Dover Precision Components Expands Its TruTech High Performance Materials Portfolio

TruTech™ Materials Provide Foundation for Next-Generation Reciprocating Compressor Sealing Solutions

Dover Precision Components is proud to announce the expansion of its TruTech™ materials brand, delivering the latest advances in polymer science to enhance the performance and reliability of critical components in rotating and reciprocating machinery.

Dover Precision Components has made significant investments in its Materials Technology initiative to fully integrate materials research with engineering expertise and practical experience in machinery applications. A world-class team of material scientists has been assembled to develop proprietary TruTech polymeric materials, optimize process parameters and ensure product quality. A dedicated materials laboratory featuring state-of-the-art mechanical, chemical, optical and thermal analysis equipment, as well as advanced friction and wear testing, provides the necessary tools to fully evaluate materials and their signature properties. In addition, the recently constructed Dover Precision Components Innovation Lab allows testing in real-world environments to transform material properties into customer benefits.

Early results of this investment have already shown promise. The Dover Precisions Components Materials Technology initiative has introduced new materials for high-pressure, non-lubricated reciprocating compressor applications and developed new manufacturing methods to provide greater freedom to product development engineers.

“Our TruTech materials provide a significant advantage in meeting customer needs for performance in demanding operating conditions and position us to serve the next generation of reciprocating and rotating machinery,” said Jane Kober, Vice President of Marketing and Innovation for Dover Precision Components. “Our expertise enables us to develop, test, and deliver reliable solutions using the most advanced polymer materials.”

TruTech materials are designed for optimum performance characteristics in a variety of operating conditions and have decades of proven success in the field. They are formulated from high performance polymers, such as PTFE, PEEK, UHMWPE, PPS, polyimide and other high-temperature aromatic polymer materials, in combination with state-of-the-art fillers, carefully selected and formulated to satisfy application requirements. All formulation, manufacturing and testing is done in-house to ensure high quality standards and full traceability.

Broad research and development capabilities allow complete control of the material development process, from material composition and processing through manufacturing and product testing. Maintaining these capabilities in-house provides Dover Precision Components the flexibility to customize material solutions for specific applications and operating environments. New materials receive intensive laboratory analysis and undergo comprehensive testing before release to the field.

The Dover Precision Components Materials Technology initiative is currently developing material solutions to extend the useful life of Cook Compression® packing rings, wiper rings, piston rings and rider rings, as well as enhance performance in non-lubricated environments and process gases, such as hydrogen. The expanded TruTech materials portfolio also includes materials formulated to extend the service life of Waukesha Bearings® fluid film bearing products and Inpro/Seal® Bearing Isolators and Air Mizer® shaft seals.

The Expanding Universe of Fluid Film Bearing Materials

Fluid film bearings are often designed as a sacrificial component in rotating machines. The primary characteristics of a bearing material are compatibility, conformability and embeddability. These qualities reduce the likelihood of damage to the shaft during start-up and shutdown, or from upset conditions, misalignments or occasional ingestion of contaminants. A bearing material must also have adequate compressive strength, temperature capability, and corrosion and wear resistance for the given use.

To meet the widening range of application requirements and operating conditions for high-performing rotating equipment, advances in fluid film bearing materials give differing emphasis to these ideal characteristics, sometimes requiring trade-offs.

In the February 2017 issue of International Oil & Gas Engineer, Senior Development Engineer Sriram Venkatesan outlines differentiating characteristics of fluid film bearing material options, including tin-based alloys (babbitt), bronze, aluminium-tin, engineered polymers, ceramics (and cermets) and super-hard materials such as polycrystalline diamond (PCD).

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Bearing Business

By Barry Blair, Waukesha Bearings
Published in Processing magazine, May 2016

Bearings are a critical component in equipment reliability, efficiency and life. The majority of rotating process equipment today relies on rolling element bearings or fluid film bearings to counteract gravity and other forces in the equipment and allow the shaft to rotate freely. Selecting the right bearing for the equipment and application is essential to the successful operation of that equipment.

A key difference between rolling element bearings and fluid film bearings when it comes to process equipment maintenance is the expected life of the bearings. Rolling element bearings typically have a predictable life based on the operating conditions. When properly designed and maintained, fluid film bearings can operate for decades.

The proper selection of materials and mechanical design is the foundation for a fluid film bearing’s long life. Typical factors that affect material selection include load, speed, operating temperature, insulation requirements, and lubricant type and cleanliness. Depending on the requirements, material options include babbitt (also known as whitemetal), bronze, aluminum tin, polymer, ceramic, cermet and diamond.

For the mechanical design, the fluid film bearing designer must not only consider the proper sizing of the bearing to handle the loads and minimize the power loss but also incorporate features to optimize the formation of film and tune the dynamic characteristics of the bearing. Tuning the bearing’s characteristics improves the performance of the process equipment.

For more detail about material selection and bearing design factors, continue reading the article in the May 2016 issue of Processing magazine or online at www.processingmagazine.com.

New Bearing Designs Meet Demands for Extended Pump Operating Life

By Barry Blair, Chief Engineer, Waukesha Bearings
Published in Modern Pumping Today, February 2015

The pump industry, like many others in today’s economic landscape, is striving to extend equipment operating life while putting greater demands on that equipment. Developments toward longer life and increased productivity are creating a chain reaction of demands, innovations and improvements.

