Reliable Bearing Solutions
Waukesha Bearings provides expertly engineered fluid film and magnetic bearings for compressors used throughout the natural gas extraction, storage and transmission process. Whether onshore, offshore or subsea, our bearings are designed to last.
Tilt Pad Journal Bearings
Dynamic conditions of high-speed axial and centrifugal compressors often necessitate the use of tilting pad journal bearing technologies. Design features such as ‘Directed Lubrication’ and specialized materials such as copper chrome (CuCr) backing allow us to maximize efficiency.
Tilt Pad Thrust Bearings
Waukesha Bearings tilt pad thrust bearings, available in non-equalizing and self-equalizing designs, handle high axial loads with minimal power loss. As with journal bearings, ‘Directed Lubrication’ and CuCr back pads are commonly specified.
Waukesha Bearings brush seals can minimize leakage gaps and increase operational efficiencies in compressors. The brush seal’s compliancy allows sealing clearances to be significantly reduced, while its low profile permits simple integration with labyrinth seals.
Waukesha Bearings horizontal bearing assemblies include highly customized journal or combined journal and thrust bearings designed to interface with an external pressurized oil system or operate as a fully self-contained unit.
Active Magnetic Bearings
Waukesha leads the industry in custom-engineered magnetic bearing systems for large turbomachinery, including centrifugal compressors, motor-compressors, and sealed motor-compressors. Our advanced systems provide extremely high reliability and availability, as well as remote support capability, making them well-suited to remote, unmanned locations.
Polymer Bearings for Thin Film Lubrication
An upgrade to polymer bearing materials may allow lubrication by water or other thin films.
In screw compressors where refrigerant has reduced the oil viscosity, polymer bearings can continue to support high thrust loads despite the thin film.
In axial compressors, polymer bearings can allow for water lubrication, eliminating the potential for oil to contaminate the compressed product and simplifying the sealing components.
Related Case Study
Over a 13-year span, a major South American oil company’s maintenance department fought recurring high vibrations in three gas reinjection compressor trains. A thorough analysis of the compressors and an inspection of damaged components led to a two-part solution. Since the implementation, the compressors have exhibited low vibration levels and overall efficiency has increased.
Magnetic Bearing Case Studies
Exceeding 95% Availability in Pipeline
After bitter experience with other compressor stations in frigid locations, Gazprom sought ways to improve compressor operations. Our robust AMB systems were able to increase reliability and availability, as well as improve integration with the compressor station.
Stability for Compressor Station Refrigeration Process
At a compressor station in West Siberia, a refrigeration process applied to the gas at the plant outlet created a requirement for a high efficiency compressor. That efficiency was achieved with a rotor shaft with a high slenderness ratio, resulting in a very flexible shaft. The industry-leading processing power and advanced control algorithms used by Waukesha AMB controllers were required for the successful operation of these machines.