April 2014

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HP Reliability: Small deviations can compromise equipment reliability

In 2013, a major refinery was experiencing serious pump problems. The refinery had a massive thrust-bearing failure on a critical 3,560-rpm pump. The pump was designed and manufactured by a well-known..

Bloch, H. P., Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

In 2013, a major refinery was experiencing serious pump problems. The refinery had a massive thrust-bearing failure on a critical 3,560-rpm pump. The pump was designed and manufactured by a well-known company. It used two oil-mist lubricated 75-mm/40° angular-contact-thrust bearings that were arranged back-to-back. Each of these bearings had massive bronze cages, which were in compliance with the present API-610 standard for centrifugal pumps. Fig. 1 shows a section of a similar bearing. Some pumps are not achieving the lowest possible lifecycle costs with brass or bronze cage bearings. Depending on axial loading and bearing speed, carefully selected bearings with non-identical load an

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