Refinery case study reveals smart engineering solutions

Refinery case study reveals smart engineering solutions

For the duration of a 2021 freeze event in Texas, a big petrochemical refinery knowledgeable the failure of quite a few pump bearing housings all over the facility.

The freeze prompted big residential and professional energy outages across the state. When the refinery misplaced electricity, it also shed cooling h2o cooling water which the bearings and bearing housings relied on to run at around ideal temperature. The cast iron bearing housings cracked from water freezing in the housing, ensuing in the hold off of the refinery’s startup.

Some pumps ended up missing spare parts needed for startup, which could have resulted in important financial penalties for the refinery. Additionally, the unsuccessful bearing housings have been castings, and the quoted delivery time was various months absent . The proposed mend was to braze the bearing housings brazing is a popular fix for solid iron, which are not able to be welded using conventional techniques. If the proposed restore did not function, waiting around for a new casting would have extra substantial delays. 

The aim

This party set in movement the mission to give similar-working day, short-term mend services, even though engineering extended-term repair service and preventative solutions. Conhagen’s engineers would deliver speedy reaction and restore operation to the refinery.

The remedy

Cast iron cannot be welded, but it may well be brazed. It is not an ideal fix simply because it is difficult to achieve and has a significant-repeat failure fee. In this situation, it was applied as a non permanent mend to make it possible for the refinery to be up and operating and to prevent pricey downtime. Concurrent with the braze repair service, Conhagen engineers made use of contactless 3D scanning to digitize the bearing housing and reverse engineer all characteristics and features. This allowed Conhagen to boost on the recent bearing housing style with minimum additional hold off to the repair.


For the new bearing housings, Conhagen’s engineers evaluated the present styles and made suggested trustworthiness updates. The updates fell into two groups — type 1 and type 2.  

New bearing housing design and style 1

Fabricated, water – cooled housing

The bearing housing was 3D-scanned prior to the temporary restore. Conhagen then fabricated a new carbon metal bearing housing. The benefit of carbon steel construction is the biggest gain of model 1, which is now weld repairable. This mend would be regarded as everlasting, as opposed to the braze repair, and enables for potential weld repairs.

New bearing housing type 2

Air-cooled housing

Conhagen’s engineers evaluated the bearing style and design and pump thrust calculations. They recognized numerous of the frozen bearing housings that could be redesigned to eradicate the cooling drinking water fully. Centered on the predicted warmth generated, they ended up in a position to redesign the bearing housings, utilizing cooling fins which removed the want for h2o cooling. The new bearing design temperatures ended up even now in just the wanted assortment for ideal bearing lifestyle. The new housings had been machined from ASTM A276 Style 410 stainless steel and eradicated the failure system entirely though nonetheless providing adequate cooling to the bearing for dependable procedure.

For additional than 50 many years, Conhagen has used ‘best in class’ remedies to its items and apps and utilizes really hard main rotating gear design to produce one of a kind final results to specific client issues.

The company has an array of engineering solutions to match your needs. Conhagen’s engineers do the job straight with shoppers from root induce to applying the very best alternative. If your firm is experiencing cracked cast iron bearing housings, desires assistance with solving rotating machines or has manufacturing demands, make contact with Conhagen. 

For extra facts, take a look at or contact (409) 938-4226.