April 1998

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HP Reliability: Improve selecting valve unloaders for reciprocating compressors

In a recent investigation of serious compressor distress, it was alleged that finger-type unloaders had undergone 600 actuations per day. Since the service was corrosive and less-than-clean, the unloa..

Bloch, Heinz P., Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

In a recent investigation of serious compressor distress, it was alleged that finger-type unloaders had undergone 600 actuations per day. Since the service was corrosive and less-than-clean, the unloader fingers often wore excessively. We reminded the plant that plug-type unloaders can be a viable alternative. Also, we pointed out the position taken by John Metcalf, engineering manager for Cook-Manley, Houston. Accordingly, John reminds us that: In many reciprocating compressor designs, unloading devices are a source for many maintenance headaches. They are used to accomplish several tasks ? reduce the load on the driver during startup, eliminate the compression of gas in one or mor

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