Liquid Oxygen Pumps

Model BNCP-67-000 Liquid Oxygen PumpLiquid oxygen pumps must be designed with careful consideration as LOX is not particularly compatible with many materials typically used in cryogenic machines. Leakage must also be carefully controlled or reduced to very low helium leak rates as oxygen poses a fire hazard. Barber-Nichols' typical hermetically sealed, long shaft pumps will not work with oxygen as motor materials and our standard high-speed bearing grease are not LOX compatible. BNI employs canned motors, magnetic couplings and advanced seal technologies in the liquid oxygen pumps it produces.

While liquid oxygen's standard temperature of 90 K is not especially cold in the cryogenic world, it is still often desirable to reduce the conducted heat input to the cryogen.  BNI modified its long shaft pumps to include magnetic couplings to allow for use with liquid oxygen and other cryogens that must be kept ultra-clean. The liquid oxygen pump shown above includes a magnetic coupling and BNI deleveloped this pump for circulating LOX in a laser system. The magnetic coupling isolates the motor and its bearings from the oxygen by use of a barrier can. The magnetic torque is trasmittted from the motor on the outside of this barrier can to the impeller shaft on the inside. All of the materials in contact with LOX are compatible and well-proven in this application.

Model BNCP-45-000 Liquid Oxygen Pump

BNI also made canned motor pumps for low-power liquid oxygen applications. The diminuitive pump shown at left was delivered to NASA for testing on bi-propellant thrusters (for the replacement of hydrazine). It has a brushless DC motor direct-driving a partial emission pump operating at 28 VDC. The canned motor is actually overhung with a small extended shaft riding on self-lubricating ball bearings compatible with LOX.

Case Study

Model BNCP-65-000 Liquid Oxygen Pump

The liquid oxygen pump shown at right was developed for large rocket loading at NASA.  It utilizes an innovative dual-seal arrangement with gas lift-off and a dynamic seal with purge gas that prevents any leakage during operation.  It is rated for approximately 200 hp and pumps up to 1,200 gpm at 185 psid.  The pump utilizes an inducer that minimizes the necessary Net Positive Suction Head (NPSH) and it employs a maintenance-ready design that allows the motor and all pump elements to be retracted from the housing which can remain attached to the system.

Barber-Nichols Inc. | 6325 West 55th Avenue Arvada, CO 80002 | Phone: (303) 421-8111 | Fax: (303) 420-4679 © 2015 Barber-Nichols Inc.