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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 constantly 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.

“Traditional solutions are not sufficient to meet the market’s needs,” said Rick Pollick, Director, New Business Development for New Way Air Bearings. “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.”

This includes the desire for oil-less 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,” Pollick noted. “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 BearingsTM and New-SealTM 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. However, one of the key drawbacks to this technology is that these bearings are only capable of handling small loads. Further, 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. While magnetic bearings do allow for non-contact operation, they are costly, have a complex control system, and require “back-up” bearings in the event of failure. They also tend to 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,” Pollick continued. “So New Way focused on a non-contact solution.”

The company’s Bently BearingsTM 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. This results in improved long life, lower energy consumption, and the elimination of using oil, to name a few of the benefits.

In fact, Bently BearingsTM, 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-less, Bently BearingsTM radically reduces maintenance requirements and environmental issues.

Shaft Sealing without Leakage

“The industry had similar issues when sealing shafts,” Pollick indicated. “Whether you’re working with pumps, compressors, turbines, or turboexpanders, preventing ‘system pressure’ from escaping at the shaft is critical.”

New Way’s New-SealTM products prevent such leakage by transmitting externally-pressurized gas through the same porous media used in Bently BearingsTM. 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, gases, fine powders, or slurries.

As a sister technology to Bently BearingsTM, New-SealTM products provide similar benefits, including oil-less operation which significantly reduces or eliminates maintenance. And, of course, they provide a solution for eliminating fugitive emissions.

While conventional sealing technology allows for a small amount of controlled leakage, New-SealTM technology is much closer to having zero-leakage than any other technology.

Applying Proven Bearing and Seal Technology to Turbomachinery Reduces Risk

New Way has engineered chasm-crossing solutions for both bearing and sealing in demanding turbomachinery environments. Both Bently BearingsTM and New-SealTM products work using proven New Way Porous Media TechnologyTM, which is already creating disruptive 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,” Pollick concluded. “And although it’s a paradigm shift for the industry, I believe it will be providing solutions to turbomachinery’s toughest challenges over the next few years.”

If you’re gassed-up and ready to go right now, contact us directly today for your complimentary consultation!

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