Case Studies

6.1 Remanufactured Rotary Screw Compressor with Extended Life Surfaces

A rotary screw compressor is a type of gas compressor that uses a rotary type positive displacement mechanism in a continuous sweeping motion of close fitting rotors. Efficient operation relies on maintaining close clearances between tips of screws and also bearing journals.

Using laser cladding technology, advanced metallurgy and precision machining means worn-out and damaged rotors can be remanufactured to better than new.

The Problem

Rotary screw compressors are simple and efficient machines which are used in a wide range of harsh environments. Efficient operation relies on maintaining close clearances between tips of screws and bearing journals to prevent leakage. Poor air quality accelerates component wear.

In many environments, like drilling and mine sites, air quality is less than ideal, which leads to accelerated wear. The normal maintenance solution is to replace the entire compressor rotor module with a new OEM assembly.

In this case the screw compressor was operating in harsh mining conditions, where maintenance of air quality is particularly challenging. Another new part had suffered damage from mishandling.

Our Solution

The worn fine edge and the bearing journals were rebuilt with laser cladding. The damaged rotor parts were rebuilt with successive passes of the laser with material precised matched by our metallographic laboratory.

Repaired rotor parts were then reground in our machine workshop to restore the the original OEM clearance specifications.
A unique benefit of the laser cladding process is tha ability to metallurgically bond a superior wear surface to the substrate. In this case a diiferent cladding material on the tips offered high resistance to erosion wear from superfine particulate matter in a high velocity air stream. It provides longer service life in an application with challenging air quality.

Benefits Achieved

  • Damaged rotors were recovered and put into normal service.
  • Operating efficiency of the worn compressor restored.
  • Cost savings over replacement parts.
  • Remanufactured screw components offer superior life.
  • Better outcome for environment; less waste, low carbon footprint.

Customer Feedback

LaserBond cladding saved scrapping parts and offered a better than new replacement at a fraction of the cost.


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