Bearing Housings

The bearing support system is normally separable from the casing, as mandated by API 617 and should be made of steel, particularly when used with a steel case. Provision should be made to maintain alignment of the rotor to the casing. The housing should be horizontally split and nonpressurized with provision for circulation of bearing lubrication. Care should be taken to prevent foaming of the lubricant. The housing is the desirable place to locate radial vibration probes as required by API 617.

The preceding paragraph assumes the bearings are located outboard of the seals on a multistage compressor, and also applies to most of the overhung types with the exception of the integrally geared machine. For the multistage, which has the seals outboard of the bearings, it is recognized that the housing will assume some pressure level used in the compressor. Therefore, provision should be made to minimize the amount of lubricant entering the gas stream. Also, for maintenance purposes, a port access to the bearing should be furnished. This type of compressor is generally limited to fluorocarbon refrigerant service and is not recommended for general gas service.

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