At last month’s Pump & Turbomachinery Symposia, Waukesha Bearings featured its new Hidrax™ HT thrust bearing for high-temperature electric submersible pumps (ESPs). The Hidrax HT tilt pad thrust bearing can sustain unit loads of 8 MPa (1160 psi) at oil bath temperatures up to 300°C (572°F).
Technological advances in steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) are increasing ESP operating temperatures and placing increased demands on the thrust bearings located in the motor seal/protector section of the ESP string.
“Waukesha Bearings is staying ahead of industry needs through our continual investment in research and development,” explained Chief Engineer Barry Blair. “With this high-temperature tilt pad thrust bearing, we are building on more than 30 years of experience in advanced materials development, testing and implementation.”
The Hidrax HT bearing is a drop-in replacement option for equipment requiring increased load capacity at high temperatures. The bearing is available in sizes up to 200 mm (8"), with center or offset pivot designs. Given the hardness of the Hidrax HT bearing surface, the rotating thrust collar surface must be hard as well. Waukesha Bearings can supply an appropriate thrust collar that is designed to work well with the Hidrax HT bearing.
The Hidrax tilt pad thrust bearing platform is well-proven with polymer surfaces, with 200,000 supplied to date. Polymer Hidrax bearings have a rated unit load of 8 MPa (1160 psi) and oil bath temperature of 200°C (392°F).