Couplings are considered the weakest link and lowest cost component on rotating equipment so they are frequently overlooked. However, not properly maintaining them can cause equipment failure, leading to unplanned and costly downtime.
To maximize production of equipment, every component, including couplings, should routinely be checked. Below are some factors affecting the service life of your couplings that you should be aware of:
- Environmental: The environmental conditions existing where a coupling is operating in can have a major impact on its functionality. Some couplings are operating in higher-than-usual temperatures which can lead to a shorter service life. For offshore applications, salt water can create a highly corrosive environment which increases the oxidation of ferrous metals.
- Misalignment: Some conditions can also lead to misalignment of couplings. If couplings and the equipment are exposed to large temperature differentials, determining the accuracy of the thermal growth values relating to the couplings is very important. Pipe strain and shifting foundation may cause difficulties in alignment while the equipment is in operation.
- Process conditions: Variations in the process conditions may also impact the longevity of a couplings’ life. For instance, you may consider has a compressor been exposed to a surge of events? Have unexpected pulsations affected the couplings’ functionality? These events can ultimately influence a couplings’ success.
In the event that your equipment fails due to lack of coupling maintenance, please contact us and we’ll help you get back to work.