Magnetic drive pumps. The solution for applications where leakage is not an option
Magnetic drive pumps (mag-drive pumps) are seal-less pumps usually used in applications that are hard to seal and/or where leakage is a threat to people or the environment. Many industries install mag-drive pumps to avoid downtime for seal issues, or to prevent costly leakage of an expensive pumped fluid.
A centrifugal mag-drive pump consists of a drive and driven magnet separated by a containment canister. This sealed containment canister prevents contamination of chemicals due to heat or air exposure that could cause crystallization, sticking and/or varnishing.
Magnetic drive pumps are useful where the pump needs to self-prime or run dry, where the facility needs to handle difficult liquids such as corrosive or abrasive fluids or any hazardous chemical, slurry, solvent or toxic fluid, including viscous or volatile liquids. They are available for a range of viscous liquids at both high and low temperatures, as well as for high or differential pressures. What’s more, magnetic-drive pumps are often used by applications requiring specific torques or temperature stability.
Aside from centrifugal, magnetic drive pumps include positive displacement, vane, internal and external gear pumps.
Main advantages of mag-drive pumps
The seal-less design of mag-drive pumps provides many benefits, the most obvious being that the pumped fluid is completely contained and risk of leakage is eliminated. Without a mechanical seal:
- hazardous fluids can be pumped without spillage
- the facility can meet stringent safety conditions and EPA regulations
- costs of recovery or treatment from spills is reduced
- alignment issues are minimal
- longer MTFB intervals are possible
- downtime or risk of lowered production due to seal issues is reduced
- maintenance costs for repair or replacement of seals are less over the life of the pump, lowering the total cost of ownership
- operator safety is improved
- potential fines for leakage can be avoided
The key disadvantages of mag-drive pumps
Magnetic drive pumps only work with clean liquids that don’t contain suspended solids. Mag-drive pumps:
- are more expensive than sealed pumps and may be subject to volatile prices due to the use of rare earth mineral alloys (this cost is offset by the longer life of the pump)
- can contain alloys with poor resistance to corrosion (magnets exposed to the pumped fluid must be coated with resin or enclosed in corrosion-resistant casing to avoid this)
- Have parts that need to be machined to high tolerances to achieve greater efficiencies
Pump technology has advanced to such an extent that engineers have been able to improve the design of mag-drive pumps to allow compact size with increased power and efficiency. Without seals, mag-drive pumps can enjoy less downtime and an increased lifespan, making them a cost-effective option for any application where leakage is simply not an option.
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