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hqJldlmg r}ifticult slqrries, the

piocesscan frequently be im ....
provedPy:.elimiriatirig the need
for ,saa/water in the. stulfmgbox.
I[r theproduc/ion of water.so!uble .
polasl),jorexample, any add;:
tionaJwater.introducedlQ the'
. course ofpiocessirlglhe 9ft}
(mist eventUl)lly be removed; rals
fng the costal tne alreadY
' .. expensive chemf(Jai compound;
. Even where diitJ/ibn o(the
productli'/ithflush water IS .no
special conc",rll, clean. Willer
rnaybe.harttto Come by. And
packing may fall qUicklylfom
abraslvff slurry particles making
th?ir way into the stuftlngbox.
Expeller;slurry' PUn'lP:
sealed without wa"er.
SyGary Davidaon
For these reasons, a waterless
seal would be a very welcome
addition to a slurry pump Ime. Of
course; Improperly flushed me-
chanital seals have very limited ..
life expt1Clancy in all a.brasive
environment Btlt what about a ..
hydrodynamic seallrl w/lic/)st1al
ing pressure is created byen
expeller? The concept I ~ q r8114-
lively simple, but qesignlnga
practical seal to work over a
range of beads and capacities is
more complicated. In this article,
cntlsldera/I(Jns in the develop-'
men! of Worthington's hydrocly-
nan)lcallyseaied Elxpelier purnp
are described
Gary Davidson IS supeNisorof
research.atWorth!ngton Canada, ..
Inc, Brrmtford ' .
Worthington's research group
has been working for several years
to perfect a practical system of
expeller shaft sealing. The result: a
series of hydrodynamically sealed
MX' expeller pumps has been
added to our service-proved line 01
hard-melal slurry pumps. Presently.
"MX" slurry pumps are available in
sizes from 2% to 12-inch (60 mm
to300 mm) discharge with
capacities to 10,000 gpm (2300
m"/h) and heads to 165 feet (50m).
No-water, lowmaintenance
A hydrodynamic seal has distinct
advantages over conventional slurry
pump sealinq arrangements. By
eliminating the neerJ for a continu-
ous flush water supply to purge the
stuffin[] box of inqressirg solids and
contaminants. it also eliminates the
associated seal water supply sys-
tem, including purnp, motor. con
trois. valves, piping. and fittin[Js.
Tile clean water whictt is not used
for flusllinq is available for oliter
process use. And, of course, there
is no product dilution. and so no
additional dewatering is requirec! at
the end of tne process
A second woup of advanta[J8s
relates to maintenance. The hard-
metal expeller is designed as an
integral part of the pump, with the
same reliability and clepencJabillty
as omer componenls. While me-
chanical seals C'jQ not lend them-
selves to ahrasive slurry service
and packinG) must frequently be
adlusted or replacecl, an expeller
works maintenance-free until se-
verely worn. Maintenance for the
pump is therefore limited to occa-
sional impeller axial clearance
adjustments or the replacement
of worn parts.
Principle of operation.
The physics qoverning expeller
operation are stralghtforwareJ. As
)heexpeller. rotatesYICthiQ8 can
.fil1E)d c;avity, the vanes impart fordes .;
to the mixture of fluid and solids
withirt the cavity, causinq it to rotate
about the shaft in a manner similar
to ac
tiOI) thisrOjatipn
llingsthe Inixture outward, bu.t the
expeller 110lJSing b9,mparies con-
fifle ttl'e outward motion.
Thene[fe.sqltoj this action is the
creationol aiOW,PfflS$ure.area
ab\)W! thi3sQalt. .Air fills the region
Ijf 19W presspre, ane! a .. concentric'
mixtureQas interface is formed at
SOffle I;\ilthint.he,
expeller vanes. ihis interface 1.$
qS it forms a distinct
barri\f(tl",tweenthemixture andfhe
((9m to ahrasives during
purnp operation ..
The interface may form at various
radial distances from the shaft. de-
pendin(J on tile conditions of
operation, since ils diameter is de-
termined by a balance of pressures.
i.e., the sealing pressure generated
by the expeller and the opposinll
pressure qenerated within the pump
casino. The interface diameter can
be cieternlined from a knowledge of
expeller qeornetry. speed of rota-
tion, density of the mixture, and
pressure to be sealed.
In Figure 1, the mixture to be
sealed has a pressure Ph at the hub
of the impeller back shroud. As the
mixtu re floods the smooth face of
the rotating expeller, a pressure rise
occurs because of viscous pump-
inO action attributatlle to disk
fnction. The mixture pressure is in-
creased to a value P
at the tip
r3rjius of the expeller. Pressure P, is
balanced by the mixtl;re
to partially flood the vaned side of
the expeller to a radial location r,.