As the industry continues to push the limits for greater efficiency, the pumps require higher quality bearings with a greater operating range.

Read about recent bearing developments for electric submersible pumps, subsea pumps and traditional oil-lubricated pumps in the February 2015 issue of Modern Pumping Today.

Download the PDF below, or read the article online at Modern Pumping Today.

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Waukesha Bearings Introduces Tilt Pad Thrust Bearings for High-Temp ESPs

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.”

View more information on the Hidrax HT thrust bearing

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).

Read more about advanced material bearings from Waukesha Bearings

Advanced Bearing Materials for Process Lubricated Systems

By Jeff Anderson, Waukesha Bearings Corporation, and Kevin Terrasi, Pump Engineering, Inc.
Published in Pumps & Systems, May 2010

Pump manufacturers in a variety of industries are increasingly asked to deliver more with less; they need to handle increased loads with improved system efficiency but reduce envelope, environmental impact and total system cost. As an added challenge, many of these applications are running in low viscosity process fluids. Such applications include chemical processing, mine-dewatering, seawater lift, subsea booster, water injection and desalination pumps.

Process lubricated applications require bearing solutions that can meet (or exceed) the load expectations of oil-lubricated systems while resisting corrosion and swelling, and operating under boundary lubrication conditions. The traditional solution to meet these requirements had been stainless steel pads running against a collar with a graphite insert or ferrobestos pads running against a hard interface; however, ferrobestos is no longer acceptable due to its asbestos content.

As an alternative, Waukesha Bearings, an operating company of Dover Corporation, has developed and validated solid polymer bearing technology to address the many challenges inherent in process lubricated applications. Solid polymer components offer the high load capability and low friction of graphite/stainless steel systems, the wear resistance of ferrobestos and temperature limits double that of standard Babbitt-lined bearings (250 deg C, 482 deg F). Critical to many applications, these components are also resistant to corrosion and capable of embedding particulate (such as salt or dirt) from within the closed system.

A solid polymer, tilting pad thrust bearing is capable of supporting loads up to 10 MPa at typical pump operating speeds. This bearing is engineered to accommodate lubrication by a variety of low viscosity fluids, including water, toluene, mono-ethylene glycol and hexane. The technology was released in 2007 after several years of development and field testing. Since that time, the bearings have been successfully integrated into numerous applications, including those running directly on pumped seawater like swash-plate pumps and high-pressure centrifugal pumps supplying water to reverse osmosis membranes in desalination plants. Original equipment manufacturers (OEM) and end users of these products have noted significant benefits from the ability to use process fluids as a lubricant; one such benefit has been the ability to reduce the size, and subsequently the total cost, of the equipment through the elimination of separate oil lubricating systems and associated seals.

Pump Engineering, Inc., an Energy Recovery Inc company, designs and manufactures high efficiency pumps and energy recovery hydraulic turbochargers for reverse osmosis systems. The company recognized the benefits of using process lubricated bearings and has designed their proprietary pumps to include this technology.

One pump model, an advanced variable speed single-stage pump specifically designed for seawater desalination, has a design point at a capacity of 5,700 gpm at a total developed head of 1,107 feet at 3,600 rpm. Solid polymer bearing technology allowed operation at high loads and very thin films, reducing thrust bearing power losses that can dramatically impact the pump’s overall efficiency. Throughout the development process, the pump achieved efficiencies in the mid to high 80s. Efficiency levels approaching 90 percent are anticipated as the product line is expanded. The high load carrying capability of the bearing solution eliminated the need for a thrust balancing system (traditionally an industry standard), reducing design complexity and areas of maintenance and potential failure.

Another pump model developed from the same manufacturer for RO service that benefitted from this bearing design is a high-efficiency, multistage reverse osmosis pump also designed for seawater desalination; it can deliver flows from 100 to 5,000 gpm at pressures up to 1,200 psi, and can also be used in co-generation, pressure boosting, irrigation and boiler feed water applications. This efficient multistage reverse osmosis pump is designed for in-field hydraulic retrofit if operating conditions change. The bearings are designed with a margin of safety in operating loads and temperatures to allow field retrofit without the need for a bearing change.

These types of pump applications are ideally suited for solid polymer bearing technology. They combine the challenges of hydrodynamic bearing design with the application of advanced polymer materials to deliver optimized performance across a wide range of operating conditions. OEMs are realizing the performance benefit of thrust bearings operating on thinner hydrodynamic films, whether in water, process fluids or oil. Thinner films at optimized temperatures deliver substantially lower power losses within the bearing system, improving the overall efficiency of the rotating machine.

The partnership between the bearing and pump manufacturer led to an exclusive agreement covering desalination applications and has been beneficial for both companies throughout the development of RO pump product lines. Working together, these companies are looking for additional product applications to use the solid polymer bearing technology.

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Plain Bearing Options for Pumps

Pump applications demand a wide range of bearing designs. In the June 2002 issue of World Pumps, Guy Pethybridge (Product Manager) and Nigel New (Product Development) of Waukesha Bearings focus on hydrodynamic bearings, considering how factors such as operating temperature, load and lubricant influence the choice of bearing material. In particular, the characteristics and benefits of polymer bearings are highlighted.

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