Reciprocating Compressor Valve Failure

Failed Valve

FEM analysis of the valve

LocationFrance
ApplicationLNG Terminal
Compressor TypeReciprocating compressor – 2 stg.
ServiceMethane compression
Power1133 kW
Disch. Pressure82.5 bara

Challenge

Unexpected compressor shutdown

  • Cross-head pin failure
  • Crank-mechanism lubrication oil polluted by metal particles
  • Delivery valves failures (cracked guard)

Solution

  • Visual and metallographic inspection
  • Stress and fatigue simulation by means of FEM Analysis
  • Assessed sudden overpressure caused by liquid slug ingestion

Result

Piping routing and draining procedures modified to prevent further failures