December 2005

Rotating Equipment/Reliability

Returning submerged gear drives to temporary service

Follow these guidelines to render the unit operational for a significant period before a rebuild is required

DeBaecke, J., Philadelphia Gear Corp.

With refineries and petrochemical plants often concentrated in flood-prone regions, equipment is sometimes submerged in flood waters. Unforeseen massive entry of seawater or brackish water requires implementing proper remedial steps to return the equipment to temporary reliable service. Why submerged gearboxes need emergency service. When a gear drive is submerged in seawater, the primary damage to critical components (specifically rolling-element bearings and gear elements) occurs when those critical components are exposed to the atmosphere, which accelerates the corrosion process. When the gear drive is submerged, corrosion can only occur at a relatively slow rate based on the oxygen con

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