Amid health and safety issues regarding pump selection, technical design and pump-bearing solutions supplier VescoPlastics says pumps manufacturers are trying to replace lead-containing bearings in pumps.
“There is a move to eradicate the lead products in pumps that are used for potable water systems, owing to their link to numerous prime health concerns,” says VescoPlastics pumps technical consultant Charlie Simpson.
He explains the company manufactures lead-free Vesconite Hilube pump bushings, which replace bronze components that contain lead. He adds that this eliminates the danger of lead leaching into the water from this source, since the polymer does not contain lead.
“Our pump bushings have been proven to last longer than the traditional bronze material and this gives the pump a longer life cycle. Vesconite Hilube bushings also reduce wear to connecting parts,” he points out.
Moreover, Simpson adds that another health and safety concern of bronze bearings is that they typically require lubrication. When these bearings are in contact with potable water, lubrication oils might subsequently come into contact with drinking water.
He says that, with Vesconite Hilube bearings, oils do not leach into the drinking water, since the lead-free polymer that they are made from is self-lubricating and does not require greasing. In addition, the polymer has received approval for use in drinking-water applications.
Further, VescoPlastics MD Mark Opperman asserts that reducing costs is another challenge for pumping stations. “As a result, pumps companies are always striving to make their pumps more efficient and more cost effective.”
He concludes that the low coefficient of friction of Vesconite Hilube bushings makes pumping more efficient and can also reduce energy consumption.