Advanced science.  Applied technology.


Centrifugal Compressors

Centrifugal Compressor Problem Diagnosis

Since centrifugal compressors are a mainstay of industry, their performance can have a considerable impact on plant productivity. Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) offers a line of services to apply as early as possible in the design and operating stages for troubleshooting centrifugal compressor problems, such as:

  • Vibration
  • Pulsation
  • Performance
  • Surge

Services Provided

  • Lateral and torsional critical speed calculations and measurements
  • Determination of the adequacy of NPSH (net positive suction head) and potential for cavitation
  • Vibration response levels in plant piping systems
  • Dynamic stress levels in plant piping systems
  • Skid, foundation, platform, and frame support structure dynamic analysis including modal testing
  • Waterhammer monitoring and analysis
  • Transient flow monitoring and analysis
  • Impeller failure analysis including modal impact tests
  • Seal evaluations
  • Multi-plane field balancing
  • Torsional stress measurements
  • Performance testing

Field and Consultation Services

Our quick-response field and consultation services minimize downtime and potential outages when operational problems occur, such as piping or bearing fatigue.

Rotordynamics analysis, finite element models, computational fluid dynamic analysis, and pulsation simulations can be applied as appropriate. These services are supported by continuing research and development programs, making new technology immediately available to industry.


A broad range of industrial problems, such as vibration, pulsation, or alignment, can be addressed using SwRI test equipment. Remote monitoring packages are available to acquire time-dependent transient data. SwRI can also custom design data acquisition systems for your special purposes.

To contract with SwRI, please contact the Machinery Services Hotline at +1 210 522 3000.

For more information, contact Ben White or call +1 210 522 2554.