Improper Refrigerant Charging Procedures Lead to Compressor Failure

Improper Refrigerant Charging Procedures Lead to Compressor Failure

Decatur, IL, April 22, 2015 --( At T/CCI performance and durability count. Customers rely on T/CCI compressors to keep their vehicles running and their operators comfortable, even in the toughest environments. When a customer experiences issues with their compressor, it is T/CCI’s commitment to fully investigate the situation and offer solutions that will keep everyone up and running.

While working with a customer who is contracted to provide MRAP ambulances to operations in Afghanistan, compressor failures were being reported. The following information was collected:
· Most failures were immediate or shortly after delivery
· Compressors showed extensive shoe damage
· Significant swash plate damage was also reported

T/CCI engineers worked closely with the customer to evaluate the conditions, the protocols, and the failure details in order to conduct a thorough evaluation of the situation. Testing included hot chamber testing with oil circulation studies, internal lab simulation, and onsite testing with the customer. The following conditions were present:
· Original refrigerant charge level was 7 lbs.
· Total compressor oil charge level was 6 oz. in the compressor and 5 oz. installed in the discharge line during assembly
· There was a darkened “star” pattern on all 10 shoes and a smudge through the center of the compression surface in an arc pattern
· Thermal migration during transport may be an issue

After completing a thorough situation analysis, the T/CCI engineers determined that the root cause of the failures was lack of lubrication between the swashplate and the “shoes.” The customer’s procedures called for initially charging the compressor with 1.5-2 pounds of refrigerant into both sides of the compressor. They then shut off the discharge valve and left only the suction open when starting the vehicle and engaging the clutch. The compressor then ingested approximately 7 pounds of liquid 134a through the suction port and through the crankcase. In this process, the refrigerant flow exited the compressor through the discharge port and carried away all internal lubrication.

T/CCI ( manufactures built to last quality, dependable, and environmentally safe compressors for a wide range of vehicle applications. A wide range of OEM heavy duty compressors supplies companies such as Caterpillar, CNH, Navistar, ThermoKing, and Carrier. Global customers recognize value of a well-respected HVAC supplier with advanced technologies including the custom LabView based acquisition system designed to protect the quality and accuracy of data.

T/CCI’s global footprint spans manufacturing locations in China, Argentina, and Illinois with warehousing, sales, and engineering in Illinois, Texas, China, Argentina, Ireland, Germany, and Spain. A team of highly skilled engineers are dedicated to providing fast, responsive service, and custom designed solutions. T/CCI provides the industry with the latest in innovative compressor designs, testing, manufacturing, and quality assurance processes. Follow T/CCI on Twitter at @TCCI_Mfg.

T/CCI Manufacturing
DCC Marketing
Julie Armstrong
Senior Account Executive
217-521-6675 / 217-421-7580 ext 109
T/CCI Manufacturing
Julie Armstrong