Login| Sign Up| Help| Contact|

Patent Searching and Data


Title:
BEARING PAD FOR A HYDRO-GENERATING UNIT AND HYDRO-GENERATING UNIT WITH SUCH A BEARING PAD
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/106404
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A bearing pad (16) for the bearing of a hydro-generator unit comprises a polymer part (11, 12) and a metal base (14), which are combined to make up said bearing pad (16). Maintenance in case of bearing failure is simplified and accelerated by the polymer part being a separate polymer plate (11, 12), by the metal base being a backing plate (14), and by said polymer plate (11, 12) being removably attached to said backing plate (14).

Inventors:
PAJACKOWSKI, Piotr Antoni (Brown Boveri Strasse 7, 5400 Baden, 5400, CH)
BERCHTOLD, Oliver (Brown Boveri Strasse 7, 5400 Baden, 5400, CH)
Application Number:
IB2017/001753
Publication Date:
June 06, 2019
Filing Date:
December 27, 2017
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
GE RENEWABLE TECHNOLOGIES (82 avenue Léon Blum, Grenoble, 38100, FR)
International Classes:
F16C17/03; F16C17/06; F16C32/06
Domestic Patent References:
WO2004001241A12003-12-31
WO2013178266A12013-12-05
Foreign References:
US5393145A1995-02-28
JPS59147114A1984-08-23
JPH09303382A1997-11-25
US6332716B12001-12-25
US5229198A1993-07-20
US20050260431A12005-11-24
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. Bearing pad (16, 17, 23) for the bearing of a hydro-generator unit, the bearing pad (16, 17, 23) comprising:

a polymer part (10, 19, 25) and a metal base (14, 18, 24), which are combined to form said bearing pad (16, 17, 23), wherein the polymer part is a separate polymer plate (10, 19, 25) comprising:

a base plate (11 , 19) and an offset (12, 20) protruding from said base plate (11 , 19),

wherein the metal base is a backing plate (14, 18, 24), and that said polymer plate (10, 19, 25) is removably attached to said backing plate (14, 18, 24);

characterized in that,

said base plate (11 , 19) of said polymer plate (10, 19, 25) projects from said offset (12, 20) at all sides such that said offset (12, 20) of said polymer plate (10, 19, 25) is surrounded by a sealing stripe (11 a) of reduced thickness. 2. Bearing pad as claimed in Claim 1 , characterized in that said polymer plate

(10, 19, 25) is removably attached with a first side to a second side of said backing plate (14, 18, 24), that a recess (15) is provided in said second side of said backing plate (14, 18, 24), and that said offset (12, 20) protrudes from said base plate (11 , 19) on said first side, which offset (12, 20) fits into said recess (15) in said second side of said backing plate (14, 18, 24).

3. Bearing pad as claimed in any preceding claim, characterized in that said polymer plate (10, 25) and said backing plate (14, 24) have the same edge contour. 4. Bearing pad as claimed in any preceding claim, characterized in that the edge of said polymer plate (19) is offset to the center with respect to the edge of said backing plate (18).

5. Bearing pad as claimed any preceding claim, characterized in that at least one bolt (21 ) is provided to extend through said backing plate (18) into said polymer plate (19) to fix said polymer plate (19) in its position on said backing plate (18).

6. Bearing pad as claimed in Claim 5, characterized in that a plurality of bolts (21 ) is provided in a distributed arrangement.

7. Bearing pad as claimed in any of Claims 2 to 6, characterized in that a locking means (25b) is provided to removably secure the polymer plate (25) to the backing plate (24).

8. Bearing pad as claimed in Claim 7, characterized in that said locking means (25b) comprises a key and slot joint (29) extending along the rim of said polymer plate (25), and that at one side of said bearing pad (23) a removable fixing plate (26) is provided, which allows said polymer plate (25) to be inserted from said one side by being slid in, when said fixing plate (26) is removed, and which closes said pocket and fixes said polymer plate (26) in said pocket in its slid-in position, when said fixing plate (26) is fastened to said backing plate (24).

9. Bearing pad as claimed in Claim 8, characterized in that said fixing plate (26) is fastened to said backing plate (24) by means of fixing screws (28).

10. Bearing pad as claimed in any preceding claim, characterized in that the polymer part is made at least partly of polyetheretherketone (PEEK).

1 1 . Bearing pad as claimed in any preceding claim, characterized in that the polymer part is made at least partly of polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE).

