Abrasive Ceramic Slip Success

By Yamada Salesman, Central US

I recently began working with a ceramic tile manufacturer in my territory that uses a good number of air operated diaphragm pumps that hadn’t been performing well. Their process consisted of transferring abrasive ceramic slip mixture throughout different parts of their manufacturing process. The customer was using a competitor’s brand of diaphragm pumps and were growing impatient with the lack of consistently and longevity to hold up in their abrasive fluid service. The air operated diaphragm pump is the most commonly used pump technology in this type of application. However, the biggest issue they were having was with the abrasive fluid creating premature wear on both the diaphragms and the check balls/seat area of the pump within typical operation. In this instance, the customer was experiencing a ton of issues related to wear on the seats/balls of their ½” diaphragm pumps. After meeting with the customer on their concerns, they expressed interest in trying a Yamada diaphragm pump to address some of the issues they were experiencing.

Yamada 3/4″ NDP-20 Aluminum Pump

Upon hearing about their willingness to commit to trying a Yamada pump in their process, I coordinated with engineering at Yamada on coming up with a pump offering that would give them a solution to the issues they were experiencing. Previously, the customer had been using a ½” pump constructed of polypropylene with Santoprene® elastomers. Instead of offering the same material and size pump, we decided to suggest a larger ¾” pump to be run at a slower inlet air pressure supply to lessen the wear from the abrasive fluid. Along with increasing the pump size, we also decided to offer an aluminum pump with stainless steel check balls/seats that would hold up better to the abrasive service that was eating away at the seating surface of the competitor pumps.

In addition, we also supplied the pump with abrasion pads, which are unique to Yamada pumps, providing an extra layer of protection between the inner portion of the diaphragm and center disk. These abrasion pads protect against the commonly seen uniform wear pattern that develops in abrasive service applications and helps extend the life of the diaphragm over time. 

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We put the Yamada pump in on trial and it proved to be much more successful and durable, as compared to the competitor pumps the customer was already using. Previously they were getting approximately 3-4 weeks of service out of the competitor brand pumps. The Yamada pump stayed in service, without a failure, for 9 weeks! After successful completion of the trial period, the customer then tried larger versions of the same Yamada pump in similar applications, utilizing Yamada’s 2” and 3” pumps. The larger pumps proved successful as well. The plant has now decided going forward to switch all of their diaphragm pumps over to Yamada pumps.

Given the alternative materials of construction we offered for the trial pump to hold up in the abrasive service, and the support from engineering at Yamada, we were able to provide the customer with a pump that held up longer and proved reliably in a demanding ceramic slip transfer application. Thus, allowing us to earn their business and trust all while standing behind our product via a trial. 

Santoprene® is a registered trademark of Exxon Mobile Corporation.