Couplings make the connection for gas turbines

Paul Boughton
Couplings to be installed, and the flexible elements (disc packs) changed, without disturbing adjacent machinery.

The high torque, proven reliability and zero maintenance characteristics of Bibby's HS series of Turboflex disc couplings have resulted in their specification as drive couplings on gas turbine power units with outputs up to 64MW.

The gas turbine units, supplied by one of the world's leading manufacturers are essentially modified aircraft engines used to drive generators for power generation and to drive centrifugal compressors for LPG gas compression.

The high performance (HS) series is Bibby's newest range of disc couplings; it is designed to handle the most challenging applications, including power generation. The HS couplings are manufactured to fully comply with API671 standards, and are produced from fully traceable alloy steel.

Key to the specification of the HS series couplings for gas turbine power generation applications is Bibby's design, which effectively drives in friction, rather than shear, to the disc assembly joint. This eliminates the potential for fretting during normal operation, and prolongs the life of the coupling.

The HS series is rated for maximum continuous torques from 0.62kNm to 446kNm, and speeds from 50,000 rpm to 5,500 rpm (fastest to slowest) in standard configurations. However, Bibby's Parametric Design Philosophy means that if a standard design does not exactly fit an application then it can be optimised to suit.

In compliance with the requirements of API671 and in common with all other couplings in the Turboflex range, the HS series offers the benefit of a plug-in design which allows easy installation. This enables the couplings to be installed, and the flexible elements (disc packs) changed, without disturbing adjacent machinery.

In addition, by nature of their design, these disc couplings are torsionally stiff and backlash free; and they will also accept significant levels of angular, radial and axial misalignment without any loss of operating performance.

Complementing the exceptional performance and reliability of HS disc couplings is the further benefit that they are essentially fit- and- forget units. The couplings have no moving parts, so require no maintenance - and neither do they need lubrication; however the presence of oil in the environment will not effect the operation of the couplings.

The robust nature of the HS series design means that the couplings are ideally suited to environments where hostile working conditions are encountered.

In these environments the couplings can be adapted using a variety of special materials and surface coatings: Bibby Turboflex HS couplings are fully ATEX compliant and can be supplied to meet the rules of, and approval/inspection by third-parties such as Lloyds, DNV and ABS, (etc). In addition, for applications where the environment is hazardous, spark-free versions of the HS series couplings are available.

Bibby Transmissions is part of Altra Industrial Motion Inc. A Nasdaq-quoted company, Altra Industrial Motion Inc. is a leading multi-national designer, producer and marketer of a wide range of mechanical power transmission products. The company comprises nineteen primary businesses, some with multiple locations worldwide. It brings together strong brands covering over forty product lines with production facilities in nine countries and sales coverage in over seventy more

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