Centrifugal Compressor near ½-RPM Frequency High Magnitude Shaft Vibrations

Root Cause Analysis (RCA): Compressor near ½-RPM frequency high magnitude shaft vibrations.

Article Type:Root Cause Analysis (RCA)
Equipment Type:High Speed, Hi KW Major Rotating Machines
Author:S. Raghava Chari

Note: This root cause analysis (RCA) is from real-time scenarios that happened in industries during the tenure of one or two decades ago. These articles will help you to improve your troubleshooting skills and knowledge.

Centrifugal Compressor Shaft Vibrations Problem

K-603, a horizontally split 8000 RPM, 2000 KW, centrifugal compressor draws 300 mm WC CO2 and delivers it at 13-bars. It performed fine, but for 45 to 50% x shaft RPM frequency 75 to 100 microns amplitude high shaft vibration problems.

Unable to find a cause, the plant lived with high vibration problems for over 5 years.


The author learnt from a tech journal article that tilting pad bearings eliminated such vibration problems in a compressor.

Substituting compressor vendor-supplied TPB was the answer.

Author: S. Raghava Chari

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