Keeping Subsea Hose Reels Turning


Cleaning underwater piping was a problem for a leading oil company...until they installed GRAPHALLOY® bearings.

The oil company was upgrading their existing underwater piping. Before the old piping could be removed, it had to be cleaned and purged. The cleaning operation utilizes a set of four subsea hose reels that were mounted to a skid and dropped to the bottom of the ocean floor. The hoses flush the cleaning fluid through the pipes.

Subsea hose reelThis particular operation required a new, larger hose reel design. The babbitt-lined sleeve bearings used on previous hose reels would not be able to handle the increased load and, as such, superior bearings were needed. These bearings are crucial to successful operation because they permit the hose reel to turn without the use of oil or grease.

The oil company, working with engineers at Graphite Metallizing, decided to test two of the 163 Series Pillow Blocks with Bronze GRAPHALLOY® bushings in one of the larger hose reels. The test, which was performed in their assembly shop, required that the bushings operate at twice the estimated work load.

The test was successful. The GRAPHALLOY bushings had worked as expected and the shaft was not damaged.

As a result, the oil company ordered a large quantity of the GRAPHALLOY pillow blocks and installed them on hose reels that were shipped off-shore. GRAPHALLOY bushings are now specified on all of the company’s larger, maintenance-free hose reels.

Once again, GRAPHALLOY provides reliable, problem-free solutions for the most difficult applications.


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