Water contamination in bearing oil is a common recurring issue for steam turbines in the oil and gas industry. Labyrinth isolators fail to stop condensate from entering the bearing housing as steam dissipates from the carbon box. Shell in Port Arthur, Texas has many of steam turbines in operation, and a common maintenance procedure is to drain the water out of the bearing housings. After another failure on their Skinner S28 steam turbine, Shell specified Isomag magnetic face bearing isolators. It was a hot job, and needed a quick turnaround. Isomag was able to measure, engineer, and manufacture three custom fitted seals for them in less than 48 hours.
Shell put an end to this issue by replacing the existing labyrinth isolators with Isomag magnetic bearing isolators, because Isomag magnetic bearing isloators are a positive seal and keep water out. Since installed in 2014, the end user reports that the seals are running smoothly at low temperatures with no evidence of water contamination. The old practice of evaporating water out of the oil twice a year is no longer necessary.
A brochure for Isomag bearing isolators for steam turbines can be found here. Also as a reminder, Isomag bearing isolators can be custom made to fit your machine. Contact our customer service team and we will help you find the ideal solution for your needs.