Aat Safaat, Alfian Noviyanto


Screw compressor is one of critical equipment at many industries. Therefore, its reliability and performance shall be maintained. One problem that often arises with screw compressors is the lubrication system. This study investigates the cause of the screw compressor failure and its modification to prevent failure in the future. The failure analysis of the screw compressor was successfully conducted using the fishbone analysis diagram and visual examination. The presence of water in the oil was found due to a change of oil color. The water content analysis showed that 6% of water was found in the oil in the third month. Indeed, the presence of water has a detrimental effect on the screw compressor part, showing that corrosion has occurred in the inner part of the screw ompressor element. We found the water source comes from the air due to high humidity. Therefore, modification in the air supply is needed to prevent water contamination in the oil. The air supply modification is done using dry air at the screw compressor outlet, flowing into the breather system. The modification results showed that the oil's water content decreased significantly from 6% to 0.0035%. In addition, the vibration that occurs decreases from 80 dB to 58 dB. This shows the effectiveness of the modification process to extend the life of the tool and maintain the plant's operational continuity.


Screw Compressor; fishbone diagram; vibration; water content

Full Text:



Coulometric Karl Fischer. “ASTM D6304 Standard Test Method for Determination of Water in Petroleum Products, Lubricating Oils,and Additives”, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2016.

Harika E (2010) Impact of lubricant contamination with water on hydrodynamic thrust bearing performance, 9th EDF/Prime (LMS) Poitiers Workshop.

M Day, C Bauer, “Water Contamination In Hydraulic And Lube Systems”, Practicing oil analysis,2007.

Bloch H. (1980) Criteria for water removal from mechanical drive steam turbine lube oils: Journal of American Society Lubrication Engineering, 36, 699-707.

Xiaoren Lv. (2014) The effect of water content in crude oil on the tribological behavior of screw pump’s stator rubber: Chinese Science Bulletin, 2868-2874.

Song-Feng Tian. (2005) Study on the Method of On-Line Measurement of Water Content in Turbine Oil Based on Resonant Cavity Perturbation: ASME 2005 Power Conference, 549-553.

Feriyanto, Y.E.”Kandungan air (water content) di Minyak Pelumas, Best Practice experience in power plant., 2019.

Eachus A.C. (2005) Water, water everywhere nor any drop to drink: Tribology & Lubrication Technology, 33-39.

Prashad H. (2000) A study of electrical pitting of journal bearings with water contaminated lubricant: Tribo Test Journal, 7, 115-124.

Dadouche A., Dmochowski W. (2006) On the effects of oil contamination on the performance of plain journal bearings: 5th EDF & LMS Poitiers Workshop.

SKF Group. “Bearing damage and failure analysis”, June 2017.

R.E. Cantley. “The Effect of Water in Lubricating Oil on Bearing Fatigue Life.” ASLE Transactions, American Society of Lubrication Engineers, Volume 20, No. 3, p. 244-248, 1977; from a presentation at the 31st Annual ASLE Meeting, Philadelphia, Penn.

J. Fitch and S. Jaggernauth. “Moisture, the Second Most Destructive Lubricant Contaminant and its Effect on Bearing Life.” P/PM Technology, p. 50-53, 1994.

Steve Locke. “Continuous Control of Lube Oil Water Contamination – Never get Surprised Again”, The Chemours Co. Texas A&M University, 2016.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2022 Aat Safaat, Alfian Noviyanto

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.




Publisher Address:
Universitas Mercu Buana
Program Studi S2 Teknik Mesin
Jl. Meruya Selatan No. 1, Jakarta 11650, Indonesia
Phone/Fax. (+6221) 5871335

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.