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bronze aluminum stainless pump in LOX liquid oxygen

bronze aluminum stainless pump in LOX liquid oxygen

bronze aluminum stainless pump in LOX liquid oxygen

Does anyone know much about these materials in a lox (liquid oxygen) atmosphere? We are currently having some issues with our lox pumps. They are typical centrifugal side suction and top discharge pumps. Our current arrangement has a cast aluminum case, cast stainless steel impeller, and stainless steel shaft. There has been some talk about going to bronze impellers.
1. From a materials viewpoint, are there any advantages/disadvantages for using a bronze impeller in lox?
2. Is the current setup a good configuration with the aluminum case and stainless impeller in a lox pump?
3. Are there any other concerns with anything related to this situation?

Thanks a bunch.  

RE: bronze aluminum stainless pump in LOX liquid oxygen

Hi keny'.  I work for a major industrial gas company and have spec'd out those types of pumps you're refering to.  

We would never put a LOX pump into service with any aluminum parts, and especially not the entire housing.  If we found that we'd purchased a distributor or some other existing equipment with a cast aluminum housing on a pump, we would shut it down instantly.  I honestly don't think we'd even run it once it was discovered.  

Aluminum is highly flammable in oxygen service.  The only pumps we use are bronze housing, with bronze impeller.  I believe they still have stainless shafts, but the parts which are likely to impact, the impeller and housing, are made from bronze so there is no risk of a fire.  

We've even had a few stainless steel reciprocating pumps burn since stainless is flammable at slightly higher pressures (above about 500 psi give or take).  

Hope that helps.

RE: bronze aluminum stainless pump in LOX liquid oxygen

Great info.

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