12. Bearing pad as claimed in any preceding claims, characterized in that the polymer has at least one filler.

13. Bearing pad as claimed in Claim 12, characterized in that at least one filler is carbon fibers and/or graphite.

14. Hydro-generator unit with a segmented bearing, which comprises a plurality of bearing pads, characterized in that said bearing pads are configured in accordance with any of Claims 1 to 13.

15. A polymer plate suitable for engagement with a backing plate of a bearing pad, wherein the polymer plate comprises:

a base plate; and

an offset protruding from the base plate,

wherein the offset is arranged to fit into a complementary recess in the backing plate, and the base plate of the polymer plate projects from the offset such that the offset of the polymer plate is surrounded by a sealing stripe having a thickness less than that of the offset.

Description:
BEARING PAD FOR A HYDRO-GENERATING UNIT AND HYDROGENERATING UNIT WITH SUCH A BEARING PAD

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to hydro-generating units, such as hydro-generators. It refers to a bearing pad for a hydro-generating unit according to the preamble of claim 1.

It further refers to a hydro-generating unit with such a bearing pad. A hydro- generating unit may also be referred to in the art as a hydro-generator. PRIOR ART

The present invention relates to bearings of hydro-generator units. For example, document WO 2004/001241 A1 discloses a bearing for a rotor of a rotating machine, especially a hydro-generator, which rotates around a vertically rotating axis. Said bearing is embodied as a sliding bearing and comprises first means for axial bearing and second means for radial bearing. Due to said bearing, simplified and improved bearing properties are achieved such that the first and second means are united to form a combined radial and axial bearing which simultaneously comprises axially sliding surfaces and radially sliding surfaces.

Often, polymer-coated bearings are used for this purpose. For example, document WO 2013/178266 A1 discloses a slide bearing, which has a layered structure which is substantially uniform over the circumference thereof and comprises a base, a lead-free slide layer having a thickness which is reduced in edge zones as compared to a central zone between the edge zones, and a polymer coating which is thicker in the edge zones as compared to the central zone, so that the surface level of the coating is substantially flat as seen in axial cross-section. This creates a kind of reservoir of coating material in the edge zones, which is particularly useful for initial wear during a phase, in which the bearing and the shaft get "adjusted to each other”. This advantageously increases the resistance to edge seizure and leads to an improved alignment of the shaft, such as a crankshaft, relative to the bearing.

The state of the art designs for polymer-coated bearings are based on a mechanical anchoring between the metallic backing and the polymer itself. These designs use either a sintered bronze, a soldered wire mesh or an array of tiny grooves machined in the backing part of the bearing. The common feature of all these solutions is that once such an intermediate layer is created the polymer is pressed into it under high temperature and pressure. This process creates mechanical connection between the metallic and polymer materials. The main drawback of such technology is its high degree of its complexity and consequently cost of the final product. It requires several steps and specialized equipment in order to create the final product. This increases the cost and limits the number of potential suppliers. Such specialized equipment limits the maximum sizes that can be achieved using a given technology. Once both components are bonded, there is no way to disconnect them without destroying the connection so that the polymer layer cannot be replaced in case of sliding surface damage due to wear or bearing seizure.

Typical prior art bonding interfaces that can be found in the industry are shown in Fig. 1 to Fig. 3:

Fig. 1 shows a sectional view of a prior art bearing of the sintered bronze type. A bonding between a metal base 30a and a polymer layer 32a is effected by bonding means 31 a in form of a sinter layer.

Fig. 2 shows a sectional view of a prior art bearing of the soldered wire mesh type. Flere a bonding between metal base 30b and polymer layer 32b is effected by a bonding means 31 b in form of a wire mesh, which is soldered to metal base 30b at one side and embedded in the polymer layer on the other side. Fig. 3 shows a sectional view of a prior art bearing of the grooves matrix type. Metal base 30c comprises as a bonding means 31 c a matrix of grooves, into which the polymer layer 32c engages.

For example, US 8,332,716 B1 discloses a composite bearing in which to a backing metal is bonded to a resin layer in which polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) is added to a base resin consisting essentially of polyether ether ketone so that the proportion of polytetrafluoroethylene becomes 0.1 to 50% by weight based on the resin layer and the polytetrafluoroethylene is dispersed in the form of particles in the base resin.

Document US 5,229,198 discloses a low-friction bearing material including a matrix formed by a wire mesh screen which is fused to a metal backing sheet. Polytetrafluoroethylene or other polymeric resin fills the interstices within the screen and between the screen and the backing sheet and locks itself rigidly to the screen and the backing sheet in order to impart high strength to the bearing material.

