Bearings for hydrogen-rich gas application

SKF helps compressors handle hydrogen-rich process gases

The challenge
As part of an initiative to boost production, enhance performance and meet new environmental standards, a 75 000 bpd, US-based refinery planned to put seven single screw oil-flooded screw compressors into service. The compressors were to handle hydrogen-rich process gases.

Based on past experience, refinery operators anticipated condensation-related problems with the bearing arrangements. To help ensure high reliability despite the hydrogen-rich process gases, the refinery looked to SKF for help.

The SKF solution
SKF engineers suggested the installation of rolling bearings with super-tough stainless steel rings, ceramic rolling elements, glass fiber reinforced PEEK cages and the selection of a special lubricant to further resist corrosion. Begun in 2006, these custom upgrades were completed by 2008.

The results
These advanced SKF bearing arrangements proved to extremely reliable, running in excess of 14 000 hours and 3 and ½ years, at the time of this writing.

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