Category Archives: bearings

Vesconite Bearings – Three Dakar Rallies With No Grease

The Dakar Rally – What is it?

The Dakar Rally (or simply “The Dakar”) is an annual rally raid organized by the Amaury Sport Organisation. Since its inception in 1977, most races took place from Paris, France, to Dakar, Senegal. But due to security threats in Mauritania, which led to the cancellation of the 2008 rally, races since 2009 have been held in South America. The race is open to both amateur and professional entries, of which amateurs typically comprise of eighty percent of all participants.

The race is an off-road endurance event. The terrain that the competitors traverse is much tougher than that used in conventional rallying, and the vehicles used are true off-road vehicles rather than modified on-road vehicles. Most of the competitive special sections are off-road, crossing dunes, mud, camel grass, rocks, and erg among others. The distances of each stage covered vary from short distances up to 800–900 kilometres (500–560 mi) per day.

Vesconite Hilube Bushings in Suspensions of Colcar’s Racing Team Vehicles

Colcar Racing Team is a partner of Vesconite, and used the no-grease Hilube busings in the suspensions of their racing vehicles during the 2019 Dakar Rally.

The use of Vesconite Hilube in the Argentinian team’s vehicles builds on a growing record of Vesconite Hilube use in their yearly Dakar entries.

In 2018, Vesconite Hilube bushings were fitted to two trucks, one of which finished in position 23. In 2017, meanwhile, the Argentinian team finished in 33rd position, and continued to use their Vesconite Hilube bushings for two other local competitions that covered a total distance equivalent to three Dakar Rallies.

For the 2019 Dakar Rally, Colcar Racing Team participated in the truck category (vehicles weighing more than 3,500 kg – or 7,700 lbs), as well as the utility vehicle (UTV) category, also known as four-wheel side-by-side vehicle or recreational off-highway vehicle category.

The Colcar UTV won its category and finished 18 overall.

Colcar Racing Team's VehicleVesconite’s polymer bushings put to the test in the 9,000 km race

“The polymer bushings have proven themselves over the grueling annual 9,000 km multi-country South American Dakar endurance race that covers various terrains, including sand dunes, mountains and salt flats,” comments Leandro Panzini of VesArg, the Argentinian distributor of the Vesconite Hilube.

“Suspension bushings are important in vehicle safety, ride comfort and handling and also align suspension and steering components … and they are paramount in the Dakar, in which vehicles travel at between 100 and 200 kilometers per hour (62-124mph) in all kinds of terrain over 15 days,” he says.

In the Dakar vehicles, the bushings were exposed to an oscillating movement with many cycles per minute taking place, and performed much better than the nylon-molybdenum bushings that they replaced, reports Panzini, who is proud to have Vesconite Hilube associated with this historic race and performing so well each year in race vehicles.

Watch the video below about the Colcar team during this year’s Dakar Rally:


Gallagher is a distributor of Vesconite products for all industries.  If you have questions about using Vesconite in any application, contact our engineering department.

Long Lead Times for Thordon? Try Vesconite – Available for delivery… NOW!

In 2018, Vesconite Bearings made a commitment to the U.S. market, increasing its readily available stock of Vesconite polymers and Vesconite Hilube in order to deliver quickly to customers.

Vesconite Bearings manufactures two main product types:

  • Vesconite is a specialised hard-wearing thermopolymer designed for challenging operating conditions, Vesconite gives up to 10 times the life of traditional bronze or nylon bushings. Combining internal lubrication, a low friction coefficient and low wear rates, Vesconite does not require external lubrication, even where conditions are dry and dirty.
  • Vesconite Hilube is a highly advanced thermopolymer in theVesconite Hilube Vesconite range, particularly suited to operating in wet conditions, including pump and marine applications. Combining low friction and low wear properties, Vesconite Hilube performs exceptionally well under high loads in difficult operating environments.

Their products can be found across a wide variety of industries, including agriculture, automotive, earthmoving, hydro, marine, mining, pumps, rail, and energy.

Whether customers need large bearings or small, stock is readily available and can be processed quickly … so you can minimize or eliminate downtime.

If you have ever experienced long lead times with Thordon, try Vesconite. Their products are consistent with quality, and they’ve had success across the globe in complex applications, including the U.S., Canada, UK, Africa, Norway, Argentina, Australia, and more.

Below are just a few quotes from satisfied customers:

VESCONITE HILUBE BUSHINGS SHOW NO SIGNS OF WEAR AFTER 7253 HOURS IN 3D PRINTER.
-Deon Eksteen

THIS PRODUCT WITHSTANDS THE MOST EXTREME CONDITIONS…
-Jonathan von Biljon

OUTLIVES ANY OF THE ALTERNATIVES AVAILABLE.
-Aleksandras Kaliberda

12 YEARS ON AND VESCONITE BEARING SHOWN MINIMAL WEAR.
-Martin Wibmer

Dr. Jean-Patrick Leger, Vesconite Bearings chairperson says Vesconite is dedicated to serving the U.S. market effectively. “We see the US market is as a high-growth-potential market,” says Leger.