Document US 2005/0260431 A1 describes a composite material which is to be used in sliding bearings and comprises a metallic support and at least one reinforcement material having an open structure. Said support and reinforcement material are connected to each other by means of a metallic connection. An overlay which is a polyethylene (PE)-based layer is provided on the reinforcement material as an additional layer.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is an object of the present invention to provide a polymer plate for a bearing pad suitable for a bearing of a hydro-generator unit. It is another object of the present invention to provide a bearing pad, especially for a bearing of a hydro-generator unit, which is a simplified approach of a polymer plate pad design, which allows to reduce manufacturing costs of the polymer coated pads while enhancing their main advantages, such as high thermomechanical strength and low wear under mixed lubrication regime.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a hydro-generator unit with such a bearing pad.

According to a first aspect of the invention there is provided a bearing pad, preferably suitable for the bearing of a hydro-generator unit, which may be referred to as a hydrodynamic bearing pad. The bearing pad preferably comprises a polymer part and preferably a metal base. The polymer part and the metal base may be combined to make up said bearing pad. The polymer part may be a separate polymer plate. The metal base may be a backing plate, and the polymer plate may be removably attached to the backing plate.

According to an embodiment of the invention the polymer plate may be removably attached with a first side to a second side of the backing plate. A pocket or recess may be provided in the second side of the backing plate. The polymer plate may comprise a base plate and preferably an offset protruding from the base plate on the first side. The offset may fit into the pocket in the second side of the backing plate. The offset may allow for a complementary fit with the pocket or recess.

The base plate of the polymer plate may project from the offset at all sides such that the offset of the polymer plate is surrounded by a sealing stripe of reduced thickness.

The polymer plate and the backing plate may have the same edge contour.

The edge of the polymer plate may be offset to the center with respect to the edge of the backing plate.

According to another embodiment of the invention at least one bolt is provided to fix the polymer plate in its position on the backing plate. Especially, a plurality of bolts may be provided in a distributed arrangement.

Furthermore, a locking means may be provided at the rim of the polymer plate, which may interact with the sidewall of the pocket of the backing plate.

Especially, the locking means may comprise a key and slot joint extending along the rim of said polymer plate. Preferably, at one side of the bearing pad a removable fixing plate may be provided, which may allow the polymer plate to be inserted from the one side by being slid in, when said fixing plate is removed, and which may close the pocket and may fixe the polymer plate in the pocket in its slid-in position, when the fixing plate is fastened to the backing plate.

The fixing plate may be fastened to the backing plate, preferably by means of fixing screws.

According to a further aspect of the invention there is provided A hydro-generator unit which may be equipped with a segmented bearing, which may comprise a plurality of bearing pads, whereby the bearing pads are configured in accordance with the invention.

In one example of the invention the polymer part may be made at least partly of polyetheretherketone (PEEK). PEEK is a preferred material with advantageous properties in terms of material strength making PEEK superior against other polymers. In another example the polymer part may be made at least partly of polytetrafluroethylene (PTFE). The polymer may have at least one filler. The polymer part may be made from a composition of different polymers and different grades of polymers. In a further example of the invention, the at least one filler may be carbon fibers and/or graphite.

According to a further aspect of the invention there is provided a polymer plate suitable for mating with a backing plate of a bearing pad, wherein the polymer plate preferably comprises a base plate and an offset protruding from the base plate. Preferably, the offset is arranged to fit into a complementary pocket in the backing plate. The base plate of the polymer plate may project from the offset such that the offset of the polymer plate is surrounded by a sealing stripe of reduced thickness.

According to a further aspect of the invention there is provided a hydrodynamic bearing pad which may comprise a polymer plate and preferably a backing plate. The polymer plate preferably comprises a base plate and an offset protruding from the base plate. Preferably, the offset is arranged to fit into a complementary pocket in the backing plate. The base plate of the polymer plate may project from the offset such that the offset of the polymer plate is surrounded by a sealing stripe of reduced thickness.

The polymer plate according to the invention is formed in such way that it is thinner around its edge than compared to the area defined by the offset. Due to this arrangement the plate has higher stiffness around its edge. The plate is more elastic within its inner area, so that it is more deformable than the edge of the plate.

The difference in deformability allows the creation of a concave recess or pocket in the surface of the plate into which lubricating oil may flow when the bearing is under a bearing load when the plate is engaged with the backing plate. The pocket increases the ability to maintain the hydrodynamic oil film pressure and increases the load capacity of the bearing. In particular, the pocket reduces loss of oil along the side edges of the bearing pad, and a better seal along the side edges of the bearing pad.

