History of Modern Gas and Steam Turbine Bearing Development

In the early 1980s, gas turbine bearing and steam turbine applications began pushing the safe operating limits of flooded tilting pad hydrodynamic bearings. Shaft speeds and loads had increased to the point that bearing surface temperatures and associated power losses were of concern in the design of larger, faster, more efficient turbines.

In response to the demands of our market, Kingsbury developed Leading Edge Groove (LEG™) lubrication for both thrust and journal bearing applications. This design provides superior bearing performance while simultaneously reducing oil flow requirements, which translates into higher turbine efficiency.

The Advantages of LEG Technology

  • Reduces operating temperatures by 5° to 20° C, depending on shaft speed
  • Increases load capacity by 15% - 20%, reducing required bearing size
  • Lowers oil flow by 50%, allowing for reduced lube system demand
  • Improves efficiency, with a 45% reduction in friction losses

Kingsbury Design and Manufacturing Advantages

Kingsbury uses laboratory test data as well as real-time application data in order to provide bearing performance calculations that are the most accurate in the industry. Kingsbury's ability to predict operating performance allows us to select the right bearing for every application, and to provide the right fix or upgrade for any problems you are experiencing with your current bearings.

There are other advantages to Kingsbury bearings: we maintain a large inventory of standard parts for gas and steam turbine installations. We offer ultrasonic and dye penetrant testing on new items and perform 100% inspection of bond integrity on repaired thrust and journal bearings. Finally, Kingsbury can provide instrumentation to allow you to monitor bearing performance, including thermocouples, RTDs, bayonet probes, load cells, axial displacement probes and vibration sensors.

The LEG™ bearing enjoys a well-established reputation in the power generation industry through installation in literally thousands of gas or steam turbines, both as retrofits as well as new machines. Ask us to evaluate your application to see if we can offer you better results with a Kingsbury LEG turbine bearing retrofit.

For Gas and Steam Turbine Bearings Repair, Retrofit, or Replacement, visit the Bearing Services page.