How plastic pumps provide sustainability and cost savings for sea water applications
Source: Caroline Lang, pixelio.de
Marine life in a vast number of aquariums depend on pumps made of plastics producing vital current or circulating water over extensive filter units. The same plastic pumps also play a major role in drinking water production from salt water. But, is the pump material of any importance at all?
What do pumps from plastic have and metal pumps don’t?
Various metal alloys have proven to be suitable for marine services. The difference however, is that metals are prone to microbiological induced corrosion (MIC). This happens when algae and fungi settle onto the metal surfaces and create a perfect environment for bacteria to attack the metal. The result is surface and pitting corrosion.
Why are pumps from plastics more sustainable?
Bio corrosion in industrial plants is often conquered by means of biocides and frequent flushing at high/low pH values. This is not a popular option for aquariums and certainly not possible in pumps running 24/7.
Plastic pumps however, are totally inert against algae, fungi and bacteria and thus do not need any cleaning routine. Even better pumps from pure plastics even increase their ecological balance as the plastics can be fully recycled at the end of the pump’s life cycle.
Are there differences in plastic pumps?
You bet, there are! Whether a pump from plastic can operate continuously and reliably for a number of years on a 24/7 basis basically depends on the manufacturer’s pump design and the quality of each component herein.
Energy efficiency is a must for non-metallic pumps in sea water applications in order to lower the cost of operations and provide sustainability. MUNSCH, the German plastic pump specialists, never stopped investing in technology and talents. The improvement of hydraulics, with a major focus on efficiency, and innovative manufacturing is a continuing process that makes us leaders in this field.
Why pure, solid plastics are better?
Among the many different types of non-metallic pumps fiber reinforced plastics (FRP) are also to be found. Those fibers do provide extra strength to the material and enable the manufacturer to produce pressurized parts with lower thickness. But handling of glass fibers is not a piece of cake and the final product cannot be recycled either. In addition FRP materials are more prone to abrasion (i.e. if sand or other solid particles get involved).
On the other hand pumps from pure and thick solid plastics (as the MUNSCH pump shown on the picture) do offer a much higher reserve for wear while long-chained polymers such as PE-UHMW (aka PE1000) even outdo most metal alloys when it comes to abrasion resistance. These pumps simply stand much longer.
Is it really such a difference?
A recent comparison of various pump from metal and plastics for the circulation of 400 m³/h (1’760 GPM) sea water over a filter (3 bar / 43 psi) showed differences in power requirement of up to 15 kW (20 hp). For those who care this leads to an annual cost saving in the tens of thousands – for a single pump!
Source: Frank Pauly, MUNSCH
Picture of the pump: MUNSCH