June 2011

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HP Reliability: How do you size expansion chambers (assuming it is needed)

Expansion chambers (Fig. 1) are designed to restrict pressure increase in closed volumes. From basic physics, we, of course, know that the pressure in a closed volume increases as temperature goes up...

Bloch, H. P., Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Expansion chambers (Fig. 1) are designed to restrict pressure increase in closed volumes. From basic physics, we, of course, know that the pressure in a closed volume increases as temperature goes up. In case a shaft seal is so tight that it will no longer allow air confined in bearing housings or gearboxes to flow in and out, the trapped air would be pressurized as temperature rises. Creating a larger volume for the trapped air would keep the pressure down. We find expansion chambers advertised for use on process pumps and gearboxes. They can replace breather vents that are commonly found on pump-bearing housings or gear casings.     Fig. 1. A threaded-type   expans

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