Refinery pumps transport petroleum and its derived products in refineries, petrochemical plants and the chemical industry. They are used in temperature ranges from -120 °C to +450 °C at pressures of about 65 bar.
As the fluids handled are often highly volatile and flammable, the pump components in contact with the fluid handled are always made of ductile materials such as unalloyed steel, chrome steel and, less frequently, also nodular cast iron.
Depending on the operating conditions, particularly with regard to the suction characteristics refinery pumps can also be designed as horizontal or vertical can-typemultistage pumps or as horizontal double-suction pumps in between-bearings design. See Figs. 2, 3 Refinery pump
Refinery pumps have to comply with specific design codes, such as the well-known codes of the American Petroleum Institute (API 610) and the International Standards Organisation (ISO 13709). The codes which describe refinery pumps in greater detail refer to them as "heavy duty" pumps as they are generally suitable for heavy-duty operation.
They lay down certain design features applying to different operating temperatures, e.g. the arrangement of pump feet and nozzles, the mode of splitting the casing, the sealing elements and the temperature limits for cooling the bearings.
Great emphasis is placed on a sturdy and heavy construction as the piping is almost always hot and exerts considerable forces and moments on the refinery pump and its baseplate. These forces and moments must be absorbed safely without warping the pump or its baseplate (see Pump nozzle load).