Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 5
Case History The root cause of a shaft crack by Don Stteocl Bently Nevada Comporatton Deny Neva one gs A nese pred a Sons stan Av sin pan thas shat cnc might be occurring oma cael yn fs compreso an ‘he nclent cued tn Owober 19) bath showed send tac change 2X ample and Phase esc Prone be tery accu, sd the oidown of the machin saved it ron potent Waste Ele ‘comprehen imestgtion by plane personel wi he setance of Beny Nevada machinery dagst nl igonen specs, even iene te ote cue othe prob tem The comestie action talent ‘Sut oF tis eatin ranoved Sajor pln boteneck and ened that the problem would not rc, Shaft crack shuts down plant The macnine synthe om presor Gate, & elf make ftomonis at Incees Gibson and Mort sane asta Ince the linet supp of feiss inital heme In sand fomonis bie pencal chemi tei fr the manta of ese Drone Terre the ge compres: Sorte mow ct machin ne pln, In 1985, the ammonia plant was upto 120 the gal dean Spay approsinatel 633.000 (oo ton pers Hower dui 20 orbit recommissioning, severe problems ‘occurred with the speed increasing -geutbox of the synthesis gas compres sor: These problems were so severe that extensive gearbox structural and Internal _ mechanical modifications ‘were required before reliable oper tion was achieved in 1987, Buen after ‘the modifications, the ammonia plant still couldn't operate continuonsly at 12006 expacity. This was due 10 eleva ed temperatures on the high speed pinion output shaft coupling end rade ial bearing (known onsite as. the northwest bearing”) Previous experience had shown that temperatures in excess of 121°C (50°F) would result in the rapid fai lure of the northwest bearing, and therefore, an alam was configured to ‘warn plant operators when this tem perature was reached, When the tem perature monitor went into. alarm, ‘operators immediately reduced plant production unul the bearing tempera ture stabilized ata lower temperature. Dearing effectively limited the entire plant production to 115% of eapacis: ‘Often, the plant would pun at 120% plant capacity for several weeks, with the northwest bearing temperature at LTC 24°F) Then, the bearing tem- perature Would suddenly rise, in a stepike manner, forcing operators to reduce production until the bearing cooled. Often, production wouk! have to be reduced 10 112% before the >earing’s emperature became stable In October 1981, information from an online Bently Nevada Dynamic Data Manager! System suggested that 2 crack might be propagating on the Input shaft of the speed increasing, gearbox. Maintenance personel ‘advised that the syn gx compressor be shut down immediately, which stopped the ammonia pkint and downstream production. Upon disas- sembly, maintenance technicians found that the input shaft coupling taper was cricked, 180 degrees around its circumference and through Tho poblon wih the mochwen Sounds creuerenecan oh ee seeenon A,“ cetnenaes san (7h —— | cof We ee ol ot oun cnt caine ewe “The Synthesis Gos Compressor tai fs unusual. docs not use # steam turbine diver, Instead, its driven by gas generator calsnstng ino a reseton tbne Te reacts ‘rbine drives three “barrel type" compressors, through a speed Increasing gearbon June 1996 A spare set of gears was installed and the machine rewirned to service. The September 1992 issue of Orbit des: feribes how the cracked shaft was detected, nl the compressor saved. ing the shaft crack The falled gears were of high qual ty; and had been in serviee for less than four years. To underscand why the shaft cracked, and to prevent & from recurring, Incitce began an ine depth investigation of the problern Incitec commissioned a failure analysis ofthe input shaft that includ fed tractography, chemical analysis, metallurgical examination and ban! ness testing, Fractographitc analysis of ‘the damaged shaft showed that the ‘crack had begun adjacent to the cov pling taper key, where fretting and cortosion damage was evident. The ‘erack had slowly spread, rally and aginst the direevion of rotation, into the coupling taper keyway. Then, it reversed direction and spread rapidly i the direction of rocation, Failure analysis concluded that the shaft ‘eracked due to fatigue, ent, Incitee reviewed trend and alarm data from their Bently Nevada Dynamic Dati Manager? syste (DM). DOM is a permanentiyinst Jed online diagnostic system for erith ccal_machinery, It automatically collects and stores data during steady state machine operation, at predefined {tervals and whenever an alarm ‘oceus. DDM data is. essential for localizing machine problems and for Investig, understanding how they developed. Incitec later upgraded their BBM System to the Bently Nevada Transient Data Manager® 2. System CTDN2). M2 4s more powerful than the DDM System, because it is not limited to seadyastate data, [¢ acquires data ducing transient machine operation, when a machine changes speed oF lend, Trnsient data aequired during machine startups and shutdowns reveals fundamental machine che teristics thar steady state data cannot, ‘The DDM trencls of thrust position showed unust Doth the ge 1 axial movement of box input shaft and the resetion turbine rotor, These treads indicated that the reaction vurbine rotor would periodically move avy From the gearbox and toward the gas eneraton.at the same time as the gear box input shaft moved zway from the reaction turbine, Thrust bearing tem: Figure 2 perature changes, on both shatts, co firmed the thrust trend data, ‘rend data showed that the unust al axkal motion ws not constant, but instead followed a 2+hour cycle During the day, the gearbox input shaft nd eeaetion tuxbine roI0r would night, the movements would! reverse. Also, by correlating shaft axial motion with ammonia plant production, it yn each other, then at became clear that nus: large axial movements corresponded with changes io ammonte production, to keep the northwest bearing tem: perature under 121°C (250°F) OLd gearsets were also examined ‘One geaset, thought to have been removed from the synthesis gs com: pressor gearbox in the 1970s, had a ‘eruck on its input shaft coupling taper that was identical in size and location to the one being investigated Misalignment is suspected The investigation concloded that the crack on the input shalt was prob ably die to severe misalignment between the reaction turbine and the ‘geatbox, for these reasons + Misalignment could