August 2005

Special Report: Fluid Flow and Rotating Equipment

Oil mist lubrication for electric motors

Use these guidelines to improve reliability and efficiency

Bloch, Heinz P., Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Dry sump oil mist on electric motors is not new technology. In the mid-1960s, oil mist, a mixture of 200,000 volume parts of clean and dry plant or instrument air with one part of an appropriate lubricating oil, was recognized as the ideal lubricant application method on rolling-element electric motor bearings in several major refineries. Since then, this lubrication method has gained further acceptance at hundreds of reliability-focused process plants worldwide. As of the late 1990s, many thousands of electric motors were being lubricated by dry sump oil mist. However, while taking at least some steps to become more profitable through increased equipment reliability, most process p

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