.

In addition, stainless steel Magnetic Drive Pumps may also be a good option for chemicals transfer.

The most appropriate pump choice depends of course, on the unique properties of your operation and the liquids you are using.

The right seals
Aggressive/ corrosive liquids may cause problems when sealing.

Magnetically sealed pumps are 100% leak free and are therefore recommended.

Continuity of operation
Operational reliability is also important and in relation to this; you need to ensure that your initial investment is cost-effective and gives you longest possible operational life.

How Applied Pumps helps
Generally our customers will let us know their complete chemical pumping requirement and with this knowledge we can then select the most appropriate pump build, including seal arrangement.

We don’t charge for this and we always ensure that our recommendation is the most cost-effective and the safest.

We can also help with onsite pump testing and give guidance relating to upgrades and repairs.

Call Steve Ball for help
For impartial help and advice, you can call me, Steve Ball at any time on 01246 260157 or email steven@appliedpumps.co.uk

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