Steam turbine damaged


Twice, the bearings in a steam turbine used to recover the energy produced by a household waste incinerator were damaged due to lack of lubrication.

The damaged turbine uses oil-film bearings, meaning that fluid is continuously injected under pressure between the fixed part of the bearings and the rotor. The goal is to create a system with very little friction but that can support the significant forces in a turbine with a very high rotation speed.

When the incinerator was built, a company produced the system that operates a pump known as the pump of last resort. This pump is activated if the oil pressure in the bearings is too low. The system relies primarily on a pressure switch that has been directly linked to both incidents that occurred with the turbine.


In view of what was at stake in this case, legal proceedings were launched immediately. The task of the GM Consultant loss adjusters, in partnership with a lawyer, was to take part in the judicial expertise meetings in order to best protect the company’s interests.

The stakes involved also meant that high-performance analysis tools were used (x-ray, tomography, scanning electron microscope, etc.).

Once the test results were received, they were interpreted and discussed. To this end, the GM Consultant loss adjusters drew up several Technical Reports to set out and support their arguments.