Pumps are vital many industrial processes and are designed to operate for many years. Many of the bronze components in pump assemblies are utilized to reduce maintenance and pump downtime. The most common causes of pump failure are due to damage to the shaft and shaft bearings. While many factors can contribute to this damage, a majority of it is due to contamination entering the housing and lubrication loss. Many pump manufactures have designed bronze based components to avoid these common causes of failure. The first of these protective features is the pump packing. Packing’s are one of the oldest sealing devices, named for the way they perform the sealing function. Packing is a rope like material that is inserted into the cylindrical opening in the rear of the pump casing where the shaft passes through it. This soft material, usually with lubricant in it, consists of a number of rings which wrap around the shaft and compresses the inner sides of the stuffing box. This effectively limits leakage out of the pump. The bronze component that separates the two sets of packing is called a lantern ring. The bronze lantern ring serves a number of functions inside the pump packing. The lantern ring is grooved with an oil groove and drilled with holes to allow lubrication to reach the packing material. The lantern ring is also used to distribute cooling water to all packing rings as well as keep the stuffing box clean of containments . Since the packing “grips” the shaft to limit leakage, even though the pump shaft is rotating and the packing is stationary, this can cause wear to the pump shaft. For this reason most pumps use a bronze shaft sleeve to cover the shaft. The shaft sleeve is a sacrificial component that protects the more expensive pump shaft. This way, if the packing was too tight, lacked lubricity, or had dirt and scored something… it will be less expensive to replace the shaft sleeve than the entire pump shaft. Bronze is used in this component due to its bearing and wear properties. Packing via a stuffing box is an inexpensive method of sealing pumps another way of protecting the bearing and shaft is through the use of bearing isolators. A bearing isolator is a non-contact, non-wearing, permanent bearing protection device. It has a rotor and a stator, and the two are unitized, so that they don’t separate from one another while in use. Basically, the rotor rotates with the shaft and the stator gets pressed into a bearing housing. These two components keep the contamination out of the bearings but prevents lubricant from escaping from the bearings. Bearing isolators are made of metal, especially bronze, and take advantage of a vapor blocking feature that reduces the free transfer of vapor contamination when the equipment starts and stops rotating. Bearing Isolators use is growing because of customer demand. Bearing isolators were first installed by the manufacturers of pumps as standard optional features, and then as standard equipment on top-of-the-line products. Now bearing isolators are used to permanently protect bearings in many types of process pumps. Pumps that used to cycle in and out of the maintenance shops now performed without attention for years instead of months. Bronze components play important roles in the successful operation of pumps. Mainly chosen due to their wear resistance and anti-corrosive properties, bronze based parts have been used to maximize pump life for a number of years. Here at National Bronze Mfg. Co. we have been proudly manufacturing many of these components for pump manufacturers as well as aftermarket and repair companies. No matter the size or complexity of your application you can count on National Bronze Mfg. Co. pump components to improve pump reliability and maximize pump life.