Lube oil application flaws and contamination are two of the major causes of bearing failures in small steam turbines. Fortunately, modern bearing protector seals can be used to prevent the influx of water (steam) and other airborne contaminants into the bearings, and the seals are readily available. These bearing protector seals incorporate either the face-on-face magnetically closed or the less expensive rotating labyrinth principles. Both choices make economic sense and merit consideration in new and existing (retrofit-to-upgrade) installations.
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