produce the Gyalie forces necessary to cause Fatigue faikire. The corrosion ob- served near the keyway, where the crack began, was probably caused by an imperfect coupling ft + diislignment could cause the Machine train diagram showing transducer placement. June 1996 Orbit 21 flexible geartype coupling bet ween the two units to “lockup? which could cause die unusual axial movements observed on bot! the gearbox input shafe and the reaction turbine rotor The second eriecked shaft indicated that ifthe turbine and gearbox were misaligned, they had been misaligned fora long time. Investigators believed that the problem worsened alter the Synthesis Gas Compressor’ speed and load were inezeased In 1988 10 accom ‘modate increased production require: “The investigation also indicaced song relationship between the sus pected misalignment and the north west bearing’s high temperature. However, the exaet nature of the rel tionship was not clear Accurate thermal offsets required The Synthesis Gas Compressor train had traditionally been aligned Lusng thermal offsets that had evolsed Dover time. The Original Equipment “Manufactures (OEM) manual suggest fed establishing a thermal offset by frst running che machine tain up tO full operating load and temperature, then quickly stopping it and checking the coupling alignment, From past measurements, technicians had devel ped cold alignment setings that they applied eaeh time the machine train was aligned. The reaction turbine rotor had been coldaligned using those offsets at D.Smimn (0-020 inches) lower than the geatbox input shat This time, plant personnel wanted 4 more aceuirate thermal offset mea surement They decided 0 measire the position of the geaction turbine casing relative to the gearbox frame both when the machines were cold and when they were at operating tem perature. They would use that infor mation (o calculate the hot coupling alignment, and the severity ofthe sus pected mballgament. from this, they could develop more accurate cold coupling alignment targets 10 com ensate for the ifferent thermal growths of the two machines. Plant 22 Orbit personnel alko wanted to measure the difference in thermal growth between the gearbox and the LP compressor 10 determine if misalignment was cavs- ing the northwest bearing 0 over heat, ‘Measurement techniques Two measurement systems were accurate enough 10 make those me semen, One Wasa laser system an the other was Bently Nevada's optical system Is the laser system, ascremit- sensors are mounted on one side ‘of the coupling. on both the horizon tal and vertical centertines Reflecting prisms are mounted opposite the sen s0rs,on the other side of the coupling When the machines are cold, the lasers are adjusted so the beams reflect from the prism to the center of the laser-Then, as the machines reach, ‘operating temperature, the postion of the laser beam on the sensor inlicates the difference in the thermal growths fof the machines synthesis gas compressor in January 1993 for two days, «© modify the machine,so the laser equipment could he installed. A representative of the laser equipment vendor was present ‘luring the machine outage, to ensure that the equipment was proper installed and the data correctly inter preted. I was relatively eagy to mount the lasers and prisms on the gearbox and the LP compressor. However, it was o2sibeie (aot oxbit or gotar plot) ‘The root cause ‘The root cause was revealed when ‘the gearbox was inspected. Inspection showed that both high speed pinion radial bearings were edge-loaded, However, gearbox Mexing was not the ‘cause aris om the bearings indicated that the pinion was defleeting down ‘wan under load, placing all of ts load fon less than 25% of the bearing bab bit area, In previous inspections of the gear= bbox, the pinion's load was evenly dis tributed on both bearings, although the northwest bearing was heavily loaded. A new: finite element analysis, Of the high speed pinion determined thar the gear are was quite gd. However it also showed thar the jour: ls were deflecting 0.04 mm (0.0015 Inches) under load, Plant personnel concluded that misalignment between the gearbox and the LP compressor had forced the journal out ofits natural shape wh it was loaded. Now that the mislign _ment was corrected, the bearing’ load ‘was less, but was concentrated in a soaller area That 4s why the north ‘west bearing was even hotter after the machine was aligned, Measurements showed that, when the high speed pinion was cold, the 2.00 4009 Y to X (ew) rotation Figure 4 Shaft centerline plot, showing the shaft movement athe dive bearing ofthe LP ‘compressor daring machine startup. 24 Orbit bearing journals were true tothe rad al bearings. Technicians placed 0.04 mim shims under the inner edge ofthe bearings, to make them tilt upsiaed ‘Then, they scraped the bearings until there was even contact aeqass the baby bit Before restating the Synthesis Gas ‘Compressor, the shims were removed. ‘Without the shims, the outer edges of the radial bearings should be loaded at ow loads, whieh should eause higher ‘operating temperatures. However, at full Joad, when the journals deflected, {he load distribution should improve. Indeed, when the Synthesis Gas Compressor wis restarted at Tow load both of the high speed pinion bear. ings were approximately 7°C @0°F) hotter than before. However, as load increased, the temperatures stabilize, and a full load of 120% was achieved The nonthwest bearing cemperature never exceeded 110°C @30"D. Conclusions The problems with the Synthesis Gas Compressor were complex and Imerrelated. However, these conch sions can be made: + Accurate measwements are es: sential, This problem would not have been solved without accurate equipment for monitoring, trending ‘and diagnosing machine vibration, as well as messurement of ‘and dynamic algnment + Strong support from management is essential in solving complex problems, particularly when care fully prepared plans go wrong, + Bven the most experienced plant cenuinects sometimes require help in solving complex problems, Bently Nevada's TOM2 system, along with knowledgeable dlagnostc and alignment specialists, provided ‘essential information and advice that helped Ineitec technicians solve this dlitfieult_ problem. Bently Nevada's expertise is avalble worldwide, 10 help solve complex problems and keep plants running. Contact your nearest office for more information June 1996