UltraFlex™ and Conforma Clad
A United States Gulf Coast refinery was experiencing accelerated internal wear of oil pumps, often requiring entire case replacements.
Compared to typical industry pump performance, the refinery had shorter run lengths of about a month and higher cost per installed. After investigating several wear-resistant products, the refinery found that all were limited due to the nature of the technologies, so they reached out to Kennametal for help.
Proven to extend component life and increase productivity, Kennametal UltraFlex was used to coat the inside of closed impellers that were otherwise unreachable, along with Conforma Clad, an infiltration brazed tungsten carbide cladding. The UltraFlex technology enabled Kennametal to custom engineer the most suitable, resistant coating material in their specific conditions.
Kennametal’s wear solution for the refinery created excellent erosion resistance and toughness in the complex geometries, and the customer was impressed with the true metallurgical bond and dense, uniform distribution of tungsten carbide particles throughout the coating.
After 13 months with UltraFlex and Conforma Clad in service, the refinery’s treated oil pump showed no significant sign of internal erosion. UltraFlex technology was also applied to FCCU fractionator bottoms and debutanizer reboiler services, with no signs to date of increased vibration or loss of hydraulic performance.