Presence of a gas pressum (nor-
mally atmospheric), along the shaft
on the vaned side of the expeller,
completes tl18 pressure balance.
The sum of the interface pressure
P, and the pressure rise developed
in the rotaling rinq of mixture on the
vaned side of the expeller must
equal the tip pressure P
in equi-
librium conciitions. The location of
the mixturegas interface at r
I) }
is fl,hYdtodynamics'ealing,:deyice 20nsi$tiflg:01
a mtatmgD{l shaft" If/hLo!)' 9f3qerateg a
Jts vanes, I,S
. posltionMin 10Gated behind the conventional
Rompirripel(erand tlre.trOll11h'alI6f tbe housing$0parates the
expeller cavily 110m fhe.pump 'Casino Tri,? "etlon oj the
ro1.ct1iCitr:expeHer vanes;, forces' aH llquki -an;d, solid, materials in
, thE! aYVf3j,y fr6m:th1,3 ,$hafcmaintairnng-H dry arHa about
th.e shall 'f8?SMtl(lIlY.a purnpseal. . .'.
. The e"pelleY 1$ the prrinary sealing deVtce. arid as long as
Ifte.pump tSOpetfl1ing,iuieep" IMohaft dyt1,lfnJCari)lscJal,jd.
.A packqd stuffrng bOX8c:ts as a s8condarystatii5
. Ihhen (town.
Fig.,r".3 ,
;..c.---- sluffing'boxhuad
-----expeller Y'earplal
/70' ---- )ubtiqat'iol}
st.aruJarc{packe&bQx ,with SPliJ,'qland;
ophPfl v; 'S'Qlld gla,n:cJwitp- 'CY W1g, an:(flip>sba1s
. Figure 1 - Expeller sea' ;..;, .Cut;iw;iv"iew.
be altered by changing Ph for a
given seai geometry amJ a fixed
rotational speed,
Designing a working seal.
The primary task in designing
a Ilydrodynamic seal for a particular
pump application is til at of evaluat-
ing the pressure rise developecJ on
both tile smooth and vaned sides of
tile expeller for a predesignated
mixture-gas interface diameter
This is accomplished by ana-
lyzing all of II,,? extemal forces
acting on an elemental fluid
volume elV. between two consec-
By equating
_!a\l pressu I.e
forces to
forces exerted on the fluid Elle-
ment, an ordinary differential
eqUation is obtained, the solution
of which yields:
[P, - P,l""", = 1"i' x (r," - I.
p density of fluid or mixture
'0 = angular velocity of shaft
[J = gravitational constant
r = radial ejistance from shaft
This is an expression for pressure
rise across the vanes tor elfl ideal fll.lio
anci neglects the effects due to the
rotating inner annulus of air. To ac-
count lor real fluid effects and devia-
tions from solio boCly rotation, a var)e
coefficient based upon experimental
data is Introduced, The actual
pressure rise across the annulus of
rotating mixture on the vaned side of
the expeller becomes:
[P, - [0,1,,,,,,,,, = 1<(; P") , X (r? - r
H18 vane coefficient K( J' is an
indication of vane effectiveness ex-
pressed as itlC amount of "fluiei slip,"
This IS often cienoted as (rl/'dV
where i3 is the actual fluiel anqular
velocity in the expeller cavity, For
the Worthin(Jton expeller, 13/'') is very
close to the ioeal value of unity
Similarly, the pressure rise across
Figure 2-
Distribution of
sealing pressure
developed by
impeller and
expeller vanes.
the flooded sllluuill side olille
expeller may be expressed as:
IP, P"Jsmooth = KL L"'2 x (rt" - r,,o)
(iisk 2g
Oncre again, K,_ is determineci
experimentally and is considerably
less than K(;,
The totai pressure Pic' generated
by the expeller is the difference
between the pressure generated on
the vaned side anrj the smooth side,
Expeller power requirements can
be calculilted from shaft speed,
torque (via a torque coefficient
related to the height of the vane)
and the ratio of interface radius to
expeller tiP radius,
Optimizing the seal.
