Jacques AmyotLead Engineer Parts Division
I was born and raised in rural northern Vermont (Northeast Kingdom). I enlisted in the US Army in 1988 and served in the Gulf War before college. I then went to work as an engineer for GE® Gas Turbine exhaust ductwork and exhaust stacks from 1998-2004. I traveled extensively to power plant sites and vendor sites to supervise installations and new vendor qualifications. I was then a Lead Engineer for GE® Steam Turbine diaphragms from 2004-2012. I came to MD&A Parts Division in 2012 as a packing and seals engineer.
What do you do here at MD&A?
I am a Lead Engineer – Packing and seals. My role at MD&A Parts as a seals engineer is to design and check manufacturing drawings for steam turbine packing and spill strips, as well as gas turbine seals, seal housings, etc. I also interface with customers, the installation group, and site personnel to support installations.
What has been your favorite project at MD&A?
I have 2 favorite projects recently. One was a customer’s 7B/EA gas turbine inner barrel brush seal conversion. Designing a brush seal for the inner barrel was a new challenge.
My second project was a customer’s Guardian/Vortex conversion. I always enjoy Guardian/Vortex orders as they require more design engineering work to “replace in kind” packing. This system improves steam turbine efficiency above design.
What is the most interesting challenge you have come across?
Explaining to customers the failure mechanisms for variable clearance packing. I do believe the technology is interesting from a theoretical standpoint, but based on my interaction with customers many units experience failure due to turbine operating conditions and/or poor design. Guardian® packing is a more robust design solution than any of the OEM offered variable clearance packing designs currently on the market.
How does packing wear affect radial clearance optimization?
The sharp seal teeth on packing/seals are most efficient when they are set at the minimum radial clearance WITHOUT contacting the rotor during turbine operation. Sharp packing teeth that contact the rotor during operation become dull and wear. Radial packing wear measurements tell a story about how the factors affecting radial clearances in an individual turbine are affecting the packing. Packing wear data can (and should) be used during packing replacement to tailor the packing radial clearance to the operational characteristics of an individual turbine. Generic OEM radial clearances may not be the best solution to clearances for a specific turbine!
Favorite saying (at work)?
Another day in paradise!