Therefore, the invention advantageously enables the creation of a sealing stripe around the bearing, allowing a higher load capacity and/or a larger operational safety margin. It is to be appreciated that one or more of the aspects, embodiments and features of any of the above aspects or embodiments of the invention may be readily combined, as will be readily apparent to the skilled person.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The present invention is now to be explained more closely by means of different embodiments and with reference to the attached drawings.

Fig. 1 shows a sectional view of a prior art bearing of the sintered bronze type;

Fig. 2 shows a sectional view of a prior art bearing of the soldered wire mesh type;

Fig. 3 shows a sectional view of a prior art bearing of the grooves matrix type;

Fig. 4 shows a perspective side view of a polymer plate according to an embodiment of the invention;

Fig. 5 shows a perspective side view of a respective backing pad to be removable combined with the polymer plate of Fig. 4;

Fig. 6 shows a perspective side view on the upper side of the bearing pad combining polymer plate of Fig. 4 and backing pad of Fig. 5;

Fig. 7 shows a perspective side view on the lower side of the bearing pad combining polymer plate of Fig. 4 and backing pad of Fig. 5; Fig. 8 shows a bearing pad according to another embodiment of the invention, with Fig. 8(a) being a top view, Fig. 8(b) being a sectional view, and Fig. 8(c) showing a detail of the edge region of the pad; Fig. 9 shows a bearing pad according to a further embodiment of the invention, with Fig. 9(a) being a bottom view and Fig. 9(b) being a sectional view; and

Fig. 10 shows a bearing pad locking means according to a further embodiment of the invention, with Fig. 10(a) showing the locking means in a disengaged configuration and Figure 10(b) showing the locking means in an engaged configuration.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF DIFFERENT EMBODIMENTS OF THE

INVENTION

The polymer plate pad design of the present invention is a simplified approach, which allows to reduce manufacturing costs with respect to the polymer coated pads while enhancing their main advantages, such as high thermomechanical strength and low wear under a mixed lubrication regime.

According to the invention the polymer plate is placed in a pocket machined within a steel backing pad. The polymer plate features an offset that fits exactly with the pocket, which results in a firm interlocking connection of both parts. In operation the friction and contact forces around the plate are sufficient to hold the plate in place even under extreme conditions (e.g. bearing seizure).

A second important feature of the polymer plate design according to the invention can be a sealing stripe around the pad border. Due to its lower thickness (higher stiffness) it deforms less (than the thicker plate inside the border) under the lubricating film pressure. This effect allows creating a concave pocket shape of the lubricating film, which maintains the pressure and increases the load carrying capacity of the bearing.

Figs. 4 to 7 show a first embodiment of the bearing pad according to the invention. As the bearing pad 16 of Fig. 6 and 7 is a segment of an annular ring-like bearing the outer contour of the bearing pad 16 is nearly trapezoidal. The main parts of bearing are a polymer plate 10 (Fig. 4) and a metal backing pad 13 (Fig. 5).

Backing pad 13 comprises a backing plate 14 with a recess or pocket 15 being provided on its upper side. Pocket 15, which may be machined away, has in this example a constant depth and extends over most of the area of the upper side of backing plate 14 but is still surrounded by a small rim, where the material of the backing plate 14 has not been removed. However, other configurations of the pocket, especially with a varying depth, are possible within the scope of the present invention.

Polymer plate 10 comprises a base plate 1 1 of a first thickness with an offset 12 of a second thickness which adds to said first thickness. The edge contour of said offset 12 and the second thickness are such that the offset 12 fits exactly into pocket 15 of backing plate 14, when polymer plate 10 is combined upside down with said backing plate 14 (Fig. 6 and 7). Base plate 1 1 has the same form and extension as backing plate 14 such that a perfect fit is achieved. The edge contour of offset 12 and pocket 15 has rounded edges to avoid any notch effects.

Offset 12 of polymer plate 10 is surrounded by a small rim of first thickness, which acts as a sealing stripe 1 1 a, when polymer plate 10 and backing plate 14 are combined as shown in Fig. 6. As has been explained before, due to its lower thickness (higher stiffness) it deforms less than the thicker offset part under the lubricating film pressure. This effect allows creating a concave pocket shape of the lubricating film, which maintains the pressure and increases the load carrying capacity of the bearing.