 

With increased representation for Vesconite in the USA, its no wonder their high quality products are disrupting the market.


To learn more about Vesconite products, speak to a Gallagher representative today by calling 1-800-822-4063

Vesconite Superlube Load Pads Show Little Wear After Two Years

Six Vesconite Superlube load pads that have been recovered from South African rail parastatal Transnet’s Sishen-Saldanha-line bogies show little wear after two years of use.

This is according to Dr Jean-Patrick Leger, the CEO of Vesconite Bearings, which makes the polymer load pads that are installed on railway bogies - the metal structures on which the rail wheels and axles are mounted and on which railway vehicles lie.

“What is interesting is that the samples are hardly worn at all,” he says.

“We see tiny areas where there is 0.1mm wear, but you can see the original machining marks and machine ridges on most of them.”

The Vesconite Superlube load pads have been specified for manypicture of superlube load pad years on Transnet’s iron-ore line locomotives, and replaced the original specified load pads that lacked sufficient load-carrying capacity and low-friction performance.

Load-carrying capacity is a particularly important criteria in selecting load pads, notes Leger.

The Vesconite Superlube load pads have been made from an engineered polymer with a compressive yield strength of 54MPa and a recommended design loading of up to 18MPa.

This means that they can effectively support the locomotives without distorting or breaking − which is a considerable advantage when a weight of 28t to 30t is distributed on each axle of each locomotive.

The low co-efficient of friction was another important criteria why Transnet’s 15E locomotive designers chose Vesconite Superlube, says Leger.

The engineered polymer was developed with this particularly in mind, and the development process resulted in the polymer exhibiting a static friction co-efficient (dry on polished steel) and a dynamic friction co-efficient (dry on polished steel) of 0.06, he notes.

This was particularly important because of the nature of the Sishen-Saldanha track.

This 861-km-long iconic heavy-haul iron-ore transportation route is largely straight but has ten crossing loops that trains travelling in one direction move into to allow full coast-bound trains, moving in the opposite direction, to pass where necessary.

These loops all lie on the one side of the track, and this results in very little turning motion along the length of the track, except at these very particular points.

What was experienced prior to the introduction of Vesconite Superlube load pads was that the locomotive wheel sets tended to run out of alignment when coming out of a curve and, due to the straightness of the track, the wheel sets remained out of alignment for considerable distances. This, in turn, resulted in track and wheel wear.

While an authoritative study has not presented the exact savings that resulted from the introduction of Vesconite Superlube, estimated savings are considerable.

Consider that, prior to the introduction of the Vesconite Superlube load pads, the bogie frame sometimes swivelled out of the bolster, and bogie wheel sets sometimes didn’t return to their original position for hundreds of kilometres.

With the train in the forward-drive position, this would have resulted in wear to the number 1 and 11 wheels, while other wheels would be subject to wear in the reverse position.

While various mechanical means, including packing under the springs, could be used to equalise the wheel load and keep the bogie height the same, ultimately wheel cutting would be required to ensure that the wheel diameters were equalised.

On many tracks, wheel life is reduced to a fraction of the intended life of six years, which they are designed for, as a result of frequent wheel cutting.

With costs of R40,000 a wheel, or R80,000 a wheel set, the cost to associated equipment can be considerable if the incorrect load pad is used, warns Leger

When the cost of wear to the track is included, the financial benefits of using the Vesconite Superlube load pads can add up to a considerable sum, he says.


The original article can be found on Vesconite’s website.

To learn more about Vesconite products, speak to a Gallagher representative today by calling 1-800-822-4063

Vesconite Sliding Wear Plates Operate Beyond 1300 Hours

Test-work on Vesconite polymer sliding wear plates have shown promising results on a crawler drill that is employed at a zinc project in the Northern Cape, South Africa.

The wear plates were installed on the rotary head slide of a drill that carries out exploration drilling at the mine from which the goal is to exploit one of the largest zinc orebodies in the world.

The rotary head moves the drill into the ground for deeper and shallower drilling. It also allows the drill to be changed.

Since the rotary head moves approximately 120 times a day, wear on the slides has been considerable, and the original-equipment-manufacturer’s (OEM’s) nylon wear pads were only lasting 500 hours.

As a result, the OEM crawler drill supplier involved in the zinc project sought a solution to extend the life of its wear pads and investigated other wear-resistant materials that could cope with highly-abrasive materials such as chrome and silica that come in contact with the pads.

