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Selecting Oil-Mist Systems

By Heinz P. Bloch, Process Machinery Consultant |

For decades, plant-wide oil-mist systems have been used to lubricate rolling-element bearings in high-speed applications throughout the petrochemicals, textiles, pharmaceuticals, mining and other chemical process industries (CPI). Applications range from small motors to large rotating cylinders and a variety of fluid movers. Plant-wide oil-mist systems provide a centralized way to supply lubricating oil to all such components, and often eliminate the need for frequent maintenance and corrective action. Closed-loop oil-mist systems (Figure 1) have been widely used in these industries for decades. In fact, the CPI have been leaders in the use of plant-wide oil-mist systems since the 1960s.  Figure 1. Shown here is a closed-loop oil-mist system that provides lubrication for bearings in process pumps and their drivers. If desired, the small, blue collection containers that are shown in this image can be furnished with automated or manual means of pumping the coalesced oil into the spent mist-return header Source: Colfax Due to their lower initial cost, open-loop oil-mist systems have traditionally been more popular in the U.S. While they may be less costly up front, open-loop…
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