Bearing isolators provide containment and protection from external contamination for bearing lubrication. Before bearing isolators, most rotating equipment bearings were protected with rubber lip seals or stationary labyrinths. Today a wide variety of rotating equipment still uses lip seals or dual labyrinths to contain and protect bearing lubrication. In most of these applications the performance of these devices fails to meet today’s MTBR objectives.
In virtually all rotating equipment applications lip seals lose their functionality within six months. Due to the elastomeric material running against a metallic rotating shaft, the lip seal can also damage the shaft.
Straight labyrinths are still used in many pieces of rotating equipment in the O&G and petrochemical and power industries such as pumps and steam turbines. However, IsoMag magnetic bearing isolators now provide a superior technology. With a more effective bearing lubrication containment, as well as enhanced protection from external contamination end-users achieve an improved MTBR.
Unlike labyrinth bearing isolators which are non-contacting devices, IsoMag magnetic bearing isolators provide a positive seal that prevents leakage, protects against the ingress of internal contamination, and provides years of reliable service.
The Society of Tribologists and Lubrication Engineers (STLE) and the National Research Council of Canada (NRCC) estimate that 82% of machine wear is caused by particle contamination. When bearing isolators are used in place of lip seals the repair , replacement and downtime costs for rotating equipment decreases substantially. Statistics show the repair cost of typical equipment failure due to rubber lip seal deterioration can be 5 to 15 times greater than the cost to prevent the failure in the first place. In many applications the positive seal technology of magnetic bearing isolators provides superior performance compared to lip seals and labyrinth bearing isolators.
Benefits of a positive contact seal are:
Magnetic Closing Force – “Magnetic energy is used to create a closing force keeping the seal faces in positive contact.”
Seals in all positions: horizontal, vertical, angled, rock and roll
Seals in all types of bearing lubrication: splash, flooded, forced, oil mist
Seals during stand-by
Reduces stray mist from oil mist systems
Enables use of closed-loop oil mist systems
Highly effective in gearbox applications
Virtually no heat load added to the bearing lubrication
Extremely low wear rate (12,000 sfpm 100,000 hrs)
O-ring sealing on OD
Easily installed by hand
Removable without damage to the isolator or equipment
Face seal that rotates with the shaft
No relative motion vs. equipment shaft — eliminates wear
Highly wear-resistant materials
As the pioneers in the magnetic bearing isolator market, ISOMAG continues to bring innovation and technology in an effort to extend rotating equipment life.
For more information on this magnetic, in-contact bearing isolator and how it can extend the life of your equipment, contact the ISOMAG team