Application Profiles Energy, Oil & Gas Market


Natural Gas Compressors

Product: Custom Designed Disc Coupling

After salt had been extracted from subterranean deposits by solution mining, the resulting salt domes located in Louisiana, offered storage space for natural gas. Pumping the gas into and out from these domes called for unique compressor couplings. The facility has two 10,000 HP natural gas compressors and two gas dehydration systems. Several coupling manufacturers were contacted. Ultimately, the customer determined that TB Wood’s/Ameridrives had the resources and desire to work with them to develop and produce a custom-designed coupling to meet their very stringent requirements.

Due to torsional considerations, the customer wanted the compressors to run slower than they were designed to run, so they modified the units to be able to meet their needs. Because of the high horsepower and low speed required, none of TB Wood’s standard couplings would fit the application. For this project, TB Wood’s engineers worked with torsional vibration analysts. After a full analysis of the entire system it was determined that, in order to torsionally tune the system, the standard coupling stiffness had to be increased to an astounding 5.0 x 10^9 in. lb./radian.

To design this coupling, TB Wood’s engineers employed proprietary design formulas and software, and Finite Element Analysis. The combined application engineering knowledge and advanced technologies of Altra Industrial Motion’s Engineered Couplings Group came into play. TB Wood’s, Ameridrives Couplings, and Bibby Transmissions, all contributed in this successful development process.

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TB Wood's Custom Designed Couplings


Product Highlights

  • One of the largest
    TB Wood’s couplings ever
    built featured a
    10 million rating,
    a 36 in.dia. bolt circle,
    and weighed 10,000 lbs.
  • Compressors rated at
    10,000 HP
  • Motors rated at 7,500 HP
    at 180 RPM or 10,000 HP
    at 360 RPM
  • Superbolt® Torquenuts®
    bolts incorporated for use
    with standard half-inch
    drive torque wrench
  • Two couplings have been
    delivered and installed

Mobile Hydraulic Fracturing Pump System

Product: Dura-Flex® Couplings

A major manufacturer of truck-mounted hydraulic fracturing pump units needed reliable couplings for use on the engine cooling fan drives. Hydraulic fracturing is a process that extracts natural gas from underground shale formations. The process utilizes high-pressure pumping equipment that injects a specialized mixture of water, sand and chemical additives into vertical, horizontal or multi-lateral well bores.

TB Wood’s Dura-Flex WE50 couplings were selected over competitive units due to their superior performance and weatherability of their urethane elements in rugged oil field operating environments. The couplings are mounted to a vertical motor shaft that drives a cooling fan for the main engine, which powers the large capacity pumps. WE50 units have a torque rating of 7,650 in.lbs. and an operating range of -40°F to 200°F. The couplings accommodate up to 3/32 inch parallel misalignment and 3° of angular misalignment which helps minimize vibration and prevents damage to the connected drive components.

Dura-Flex couplings feature a “split-in-half” element design which allows for easy element installation/replacement without moving connected equipment or disturbing the shaft connection. The patented design of the urethane bond to the leading edge of the steel shoe bolted to the hub, and the high quality of the urethane element itself, provide the heat, moisture and chemical resistance required in this tough application.

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TB Wood's Dura-Flex Coupling


Product Highlights

  • WE50 units feature torque ratings of 7,650 in.lbs.
  • Highest operating range of -40°F to 200°F
  • Designed for easy
  • High moisture and
    chemical resistance


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