The simple offset polymer plate 10 of Fig. 4 may be fixed on backing plate 14 with glue (not shown) as a backup solution preventing separation in upwards direction.

In addition or as an alternative, in a bearing pad 17 (Fig. 8) the polymer plate 19, 20 with base plate 19, offset 20 and sealing rim 19a may be fixed to backing plate 18 with (four) bolts 21 (at the edges) as a backup solution preventing separation in upwards direction. Stud holes 22 shown in Fig. 8 are used for mounting the bearing pad 17.

Furthermore, as shown in Fig. 9, the polymer plate 25 is engaged with the bearing pad 23 and removably secured by a locking means 25b. The sidewalls of the offset of the polymer plate and the sealing stripe 25a interact with the sidewall of said pocket of backing plate 24. Locking means preferably comprises a key and slot joint 29 extending along the rim of polymer plate 25. At one side of bearing pad 23 a removable fixing plate 26 is provided, which allows said polymer plate 25 to be inserted from said one side by being slid in, when fixing plate 26 is removed. Fixing plate 26 then closes said pocket and fixes polymer plate 25 in said pocket in its slid- in position, when fixing plate 26 is fastened to backing plate 24 by means of (two) fixing screws 28. Again, stud holes 27 are provided in backing plate 24 for mounting bearing pad 23. In addition, threaded holes 33 may be provided for an additional fixture of the configuration.

An alternative locking means 125b is shown in Fig. 10(a) in a disengaged state and in Fig. 10(b) in an engaged state. A polymer plate 125 is engaged with a backing plate pad 124 and removably secured by the alternative locking means 125b. The faces of the sidewalls 126 of the offset 1 12 of the polymer plate 125 are not perpendicular to the plane of the polymer plate 125, but are inclined at an angle a. Preferably the angle is 1 .4°.

The sidewalls 127 of the recess 1 15 are also inclined to match the sidewalls 126 of the polymer plate 125, such that the polymer plate 125 can be secured to the backing pad 124 by a push-fit.

The height h of the polymer plate 125 is preferably 8mm and the depth d of the recess 1 15 is preferably 4mm. The width of the inclined portions is preferably 0.1 mm.

In general, pins, ribs, rivets and other similar joints, either machined or fixed on the base plate, which can prevent the polymer plate to move laterally and to detach from base plate, may be provided within the present invention before introduction of polymer plate, which has to fit to such base plate surface.

Any combination of the variants listed above can be used within the invention. The disclosed bearing pads are applicable for thrust and guide bearings. In summary, the new solution features separate backing plate and sliding surface components that can be easily separated e.g. during maintenance. The state of the art designs for polymer-coated bearings are based on a mechanical anchoring between the metallic backing and the polymer itself. These designs use either a sintered bronze, a soldered wire mesh or an array of tiny grooves machined in the backing part of the bearing. The common feature of all these solutions is that once such an intermediate layer is created the polymer is pressed into it under high temperature and pressure. Once both components are bonded, there is no way to disconnect them without destroying the connection of the polymer layer cannot be replaced in case of sliding surface damage due to wear or bearing seizure.

Thus, the main advantages of the proposed solution are:

• A simplified design, which leads to lower manufacturing costs, while retaining equal physical properties of the product. The estimated cost reduction equals 50%, based on the prototype costs, compared to the current product.

• Maintenance in case of bearing failure is simplified and accelerated - in case of damage it is only necessary to replace the polymer plate.

• The proposed polymer plate design is easily scalable. The dimensions of the final product are limited only through the maximum dimensions of the raw materials available in the market.

• An important advantage of the proposed polymer plate design is the sealing stripe around the pad border. Due to its lower thickness (higher stiffness) it deforms less (than the thicker plate inside the border) under the lubricating film pressure. This effect allows to create a central concave pocket shape of the lubricating film which maintains the pressure and increases the load carrying capacity of the bearing.

• The manufacturing process is simplified.

• The solution allows easy replacement of the polymer layer in case of bearing failure. LIST OF REFERENCE NUMERALS

10,19,25 polymer plate

11.19 base plate 11 a sealing stripe

12.20 offset

13 backing pad

14,18,24 backing plate

15 pocket

16,17,23 bearing pad

19a sealing stripe 21 bolt

22,27 stud hole

25a sealing stripe 25b locking means

26 fixing plate 28 fixing screw 29 key and slot joint

30a, b,c metal base 31 a, b,c bonding means

32a, b,c polymer layer 33 threaded hole