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Screw Compressor Failure? Things To Look For

By Author: Asmita Lokhande
Total Articles: 148

The complete, air-tight and hermetic screw compressors are now quite popular and are used along with the HFC refrigerants. There are now preferred for the large and medium capacity water chillers. Refcomp compressors manufacturers offer you state-of-the-art machines that have the best of robustness and provide for a quiet operation. They are also the more energy efficient models and can tolerate all the adverse effects as they have superheated characteristics. The other kind of compressor, viz. the reciprocating compressor does not work well in these conditions and does not suit the blended refrigerants.

However, maintenance of the screw compressors can be pricey if proper care is not provided. The process may also be inconvenient. Many compressor maintenance service providers do not know the importance of the bearing replacements and overhauls of these modern and efficient machines. The older reciprocating compressors were operated until they broke. But the replacements of these older machines were quite easily available. The reciprocation exchanges were also quite suitable or the re-manufacture.

Debris accumulations
The moving parts of the screw compressors are in the form of a single rotor that has a gate or star rotors. 2 parallel rotors may also be there. There is also a side-valve device for measuring the capacity variations. The static casings and the rotors have their clearances close to each other, which may be a cause of a problem sometimes. The screw compressors have a highest rotating spin of around 8000 rpm. They hence have a rotating speed that is just double the speed of the reciprocating compressors. When there is a mechanical failure, then the metallic debris gets produced before the compressor stops fully. This debris may get dragged towards the effective pumping action, and more debris may also occur later. The debris may also make the compressor useless, and almost 3 out of 5 compressors suffering from a mechanical failure cannot be repaired.

The redundant castings may not always be available and the only option left would be the purchase of a new compressor that is provided to you by a Refcomp compressor manufacturer. Most often the failures occur at the most inconvenient moments, and there may be lots of urgent repairs required, causing lots of expense.

Things to do
Screw compressors are highly robust and are not much affected by minor defaults, which usually destroy a reciprocating model of equal capacity. Rolling bearings are used for achieving close tolerances, and they also offer higher speed of operation. The screw compressor also has a natural pull that draws the compressor rotor towards the suction’s direction. To lower this draw and effect, an angular contact ball-bearing is required. Rolling bearings consist of a defiant life and can last around 25,000 hours or around 4 to 5 years. While some manufacturers can suggest you a “bearing overhaul” process, others would like to sell a whole new replacement, when a failure affects the compressor. If the case of failures, there is hence lots of expenditure.

The bearing of the compressor may fail because of a number of oath reasons as well.

Copper plating
Copper debris may adversely affect around 70 % of compressors that get failed. This debris interferes with close running tolerances that the rotors and compressor bearings have and lead to the excessive loading of the rolling-element bearing, which causes the failure. The slide valve may also create certain problems, and may make the mechanism stick, thereby preventing proper control of the machinic load.

Light-load running
The screw compressors can get easily tired of the high head pressure. Running the compressor at low loads causes their internal wear-and-tear. Hence, they should run at more optimum temperatures.

Bearing spalling
Fatigue spalling may cause bearing failure, and the machine may suffer from cracks after millions of rotations and revolutions. The cracks can cause the flaking of the surface materials. Immense heat generated by friction and debris interference cause rapid and imminent failure. Choose a reputed copper product supplier to get the best product, when you need to exchange the old compressor for a new one.

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