In the late 50’s, approaches were made to Lucas Industrial Equipment by Petrocarbon Developments Limited and the UKAEA to produce a cryogenic expansion turbine for use in a Nitrogen Generator Plant. Two of the main factors in the specification were that the process fluid should not be contaminated by the bearing fluid and that the machine had to be ‘safe’ in an oxygen rich atmosphere.
These factors dictated that oil-less bearings had to be used and thus the gas lubricated bearings where developed.
The turbines produced have amassed many million hours running on various types of plant throughout the world. There is no limit to turbine life with the correct plant operation.
In 2006 former personnel and HAT acquired all drawings and technical specifications of the full range of Expansion Turbine (ET) equipment originally manufactured by Lucas/Commercial/Parker, and relocated the manufacturing and test cell to the Liverpool facility.