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GRAPHALLOY Lasts 20 Years plus in Power Recovery Turbine


A US refinery was utilizing a Sulzer 4x6 10-stage MSD pump as a power recovery turbine (PRT). The power recovery turbine was connected through a clutch to help drive a Pacific barrel pump. The Pacific pump was the main charge pump in the refinery.

Operating a centrifugal pump as a power recovery turbine means introducing a high-pressure stream of fluid to the discharge of the pump and utilizing the stages of the rotor to break down the pressure while spinning the rotor backwards and converting the fluid pressure to horsepower.

By connecting the turbine to the pump train via a clutch, they could capture the horsepower generated to assist in driving the barrel charge pump. The charge pump was motor driven with an assist from the power recovery turbine.

The refinery shipped this power recovery turbine to the OEM repair facility on the west coast. The turbine had experienced some vibration issues, so the OEM engineers recommended an upgrade to GRAPHALLOY nickel-grade stationary wear rings and bushings. This rebuild was a high priority and the repair facility wanted to know whether Graphite Metallizing could supply these parts in ten days or less. The parts actually shipped two days early.
This was a major accomplishment as there were 20 total GRAPHALLOY parts in 5 different sizes (9-Series Case Rings: 1-First Stage Eye Ring: 8-Series Stage Rings: 1-Throttle Bushing and 1-Center Bushing) that were manufactured to size.

This power recovery turbine was breaking down high pressure 120°F, 0.75 specific gravity hydrocarbon. After the repairs, the turbine was put back in service during the second half of 1998. A few weeks later, the refinery engineer purchased a complete set of spare GRAPHALLOY parts for this turbine, for the next repair.

20 years later, these spares were still on the storeroom shelves. This turbine was still running in 2018 when they shut it down for repairs due to an apparent hole in the casing.

20 years running with the original GRAPHALLOY stationary wear rings and bushings installed!

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