# Help for calculating the impeller tip speed to avoid excessive erosion due to suspended particles

Applets are programs based on the java language that are designed to run on your computer using the Java Run Time environment.

The maximum impeller tip speed is based on tests that were done by the Hydraulic Institute www. pumps.org. You can find more information in The Hydraulic Institute's Centrifugal Pumps for Design and Application ANSI/HI 1.3 standard.

This applet is designed to help you calculate the tip velocity of an impeller vane with the simple v = wr formula.

The recommendations on the maximum tip speed are as follows: - dirty water - 130 ft/s - medium slurries up to 25% solids and 200 micron solids - 115 ft/s - higher slurry concentrations and larger solids - 100 ft/s - pumps with elastomer impeller - 85 ft/s

Tip speeds that are higher than recommended are likely to cause excessive erosion. Elastomer impellers are often used in the mining industry for the transfer of tailings which is a highly abrasive slurry.

The equation used for calculating tip speed is:

where v: velocity D: impeller diameter RPM: revolutions per minute

Help for calculating the pressure anywhere in a pump system
Applets are programs based on the java language that are designed to run on your computer using the Java Run Time environment.

It is possible to calculate the pressure head, which is the specific energy of pressure, anywhere within a system and with the pressure head, the pressure can be calculated. If you know the conditions at the outlet of a system then you can calculate the pressure anywhere upstream of that point all the way to the pump. The same is true if you know the conditions at the inlet of the system, then you can calculate the pressure anywhere downstream of that point all the way up to the pump. This is what this applet does for you.

The outlet of the system is defined as the point where the fluid meets a fixed pressure environment such as the fluid surface of the discharge tank where it meets atmospheric pressure for an open tank. Or if the tank is pressurized, at the point where the fluid surface meets the pressurized environment within the tank. The same reasoning is applied to locate the inlet point of the system in the suction tank.

Determine the pressure anywhere on the discharge side of the pump (see Figure 1 below) The conditions that must be known at the outlet are:

for all the equipment between the point where the pressure is required. and the outlet. or tables in the Standards book from the Hydraulic Institute.31 x 5 / SG (SG: specific gravity of the fluid). It does not matter where the datum plane is located as long as you use the same one for zx. zx: the elevation of point X with respect to the datum plane where the pressure is required. You will have to calculate this using the Darcy and Colebrook equations or tables that are available in the Cameron Hydraulic data book. . The pipe friction is Hf or HFX-2 in the equation 1.1 below. a heat exchanger.0. if the pipe is open to atmosphere than the velocity is the velocity at the pipe end. As an example. and the outlet must be calculated separtely (this is not done by the applet). Equipment are items such as a control valve. water has an SG value of 1. if the tank is pressurized then H2 is the pressure head corresponding to the pressure in the tank. If the outlet is the surface of the liquid in the discharge tank then z2 is the elevation of fluid particles on the surface with respect to the datum plane. Lastly. if the fluid is water then SG = 1 and H2= 11. The pump suction centerline is often used as the level for the datum plane. It is likely that you will have to consult the manufacturer equipment literature to obtain this information. if the outlet is the surface of a discharge tank then this velocity is small and close to zero.5 ft. point X. H2: the pressure head at the outlet of the system. etc.z2: the elevation of the outlet point of the system with respect to an arbitrary datum plane. point X. SG: the specific gravity of the fluid (non-dimensional). say the tank is pressurized at 10 psi then H2 = 2. a filter. v2: velocity of the fluid at the outlet. if the pipe is open to atmosphere then z2 is the elevation of the pipe end with respect to the datum plane. you need to know the equipment friction loss HEQ or HEQX-2 in the equation 1. between the point where the pressure is required.1 below.

Figure 1 The equation to calculate HX is: eq. . This can occur if the position of the point where you require the pressure is higher than the outlet and the friction between these two points is minimal. In this case. 1.1 You may find that the calculated pressure is negative.2 Determine the pressure anywhere on the suction side of the pump (see Figure 2 below) Everything that was said above for calculating the pressure anywhere on the discharge side of the pump is true for calculating the pressure on the suction side of the pump. the conditions at the inlet of the system must be known and this is generally the conditions at the liquid surface of the suction tank. it is negative with respect to the outlet pressure. The formula for converting pressure head to pressure is: eq. 1.

point X. if the tank is pressurized then H1 is the pressure head corresponding to the pressure in the tank. etc. It is likely that you will have to consult the manufacturer equipment literature to obtain this information. v1: velocity of the fluid at the inlet. zx: the elevation of point X with respect to the datum plane where the pressure is required. SG: the specific gravity of the fluid (non-dimensional). Equipment are items such as a control valve. You will have to calculate this using the Darcy and Colebrook equations or tables that are available in the Cameron Hydraulic data book. the inlet is often the surface of a suction tank. this velocity is small and close to zero.0. and the inlet must also be known. Equipment is rarely installed in the pump suction line so that this term is typically zero. for all the equipment between the point where the pressure is required. a heat exchanger. you need to know the equipment friction loss HEQ or HEQ1-X in the equation 1. and the inlet.3 below. between the point where the pressure is required.z1: the elevation of the inlet point of the system with respect to the datum plane. or tables in the Standards book from the Hydraulic Institute. water has an SG value of 1.3 below. This is the friction loss in the pump suction line. a filter. . The pipe friction Hf or HF1-X in the equation 1. H1: the pressure head at the inlet of the system. Lastly. point X.

