"We know the technology works. It has been proven. However, I see my job as finding out how this technology can solve the issues our customers are experiencing. Basically, how can we make our technology work for you.“ - Wear Expert Ben Goodly

Conforma Clad Wear Resistance Coatings

Conforma Clad™ Puts Our Customers First

Roctec APX Nozzle - cover photo

   

Carrie Bartkowiak - Wear Expert

Meet the Wear Expert:  A former rotating equipment reliability engineer with experience at various Gulf Coast refineries, Ben Goodly has been with Kennametal as a Senior Business Development Engineer supporting Petrochemical and Refining customers with customized Conforma Clad™ solutions since March 2019

  

Q: As a rotating equipment reliability engineer what was your focus and how have you applied that experience to helping Kennametal’s customers?

BEN GOODLY: As a reliability engineer, I was very focused on improving my refinery’s MTBR (Mean Time Between Repairs) numbers. There is typically a bad actor list. The goal is to get your pumps off the bad actor list. Our customers want to go 48-64 months before they need to even touch a pump. I understand that need and I can help our customers apply the technology to make the improvements necessary to achieve that goal

Q: How do Conforma Clad solutions differ from alternative methods of wear protection, particularly when applied to American Petroleum Institute (API) pumps? 

When you compare Conforma Clad to most alternative methods, such as High Velocity Oxygen Fuel (HVOF), weld overlays or boron diffusion coatings, Conforma Clad is a harder material. A harder finish helps reduce erosion. Conforma Clad is also a consistently thicker material. Boron diffusion, for example, is much thinner than Conforma; HVOF is also thinner.  You also get a more even cladding due to the application method. Our cladding provides a much more even/uniform surface relative to weld overlays.  In addition, the Conforma Clad process produces virtually no dilution in the cladding. Dilution will alter the chemistry of a weld overlay and your casting will wear faster. The benefits of Conforma Clad can mean an improvement of 3-5X normal life cycle for a pump. An indirect benefit is that when you control the thickness, you can control the high drop, the engineered hydraulics of the pump. This can greatly improve the life cycle of that pump.

After 13 months of service: Conforma Clad (left) compared to HVOF (right) 

Upgraded metallurgy is another alternative option available to customers but the associated costs then increase exponentially. If we can help the customer use a less expensive casting with Conforma Clad, they get the same hardness of an upgraded metallurgy and, at the same time, improve the pump life cycle by 3-5X. The upgraded metallurgy option does not stack up when you compare the true costs over the life cycle of the pump.

*   *   * UltraFlex Weld Overlay HVOF Boron Diffusion
Non Line-of-sight GOOD Poor Poor Good
Complex Geometries GOOD Poor Fair Good
Relative Thickness THICK Very Thick Thin Very Thin
Bond Strenght STRONG Strong Weak Strong

"With the UltraFlex treatment, complex geometries can be cladded without problems commonly faced with weld overlays, thermal sprays and traditional cladding."

Q:  What is most important for customers considering a cladding solution to keep in mind?

Pre-planning is so important. We try to talk to customers as early in the process as possible. We understand that a refinery cannot have a pump, even their backup, out of commission, so it is important that we work with the end customer and the pump OEM to ensure that we plan appropriately to allow for the pump lead time and then the cladding process, which can take 2 to 3 months. We try to start working with our customers as early as possible to fit into their scheduled maintenance.

We understand that this is a capital investment, but my experience is that once our customers commit to that path and get this wear resistance in place, they are very pleased with the results. Our biggest challenge is just getting the conversation with the customer started and started early enough in the process so we can help them with the right solution and the right timing.

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