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Bringing Proven Bearing and Seal Technology to Turbomachinery

Bringing Proven Bearing and Seal Technology to Turbomachinery

Applying Proven Bearing and Seal Technology to Turbomachinery Reduces Risk

Demanding turbomachinery environments drive the industry and its regulators toward more stringent operational and emissions requirements. Conventional bearings and seals are subject to wear, performance, safety and downtime issues.

“For years, the turbomachinery industry has been searching for a new bearing and seal technology which will alleviate some of the problems associated with wear and the use of oil lubrication,” says Paul Mehan, Director of New Business Development for New Way Air Bearings.

This includes the desire for oil-free operation, sealing solutions for fugitive emissions, and higher overall system efficiency.

“A real breakthrough in the search for better bearing and seal technology came with the development of Externally-Pressurized Porous (EPP) Media Gas Bearings and Seals,” Mehan notes. “This technology addresses many of the issues associated with conventional oil bearings, foil gas bearings, magnetic bearings, and seals that do not adequately eliminate leakage.”

This EPP Media is the enabling technology behind New Way’s Bently Bearings™ and New-Seal™ products.

Other New Technologies in the Mix

There have been other attempts at solutions along the way.

Foil bearings, a type of aerodynamic gas bearing, have been developed and applied with a degree of success, but are only capable of handling small loads. Furthermore, foil bearings do have contact at start-up, which causes a certain amount of wear.

Magnetic bearings are another non-contact technology that has gained some traction during recent years. They are costly, have a complex control system, and require “back-up” bearings in the event of failure. They also have issues with heat generation and high loads.

A Non-Contact, Oil-Less Bearing Solution

“It’s the constant wear and lubrication issues that have caused the majority of the industry’s issues,” Mehan continues. “So New Way focused on a non-contact solution.”

The company’s Bently Bearings™ transmit externally-pressurized gas through a porous media, enabling rotating shafts to ‘float’ on a very small film of gas, usually less than 0.0005 inches.

Without contact, these bearings can operate at much higher speeds, while producing very little heat. Some of the resulting benefits are longer life, lower energy consumption, and the elimination of oil lubricants. In fact, Bently Bearings™ run without contact even at start-up. They offer adjustable stiffness and damping, and they have a higher load-carrying capability when higher input pressures are applied.

Because they are oil-free, Bently Bearings™ also radically reduce maintenance requirements and environmental issues.

Shaft Sealing without Leakage

New Way’s New-Seal™ product prevents system pressure leakage in pumps, compressors, turbines, and turboexpanders by transmitting externally-pressurized gas through the same porous media used in Bently Bearings™. This creates a very small (0.0005 inch) pressure zone, which more effectively seals the system at both ends of the shaft.

New-Seal solutions enable non-contact shaft sealing for liquids, gasses, fine powders, or slurries.

As a sister technology to Bently Bearings™, New-Seal™ products provide similar benefits. These benefits include oil-free operation, which significantly reduces or eliminates maintenance while also providing a solution for eliminating fugitive emissions.

New-Seal™ technology is much closer to having zero-leakage than other technologies, while conventional sealing still allows for a small amount of leakage

Applying Proven Bearing and Seal Technology to Turbomachinery Reduces Risk

New Way has engineered groundbreaking solutions for both bearing and sealing in demanding turbomachinery environments. Both Bently Bearings™ and New-Seal™ products work using proven New Way Porous Media Technology™.

New Way is disrupting innovation in industries as diverse as aerospace, automotive, medical and consumer electronics, as well for many other applications requiring a non-contact, high-precision solution.

“The introduction of this proven technology into the oil and gas market has begun,” Mehan concludes. “ I believe it will be providing solutions to turbomachinery’s toughest challenges over the next few years.”

For more information on bearing and seal technology, contact us today for your complimentary consultation!

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