Extracting natural gas from underground shale formations is done via high-pressure pumping equipment that injects a specialized mixture of water, sand and chemical additives into vertical, horizontal or multi-lateral well bores. These high pressures can lead to vibration and other damage to the truck-mounted hydraulic fracturing pump units.
A major manufacturer needed reliable couplings for use on the engine cooling fan drives of these of truck-mounted hydraulic fracturing pump units. The couplings needed to withstand these pressures while also being able to operate in extreme temperatures and environments.
TB Wood’s Dura-Flex WE50 elastomeric couplings were selected 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/lb. and an operating range of –40° 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 that 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. The lightweight element easily absorbs shock loading and torsional vibration.
Dura-Flex couplings are available in bore-to-size (BTS), Taper-Lock, and Sure-Grip bushed hubs. In addition, their one spacer size eliminates the problems with varying between shaft spacings. They do not require lubrication, which minimizes maintenance and downtime.