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Premature Failure of Gas Compressor Bearings

Premature Failure of Gas Compressor Bearings

(OP)
I have a CP 550A gas compressor which is seizing after 30 minutes of running. The bearings after 10 minutes look like they have months of run time on them. Our mechanics have been meticulous in rebuilding the compressor holding the closest tolerances that they can. We have rebuilt this compressor 5 times, replacing crank, bearings, connecting rods, cross heads, and line boring the frame. And still the connecting rod and main bearings are failing. It appears that the bearing are starving for oil but we can get anywhere from 60 to 110 psi of oil pressure and when the oil pump is actuated by hand when get oil throughout the system.

Hoping someone on here might have some ideas.

Thanks,

Craig

RE: Premature Failure of Gas Compressor Bearings

several years ago, we took apart a forced draft blower for inspection. removal of lube oil pipe and other components was necessary.
when the lube oil pipe was re-installed, the gasket was inserted without a center hole punched. yeah, the blower ran for about 15-minutes before we were going to shut it down due to high lube oil temps, but it seized first. not a pretty sight and we ended up cutting the shaft in two to remove from the blower. not a pleasant activity out in the middle of the ocean.
check the path from pump to bearing to be sure of no obstructions (i.e. blow air through lube oil piping).
hope this helps and good luck.
-pmover

RE: Premature Failure of Gas Compressor Bearings

had a simialr experience repairing a clients machine that had failed, the lube line to the bearings inside frame was cracked and starved the crank for oil

RE: Premature Failure of Gas Compressor Bearings

These problems can be frustrating and elusive. Assuming that the compressor has been rebuilt properly and to the specs, I would look at the startup procedure. For instance, if the compressor is being started in very cold temperatures, it is possible that the lubrication system is not providing enough oil volume and pressure at the first moments of startup. Or, perhaps, the load on the compressor at time of startup is too high and the lubrication is not yet present upon the first few revolutions, causing damage to the bearings.

As I have spent my career working with gas compressors, including a fair bit of failure analysis, its possible that I can provide some more assistance with a lot more detail of the compressor and its operation.

Will

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