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In 2003, a refinery began a program to apply advanced composite wear rings, line shaft bearings, and related components. By September 2006, the program had expanded to 61 pumps, at which point plant personnel quantified results. The reliability impact of the program was evaluated using pump repair history, vibration records, and mechanical seal emissions data.
Results indicate that the program has been successful. Failures within the subject population decreased by 45%, overall vibration levels fell by an average of 25%, and mechanical seal emissions failures (for pumps subject to testing) dropped by 70%. These results suggest that proper application of composite materials can lead to improved reliability, and should be one of the options considered by plants seeking to increase their pump life.