temperature and other factors. The pressure that can generate this tensile stress level can be calculated taking into account the type of material. . The ASME code recommends an allowable tensile stress level in the pipe material (see the terminology section at the end of this article).Figure 2 The equation to calculate HX is: Eq.3 You may find that the calculated pressure is negative. 1. it is negative with respect to the inlet pressure. This can occur if the position of the point where you require the pressure is higher than the inlet and the friction between these two points is minimal.3 Applets are programs based on the java language that are designed to run on your computer using the Java Run Time environment. Help for calculating maximum allowable piping pressure according to the ASME pressure piping code B31.

However.5 inches and the wall thickness is 0. The quality factor E for steel A139 is 0. Table A-1A Y: wall thickness coefficient with values listed in ASME Process Piping code B31.1 Formula [1] is re-written in terms of the pressure (p) of the fluid within the pipe: Calculation example The pipe is a typical spiral-weld construction assembled according to the specification ASTM A 13996. Material Minimum tensile strength(psi) ASME code Allowable stress (S)(psi) ASTM A139 48000 16000 The value of the internal fluid pressure that will produce the tensile stress level stipulated by the ASME code is 315 psig (see formula [3]).31999. the allowable tensile stress (S) and the thickness (t) of the pipe is: [1] where E: material and pipe construction quality factor as defined in ASME Process Piping code B31. The outside diameter of the pipe is 20.3-1999. page 20) which gives the relationship between the pressure (p) labeled p (see equation[1]). The material is carbon steel ASTM A 139. For this material. The pressure level vs.The formula (see B31. This pressure should be compared to the normal operating pressure.25-inch.1. the wall thickness coefficient Y is 0. typically the pressure is maximum near the pump discharge and decreases towards the outlet of the system.8.4. the outside diameter (D). . the ASME code recommends that an allowable stress (S) of 16.000 psi be used for a temperature range of -20°F to +100°F.3-1999 code. Table 304. location can only be determined on a case by case basis. The pressure in a pump system can vary dramatically from place to place.

this pressure will extend all the way from the pump discharge to the plug if the plug is at the same elevation as the pump discharge. Existing systems In an existing system. The corrosion allowance will reduce the wall thickness that is used in the allowable pressure calculations. consider if a corrosion allowance (depending on the material) should be used. Also the piping code allows pipe manufacturers a fabrication tolerance which can be as high as 12. strain graph. The pipe wall thickness can easily be measured by devices such as the Doppler ultra sound portable flow meter. The relationship between pressure head and pressure is given in equation [4]. When the system plugs. The smallest wall thickness should be used as the basis for the allowable pressure calculations or the damaged areas should be replaced. However. New systems In new systems. this allowance should be considered when determining the design pipe wall thickness. the pump head increases and reaches (at zero flow) the shut-off head in the case of a centrifugal pump. The maximum pressure in the pump system will then be the pressure corresponding to the shut-off head plus the pressure corresponding to the pump inlet suction head. but multiple series pump systems may produce excessive shut-off pressures since the pressure at the outlet of the last pump depends on the sum of the shut-off pressures of each pump. Exceptions are provided for in the code and are relative to the duration of the maximum pressures events. Since the system is plugged. reliable pressure relief devices. then pressure relief devices may have to be installed. these devices are not mandatory in many systems and their installation are then a matter of engineering judgment. Terminology Figure 1 shows the location of the various stress levels in a typical stress vs. They are accurate.5% on the wall thickness. (p) the pressure and (SG) the specific gravity of the fluid.It is possible that the system could be plugged. Rupture disks are often used in these situations. erosion or other chemical attacks which may reduce the wall thickness in certain areas. one should not rely on the original thickness of the pipe to do the pressure calculations. This is not likely to occur in single pump systems. TS: Tensile strength YP: Yield point . where (H) is the pressure head. if they are of short duration these events may be allowed for short periods. If the shut-off pressure exceeds the allowable operating pressure as calculated by the ASME code. The pipe may suffer from corrosion.

3 .BS: Breaking strength The following four figures are excerpts from the ASME Power Piping Code B31.