An important question for design
of the specifiC pumps is, "To what
outer vane diameter should the ex-
peller be restricted?" The pressure
ranges the expeller must seal
aqalnst need to be clearly estab-
lished in order to keep the interface
within a realistic range 01 radii
especially since the energy neeeJs
of the expeller are proportional to
the fiftll power of tip racJius,
Figure 2 illustrates the distribution
of pressures arising from the impel-
ler and expeller vanes. In a pump,
the expeller must seal against the
pressure at the hub of the back
shroud of the impeller, This pressure
IS transmitted througll the mixture,
along ttle shaft, to the smooth face
of the expeller,
In conventionally sealed pumps,
this would be called the stuffing box
pressure (SBP), Its magnitucJe de-
pends on several factors, such as
the suction head (SH), the total
developed head (T'o'H.), Wflict, is a
function of speed and capacity, and
the effectiveness of the back shroud
pump-out vanes at generatin(J a
sealing pressure (Ppovl
A value for Ph can be determined
from an equation of ttle following
Ph ~ (constant x TDHI SH) x p
- Ppov
where the constant is a fraction which
can be determined experimentally for
any pump geometry
This means that wilen all other
parameters remain constant:
1, As capacity is decreased cit a
f,x8ej operatinq spc'ed, the pres-
sure Wl1icil the expeller must seal
against is increased.
2. As suction pressure is inCf'eased,
the totai pressure which the expel-
ler must seal is increased.
3 !Is purnp-out vane effectiveuess
deteriorates clue to vane wear and
impeller axial clearance adJust-
ment the expeller must seal
against a qreater pressure
Tilese were some of the param-
eters requirinCj definition, to assure
a satisfactory seal against all
stuffino box pressures which rniqht
be rnet in service, Tile resultinq
optimized expeller to impeller
diameter ratio results in a pump line
that maintains a functional seal over
a wide pressure ranpe-- even under
hiqh-suction pressures-with lowest
possible expenditure of enerpy.
Part of a proven pump line.
The expeller pump was designed
to use the qreatest number of exist-
ing pump parts, to take advantaqe
of the well-proved reliability and
efficiency of WorthinQton's slurry
pump line, and to malntail1
Intercl"1anqeability. As a result the
Worthington expeller package can
readily be retrofitteCJ in the flelcf aM
served from Hie SAme basic spare
par-ts inventory
Fiqure :1 IS a sectional view of the
expeller slurry pump, The expeller
fits over the shaft and is mounted orl
the eneJ of the shaft sleeve. The
Impeller is then threaeied onto the
end of tile shaft, securinq the expel-
lei frrmly in place.
The expeller housln[j IS a
piece casting which mates wiH1 tile
easily replaceable expeller wear-
plate Tile housing fits over the
expeller and IIlto the stuffinq box
Ilead. The stuffinQ box head, Wilich
CHn house an optional
cated static seal system, fits into the
bearing frame flanqe, and the
casing bolts tightly clamp the entire
assernbly In place.
The entire liquid end, bearin\]
. jiJ(i 2m :500
figure 4 - Effecl of expeller unil on 3inch (76mm)
slurry pump performance.
Figure 5-
New expeller
pump undergoes
tests in the lab
at Srantford.
frame, and bearing cartridge as-
sembly are the same as the
standard, service- proved type M
slurry pump. The expeller packaoe
IS very easily installed in the pump
Each standard bcarinq frarrle has
the same size expeller for its various
liquid-end options, and the oreatest
sealinD pressure is obtained by
selectin(J the smallest liquid end of
that frarne size
Wearresisting materials.
All expeller components subject
to wear are made from hard metal
ranging from SOO to GOO Brinell to
provide the greatest resistance to
abrasive wear which results from
low-anqle particle impinqement.
The material has been proved in
conventional slurry pumps for many
The expeller parts have sufficient
wear allowance to ensure a service
life comparable witl1 or better than
the liquiei-end parts to avoid need
for premature disassembly
Efficiencies stay high.
Of course, you don't get sorne-
thinq for nothing. While saving on
flush water and associated pump-
ing costs. piUS dewaterinq and its
er1er(Jy costs, an expeller pump is
slightly reduce,ci in overall efficiency
because of the small amount of
additional power required to rnain-
tain all effective seal. As Figure 4
Illustrates, the addition of the ex-
peller has no effect on the heacl-
capacity curv(;. Expeller power con-
sumption is minimized by optimiz
ing vane shape, vane height. 11um-
ber of vanes, and expeller (]iameter
TI1e small debit to efficiency should
quickly be reclaimed irl overall main-
tenance savinqs, reduced down-
time, and elimination of flush water
supply aneJ assOCiated equ;pment.
Process applications.
WorttJirlgton's tJycirodynmnically .
sealed slurry pump offers the best
of both worlds a new and improved
seal system, combined with proved
dependability of our existing suc-
cessful slurry pump line. The
expeller pump should be consid-
ereci for any application where
abrasive particles cause frequent
packing failure, where clean water
supply is limited, and where dilution
of the pumped mixture cannot be
tolerated. It should find many ap-
plications in tile potash, coal, and
copper processinq industries