Application Profiles Water & Wastewater Market

Water Pumping Station

Product: Form-Flex® Composite Floating Shafts

Engineers at a large raw water pumping station in Malaysia asked TB Wood’s to consult with them on vibration problems with their existing vertical drivetrains on the nine pumps in their station. The facility was originally built using competitor 4-section shafts which yielded recurring vibration problems. 4-section U-Joint shafts were installed later in hopes of solving the problem when four of the pumps were upgraded. There was extreme vibration on these four units, worse than anything they had before. Things were so bad that no more than 4 or 5 of 9 pumps could be run at a time and some with U-Joints could never be run. The reduced pumping capacity created local drinking water shortages.

After careful analysis of the application, TB Wood’s recommended a custom designed, 3-section, Form-Flex Composite driveshaft to replace the (four) 4-section U-Joint shafts. The upper and lower sections of the TB Wood’s shafts used 7” diameter tubing. The center section used 14” tubing to span past the center-floor bearing location where the problem vibration had been most severe.

An initial single TB Wood’s shaft replacement performed to expectation with little vibration and was accepted by the client, who acknowledged that TB Wood’s design and engineering proficiency contributed significantly to achieve the substantial improvement in the station’s pumping capacity. Thus far TB Wood’s has received orders for three additional drivetrain replacements.

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Form-Flex True Blue


Product Highlights

  • 3-section composite driveshaft couplings connected to form a 4-story drivetrain
  • Composite tubes weigh up to 80% less than steel
  • 200HP pumps rated at 710 RPM
  • 4 of 9 Vertical Shaft Systems replace to date

Wastewater Treatment Plant Pump Systems

Product: DuraFlex® Couplings

T.B. Wood’s DuraFlex Couplings were installed on the pump systems of a major metropolitan wastewater treatment plant that processes 275 million gallons every day. The plant had been experiencing premature failure of its previous couplings due to their inability to withstand exposure to UV radiation and seasonal temperature changes. Because couplings play a critical role in wastewater processing by controlling vibration, minimizing misalignment and reducing maintenance costs, the coupling failures resulted in unacceptable levels of maintenance and downtime.

DuraFlex offered a solution with its elastomeric material that is specially formulated to stand up to UV radiation. This polyurethane material provides superior chemical, dynamic and weathering properties, and upon installation, the treatment plant quickly saw improvements in operation and maintenance. The plant operators also found the lightweight couplings were easy to install, with no need to remove
hubs during replacement due to the convenient split construction of the units. They found the couplings were ideal to handle the high shock loads and constant 24/7/365 operation in the tough outdoor environment. The customer also appreciated that there was no need for lubrication or realignment of the couplings.

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TB Wood's DuraFlex Couplings


Product Highlights

  • UV radiation resistant
  • Long service life / low maintenance
  • Easy to install and inspect

Underwater Mining Dredge

Product: Form-Flex® Disc Couplings

Six TB Wood’s Form-Flex disc couplings serve as the drive shaft of an underwater
sand mining dredge designed to operate in a harsh environment with low
maintenance for 40 years. The 120 ft. long drive train which connects a 600HP
motor to a suction pump operating at the bottom of an underwater sand mine is
the longest ever built for the mining dredge industry.

Engineers from TB Wood’s designed a custom hub with a unique flange disc pack
and tapered bushing mounting to facilitate ease of installation and adjustment to
the underwater pump impeller. The special long, taper lock mounted hubs allow
easy field service and axial adjustment of the pump impeller necessary because,
over time, it becomes worn down by the abrasive sand material.

The Form-Flex couplings were also specially modified to run in the vertical
position required in this dredging operation. The flexible tubular couplings solved
a deflection problem for the customer while also reducing the weight of the ultralong
drive train.

The couplings were selected because of their ability to handle parallel offset and
angular misalignment which was critical for this huge mining dredge. TB Wood’s
engineering support and custom-engineered solutions were significant for this
long-time customer in designing the world’s largest mining dredge.

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Form-Flex Disc Coupling


Product Highlights

  • Six couplings connected to form 120ft. drive train
  • Custom engineered hub with unique flange disc pack and tapered bushing mounting
  • Superior capacity to handle parallel offset and angular misalignment
  • Long life in a harsh environment


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