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pressure is based on the well known hoop stress formula in which two additional factors have been added. The formula for max. ANSI class and materials base on the ASME code B16.3. You can download an example of this type of calculation as well as the formulas used including an extract of the pressure piping code. You can probably find it in your local technical university or college librairy. The book "Piping Handbook" by Mohinder L. Nayyar published by McGraw Hill has extracts of the code.5. construction. The pressure piping code is not readily available on the internet.This pdf document provides information on different flange pressure ratings. This applet will help you calculate the allowable pressure according to the pressure piping code B31. Y a factor based on the type of steel and E a factor based on the type and quality of the weld. Remember that when you check the maximum allowable piping pressure you must also check the .

The next equation gives the value for the pump specific speed. N the speed of the impeller and Q the flow rate. The efficiency of pumps with the same specific speed can be compared providing the user or the designer a starting point for comparison or as a benchmark for improving the design and increase the efficiency. the material and the temperature. General There is a multitude of pump designs that are available for any given task. . Pump designers have needed a way to compare the efficiency of their designs across a large range of pump model and types. There is a continuous change from the radial flow impeller. CAVITATION PREDICTION This document will cover two topics. H is the pump total head. Pumps are traditionally divided into 3 types. radial flow. Pump users also would like to know what efficiency can be expected from a particular pump design. The other some specific comments on how the applet functions. one a general discussion of this subject and how the equations were developped. which develops pressure principally from the action of centrifugal force. For that purpose pump have been tested and compared using a number or criteria called the specific speed (NS) which helps to do these comparisons. this depends on the ANSI class of the flange. to the axial flow impeller. which develops most of its head by the propelling or lifting action of the vanes on the liquid. mixed flow and axial flow.maximum allowable flange pressure.

Specific speed has also been used as a criteria for evaluating the efficiency of standard volute pumps (see next Figure). Notice that larger pumps are inherently more efficient and that efficiency drops rapidly at specific speeds of 1000 or less. .

The above equation requires that the piping (H F1-S) friction loss and equipment friction loss (HEQ1-S) be calculated.H. the N. From the previous article on cavitation. the N.S.A at the pump suction is : where HA and Hva are in feet of fluid. Also if the pump is a double suction pump then the flow value to be used is one half the total pump output.H. .SUCTION SPECIFIC SPEED Suction specific speed is a number that is dimensionally similar to the pump specific speed and is used as a guide to prevent cavitation. Instead of using the total head of the pump H.P.S.P. The meaning of some of the variables in the above equation is shown in the next Figure.A (Net Positive Suction Head available) is used.

This chart can be found in the Pump Handbook published by McGraw Hill. You will find an article on specific speed and suction specific speed as well as many . It can predict the onset of cavitation and you can use it to help you diagnose if your pump is cavitating.S. However. the pump specific speed and the suction specific speed. Specific comments The following graph represents the value of the Thoma cavitation parameter (sigma) vs. erosion etc.. cavitation.A . The suction specific speed value give us an indication of what the impeller speed limitation will be for a given N. The value for the N. required. Keeping the suction specific speed below 8500 is also a way of determining the maximum speed of a pump and avoiding cavitation. The Hydraulic Institute recommends that the suction specific speed be limited to 8500 to avoid cavitation. it can mean that the impeller inlet area is large reducing the inlet velocity which is needed to enable a low NPSHR. be aware that an increase in speed will also require an increase in N.P. According to the Hydraulic Institute the efficiency of the pump is maximum when the suction specific speed is between 2000 and 4000. When a pump has a high suction specific speed value. (paragraph contributed by Mike Tan of the pump forum group). When S lies outside this range the efficiency must be de-rated according to the following figure.H. you will reach a point where the inlet area is too large resulting in suction recirculation (hydraulically unstable causing vibration.P. if you continue to increase the impeller inlet area (to reduce NPSHR). If so..).A can be deduced by taking a pressure measurement at the pump inlet and using the next equation We may be considering an increase in the pump’s speed to increase the flow rate.H.S.We can avoid doing the calculations in the above equation by measuring the N.P. The recommended cap on the S value is to avoid reaching that point.S.S.H.P.H.

htm <td Thoma cavitation parameter graph </td The value of the Thoma sigma number is given in this image from the Pump Handbook. .com/downloadsfree.pumpfundamentals.other related articles on the web site of Light my pump at www.

the rpm and the N. I have put in some typical values as a start. In the middle is a gray zone where you may or may not cavitate.P. You can compare the values that you obtain from this graph with the values that you have entered on the right which are pertinent to your system. If you change these values. HELP FOR EFFICIENCY PREDICTOR APPLET PROGRAM . As you can see there is a safe region in the upper left corner of the graph. you will obtain new values for the specific speed and the suction specific speed. and you press the Calculate button. The lower right region is unsafe and if you are in that region there is no doubt that the pump will cavitate. the specific speed and the suction specific speed right above the image. the head. If your calculations for the specific speed and the suction specific speed indicate that you are in that region then everything should be fine.H.A. This way you don't have to strain your eyes.S. of your pump. Before you use the Calculate button you must enter the flow rate.The applet allows you to navigate this graph and displays the values of the Thoma sigma number.