|Pump Shaft Sleeves|
Pump shafts are usually protected from erosion, corrosion, and wear at seal chambers, leakage joints, internal bearings, and in the waterways by renewable sleeves.
The most common shaft sleeve function is that of protecting the shaft from wear at packing and mechanical seals. Shaft sleeves serving other functions are given specific names to indicate their purpose. For example, a shaft sleeve used between two multistage pump impellers in conjunction with the interstage bushing to form an interstage leakage joint is called an interstage or distance sleeve.
In medium-size centrifugal pumps with two external bearings on opposite sides of the casing (the common double-suction and multistage varieties), the favored shaft sleeve construction uses an external shaft nut to hold the sleeve in an axial position against the impeller hub. Sleeve rotation is prevented by a key, usually an extension of the impeller key. The axial thrust of the impeller is transmitted through the sleeve to the external shaft nut.
In larger high-head pumps, a high axial load on the sleeve is possible and a design similar to that shown in Figure 1 may be preferred. This design has the advantages of simplicity and ease of assembly and maintenance. It also provides space for a large seal chamber and cartridge-type mechanical seals. When shaft sleeve nuts are used to retain the sleeves and impellers axially, they are usually manufactured with right- and left-hand threads. The friction of the pumpage and inadvertent contact with stationary parts or bushings will tend to tighten the nuts against the sleeve and impeller hub (rather than loosen them). Usually, the shaft sleeves utilize extended impeller keys to prevent rotation.
Figure 1. A sleeve with an internal impeller nut, external shaft-sleeve nut, and a separate key for the sleeve.
In designs with a metal-to-metal joint between the sleeve and the impeller hub or shaft nut, a sealing device is required between the sleeve and the shaft to prevent leakage. Pumped liquid can leak into the clearance between the shaft and the sleeve when operating under a positive suction head and air can leak into the pump when operating under a negative suction head. This seal can be accomplished by means of an O-ring, or a flat gasket. For high temperature services, the sealing device must be either acceptable for the temperature to which it will be exposed, or it must be located outside the high temperature liquid environment. According to an alternative design used for some high-temperature process pumps, the contact surface of the hook-type sleeve and the shaft is ground at a 45-degree angle to form a metal-to-metal seal. That end of the sleeve is locked, but the other is free to expand with temperature changes.