Wind turbine gearboxes are designed to last over twenty years; however many standard gearboxes experience premature failure. These failures are often a result of gear wear, micropitting, and/or FOD damage from bearing failures.  While there are multiple options available for wind turbine repair and refurbishment, REM’s ISF(R) Process is the only option resulting in lower O&M costs, longer gearbox life, improved gear performance and larger operating safety measures.

Traditional wind turbine repair options include regrinding, hand polishing or new component replacement; however, all three options have significant drawbacks.  Regrinding has limitations like the risk of scrapping a component caused by too much removal or profile errors,  no surface finish or texture improvement and a required nital etch inspection, which is a hazardous process.  Hand polishing can take make forms with wind turbine gears  (sanding, stoning, rotary tools, etc.) and has limitations such as being labor intensive & non-machine controlled, limited material removal, no surface finish or texture improvement risk of incomplete or irregular damage removal.  New component replacement is another option, but it is expensive, results in long lead times and once again offers no surface finish or texture improvement.

Fortunately, REM Surface Engineering’s ISF Process creates a superior surface to grinding/machining, improves component performance and offers cost savings other repair techniques do not.   By simplifying repair operations and salvaging more components, REM customers see increased direct savings.  The ISF surface also provides a better surface for gears and improves component performance and creates upgrade options regarding lubricant packages.  REM’s has refurbished >500 x MW & kW class gearboxes since 2008 with our patented processes . The typical ISF Process removal requirement (per side) is 0.001” or ~25 µm but the process remove as much as (per side) is 0.003” or ~75 µm.   Targeted final finish depends upon the component and starting conditions, however usually is Ra = 2 – 8 µin (0.05 – 0.20  µm), Rz = 8 – 32 µin (0.20 – 0.80  µm) and Rmr (0.4 µm) = > 98%.  Upgrade with REM today.

Some of the Wind Turbine Repair Applications REM’s ISF Process can assist with include:

  • Planet Gears
  • Sun Pinions
  • Intermediate Pinions
  • High Speed Pinions
  • Low and High Speed Helical Gears
  • Ring Gears
  • Advanced Applications
  • Integral Bearing Races (Planets)
  • Nitrided Ring Gears
  • Low Speed Assemblies
    • Low Speed Helical Gear + Hollow Shaft/Coupling
  • Intermediate Assemblies
    • Intermediate Pinion + High Speed Helical Gear
    • Double Helical Bull Gears

Manufacturing Benefits of ISF Process for Wind Turbine Repair:

  • No Part Drawing Required
  • No Risk of In Process Scrapping
  • Reduced Setup Time
  • Reduced Part Separation Requirements
  • Reduced Operation Steps
  • Processing of Assembled Components
  • Process Multiple Features Simultaneously
  • Eliminate Risk of Scrapping During Separation
  • No Post-Process Nital Etch Required

Quality/End User Benefits of the ISF Process for Wind Turbine Repair:

  • Significantly Reduced Surface Roughness
  • Improved Lambda Ratio
  • Increased Micropitting Safety Factor
  • Improved Load Carrying Capacity
  • Increased Component Life

Additional Upgrade Options Created by the ISF Process:

  • Potential to utilize lower viscosity lubricant
  • Simplify lubricant additive package
    • Lower costs
  • Utilize smaller micron size filter
    • Reduced contamination

Repairable Damage Types via Isotropic Superfinishing

  • Micropitting
  • Scuffing
  • Fretting
  • Corrosion
  • FOD Damage

Damage Not Repairable via Isotropic Superfinishing

  • Changes to tooth profile
  • Depth of damage exceeding maximum allowable metal removal
  • Undersized gear tooth

Interested in learning how REM and the ISF Process can add significant value to your parts?

Simply contact us for more information.