Pump, Compressors, and Oil Field Industry
Pumps and compressors are used to compress, condense, and transport liquids and gases through a wide variety of industrial processes. Industries that rely on pump and compressor technology include oil and gas processing, wastewater treatment facilities, power generation operations, and mining applications, among many others. Each of these applications requires reliable pumps and compressors that can operate in harsh conditions for extended periods of time.
With growing worldwide energy demands, the oil and gas industry is faced with increasing pressure to provide more products while reducing their operational carbon footprint. Correspondingly, compressors and pumps used for oil and gas applications must be increasingly energy efficient, faster, and more compact. It is also crucial that these systems have accurate axial shaft positioning and robust performance of backup bearings, as even the slightest inaccuracy can reduce operational efficiency.
Increased performance requirements and smaller machinery mean greater pressure on individual components, such as ball bearings and roller bearings. To meet these challenges, it is critical that manufacturers incorporate only the highest quality bearings available on the market.
What Are the Common Bearings Used in Pumps, Compressors, and the Oil Industry?
Using oil and gas reserves requires high-performance load-bearing rotor bearings that can operate for long periods of time under extreme stress. To withstand the pressure and provide the necessary mobility for efficient operation, most oil and gas applications use ball and cylindrical roller bearings. These designs are capable of operating smoothly under heavy loads with minimal maintenance and without excessive vibration. Four-point contact bearings are particularly useful, with a split inner ring that can provide axial motion in multiple directions. Due to their ability to withstand high axial loads, four-point contact bearings are sometimes used to replace dual angular contact bearings.
The most common bearings used in pumps for the oil and gas industry include:
- High-load capacity angular contact ball bearings, with machined brass cages
- High-load capacity double-row angular contact ball bearings
- High-load capacity deep groove ball bearings
- High-load cylindrical roller bearings
Bearings used for compressors in oil and gas applications include:
- High-load cylindrical roller bearings
- Angular contact ball bearings
- High-speed cylindrical roller bearings
- High-speed angular contact ball bearings
What Are Some Common Applications for These Bearing Types?
For oil and gas applications, bearings must be able to maintain a high degree of reliability. At Emerson, we have the knowledge and experience to help you find the perfect bearing solution for your application. Some oil and gas applications that benefit from Emerson’s quality bearings include:
- Irrigation Pumps
- Oxygen Compressors
- Compressor Drives
- Vacuum Pumps
- High Flow Pumps
- Helical Gear Pumps
- Manufacturing Compressors
- Extraction Pumps, Compressors, and Turboexpanders
- Refining, Transport, and Storage of Oil and Natural Gas
Avoiding Contamination and What To Look Out For
No matter what kind of equipment you use, oil and gas operations are messy. It is therefore important to watch for shortened service life and excessive wear on your bearings to ensure that your equipment is in optimal condition. Bearing contamination is a common issue that results in premature bearing failure, even for high-quality bearings and pumps. Dirt, oil, and other contaminants can infiltrate the bearing mechanism, especially if the bearing has not been installed properly.
Water is also a common cause of contamination in oil and gas operations. Improper bearing storage and handling, poor installation, and failed seals can allow process liquid leaks and wash-down runoff to enter the bearing mechanism and reduce the bearing’s service life.
Finally, insufficient lubrication can cause undue wear on your bearing mechanism, so if your oil pump’s bearings are lasting less than 3-8 years, you should consider your facility’s lubrication practices.
Reliable, Long-Lasting Bearings From Emerson
Whether you are in need of heavy-duty contact ball bearings or high-speed cylindrical roller bearings, the experts at Emerson Bearing have the knowledge and experience to help you find the perfect solution for your oil and gas operation. To learn more about our industry-specific bearings and custom solutions, contact us today.
Special Solutions: We recommend bearings that have been developed specifically for these rugged demands. They offer extra capacity and reliability through unique rolling element and cage geometries and high heat stabilization. These are especially designed to meet the harshest of API-60 pump standards. Four point contact bearings are unique with their split inner ring. They accommodate high axial loads in either direction and in some cases can replace a pair of angular contact bearings. High performance lubricants and polymer filled cages can provide extended performance at a relatively low cost. For roller chain use in oil field or similar high stress applications we recommend chain that meets API 7F7 standards.
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