Conversion of a Horizontal Split Centrifugal Compressor with a Closed Impeller to an Open Face Impeller with a One Piece Diaphragm
A 1970 vintage polyethylene plant faced a market driven requirement to improve its polyethylene grade. The improved, new grade required a new highly reactive catalyst and needed to be ready for customer’s product trial in less than 12 months. The catalyst licensee recommended that a new replacement compressor would be required for the new grade however this would require a high capital outlay, a three week outage for installation and 18 months lead time. A review of the original horizontally split compressor and its suitability to be converted to an open face non fouling design was made. This included the potential to use a one piece inlet diaphragm. This approach resulted in an upgrade that was 60% the cost of a new compressor, a fast tracked delivery in 9 months and a conversion that was completed in a 1 week outage.
Mayne, Trevor (2018). Conversion of a Horizontal Split Centrifugal Compressor with a Closed Impeller to an Open Face Impeller with a One Piece Diaphragm. Turbomachinery Laboratory, Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station. Available electronically from