Burning of Chlorine Compressor Piston Rods
Initially, two vertical double-acting two-stage compressors delivering chlorine gas at a pressure of 100 psi appeared to be running satisfactorily. About six months later the LP piston-rod of the No. 2 compressor failed due to burning, the compressor being worked double-acting at the time. About five months later, the HP piston rod of the No. 1 compressor failed in a similar manner. Specimens for microscopic examination were cut from the rod in the region of the failure and from the extreme end that had been situated above the piston and hence not subjected to an appreciable rise in temperature. The material was a steel in the normalized condition with a 0.35% C content. It appears probable that deficient lubrication of the gland resulted in overheating of the rod due to friction. The presence of a sprayed-metal coating was probably an additional factor in promoting failure, as it would present to the gas a surface area considerably greater than that of a homogeneous material.