5 Tips To Rebuilding A Turbo Pump
A turbo pump is simply a propellant pump that has two main components, namely a driving gas turbine and a rotodynamic pump, which are mounted on a shaft. The turbopump serves to produce high-pressure fluid that is used to feed a combustion chamber.
The two common types of turbopumps are the axial-flow pump that has alternating static and rotating blades which progressively raise the fluid pressure, and the centrifugal pump where pumping is achieved through outwardly throwing fluid at high speed.
Centrifugal pumps are way more powerful for high-density fluids. They, however, need larger diameters when dealing with low-density fluids. Axial-flow pumps do have smaller diameters and provide modest pressure increase. There are multiple compression stages that are needed for these types of pumps and they function well with low-density fluids.
With that said, here are 5 tips to rebuilding a turbo pump:
- Inspect The Turbo Pump First
Before beginning the process of rebuilding a turbo pump, it is important that an inspection is done on it to check for damages, parts that may be missing, and the accessories that are on it such as the fan, valve, adapters and the like. The pump can also be tested with the controller of the proper to check for any looming problems.
The turbopump should be disassembled to carefully inspect it for internal damages. Important things to check on are the turbine, motor windings, shaft, coolant connections, rotor, and stators.
- Do Some Cleaning On The Parts
The disassembled parts of the turbopump can be thoroughly cleaned by employing predefined cleaning methods that are tailor-made for each part. Once cleaning is done, the pump can be assembled back together using new wicks, O-rings, nuts or lubricating washers and ultra-precision ceramic bearings. This should be done at a precision rating ABEC 7 or higher.
- Do Balancing In Steps
The turbopump rotor assemblies should be balanced in steps. The first step should be a low-speed balance and then increase to a full speed balance when under vacuum. An example of a more precise balance quality grade compared to that of the OEM specifications is the G-1(ISO 1940/1 & ANSI S2.19). It’s also important to print a balancing report for the pump.
- Install The Stator Rings After Balancing
Stator rings in the turbopump should be installed after the balancing is done for safety purposes. Upon installing them, the pump should be ready to be taken for testing. The testing should be done for at least 24 hours. During the test, parameters such as pressure, speed, and current should all be monitored to check for aberration from nominal.
- Packaging The Rebuilt Turbo Pump
Once the turbopump is completely rebuilt, it should be bagged in plastic and then packed inside a box that has a foam-in-place system. This foam is formulated in a special way in order to keep the pump protected from damage.
These five tips are helpful in rebuilding a turbopump. If you’re looking for quality pumps, here is our recommendation of the best rebuilt turbo pumps online.