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Not sure I understand. Is it a sacrificial piece to protect the pump or the impeller? I can't see how it protects an impeller since there is minimum clearance. If it protects the aluminum wall of the pump wouldn't the strength of stainless as a replacement ring risk distorting the pump shape if a rock was sucked up?
I once replaced an aluminum boat prop for a stainless because it would be stronger. I nicked a rock at 2 mph and the prop was fine but the shaft was bent. In the end it cost me much more to fix than a new prop. Might a similar principle apply here with a stainless wear ring ?
 

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Not sure I understand. Is it a sacrificial piece to protect the pump or the impeller? I can't see how it protects an impeller since there is minimum clearance. If it protects the aluminum wall of the pump wouldn't the strength of stainless as a replacement ring risk distorting the pump shape if a rock was sucked up?
I once replaced an aluminum boat prop for a stainless because it would be stronger. I nicked a rock at 2 mph and the prop was fine but the shaft was bent. In the end it cost me much more to fix than a new prop. Might a similar principle apply here with a stainless wear ring ?
Correct. The plastic wear ring gives and is chewed up when something goes through the pump. Easier on the impeller. When you have the SS wear ring, there is no give and the impeller takes the abuse. $70 for a new wear ring, $300 for a new impeller. I would rather replace the wear ring instead of the impeller.

Yep, my phone sent this...
 
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