Vesconite Bearings technical representative Phillip de Villiers recommended the use of Vesconite in the application to improve the total wear life of the slides.

The OEM equipment supplier reports that the Vesconite polymer wear plates have lasted more than twice as long as the OEM nylon wear pads – more than 1300 hours of operation to date. They will continue to be used and the wear life will be closely monitored in comparison with the nylon OEM parts.

The wear life will be tested and proved on the 10 wear plate picture of wear padsassemblies, which is comprised of 20 separate wear plates on the crawler drill.

On a separate application on the crawler drill, Vesconite wear plates have also been employed on the boom slide. This is the rear part of the crawler drill. It is moved and adjusted to the drilling height, and provides stability to the drill. This boom moves roughly six times a day, so the wear is not nearly as considerable as the rotary head slide.

However, with the previously-installed OEM nylon slides lasting 1000 hours on this application, there was still a need to improve the lifespan of these slides.

The OEM equipment supplier hopes that the Vesconite will last much longer than the 1000 hours of the OEM material.

With low wear on the 6 Vesconite assemblies, comprising of 12 wear plate halves, early indications are that the Vesconite will also perform well in this application.

The equipment supplier imports crawler drills from Korea for resale, and also supplies parts for these and other drills that are used in mining-exploration drilling and borehole water drilling.


Gallagher is a distributor of Vesconite products for all industries.  If you have questions about using Vesconite in any application, contact our engineering department.

Self-lubricating Composite Wear Rings

Composite Wear RingsCIP Composites are laminated polymer materials made by impregnating textiles with thermoset resins. Solid lubricants are added to the resin to provide evenly dispersed lubrication throughout the material, providing smooth operation.

CIP custom composite wear rings are a superior alternative to commonly used cotton phenolic and glass filled nylon materials. They allow smooth operation and high side loads while protecting the sealing elements and preventing metal to metal contact in hydraulic cylinders. CIP wear rings are preferred where high performance, large diameters and/or high temperatures are required.

CIP Composite wear rings provide manufacturers and servicers alike with solutions to reduce overall maintenance and increase wear life. CIP offers short lead times, reducing the costs associated with equipment downtime and repairs. CIP Composites are manufactured in the United States using only the highest quality materials.

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Vesconite for Mining Applications

Vesconite’s origins lie in the gold mining industry, a notoriously harsh working environment. The product was developed as a maintenance-free alternative to bronze bushings traditionally used in mining equipment. Unlike bronze, Vesconite eliminates three key issues: The need for regular lubrication; the effects of dirt and grit on costly components; the damage caused by water to traditional bushing materials. Vesconite offers up to 10 times the lifespan of traditional bushes in these harsh conditions, and saves hours of downtime caused by machines requiring frequent lubrication.


Vesconite Bushings on a Vertical Borer Stabilizer Rod

Vesconite for Mining - Stabilizer RodSouth Africa – A earth-boring company was looking for a durable material to create stabilizers for its borer machines. The machine bores between levels in mines and is capable of boring chutes up to 120m. The drill steel is subject to high levels of grit and rock. The Vesconite stabilizers help align the drill steel, thereby avoiding whip in the drill. Despite the dirty conditions, the new stabilizers required no lubrication between recommended overhaul schedules, and general maintenance and downtime were substantially reduced.

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CIP Composites for Oil & Gas Exploration

Oil & Gas Exploration - Bearings & BushingsEquipment manufacturers, suppliers, and drill service providers have become highly competitive to secure remaining contracts in order to stay operational during this recent downturn in the industry. Looking for new strategies to succeed in this current market, companies are investigating alternative products and designs to maximize flexibility and efficiencies. Whether in the exploring, drilling, or production of oil, equipment manufacturers are looking for products that provide high levels of performance that will set themselves apart from the competition.

Bearing materials in the oil & gas industry are presented with the most demanding conditions requiring high load capacity in poor environments and sporadic service schedules. Columbia Industrial Products offer CIP Composites to the oil & gas industry as light weight, self-lubricating composite materials that have a long service life. Although commonly used for bearings, wear pads and thrust washers, CIP’s ability to provide large custom size solutions give the oil & gas industry the ability to use our materials in a wide range of applications. CIP Composites are ideal for replacing greased bronze bearings, and can be easily installed by press fitting or freeze fitting with the ability to machine in place.

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Bearing of Choice for Agriculture Industry

Agriculture - HarvesterVesconite and Vesconite Hilube are advanced engineering thermoplastics with a unique combination of properties ideally suited to bearing applications in the agriculture industry. Tried and tested in countless industrial settings over the past five decades, both locally and internationally, Vesconite thrives where traditional bronze and steel bushings often fail. In both dry, wet, dirty and unlubricated environments, Vesconite and Vesconite Hilube have proved themselves time and time again as long-lasting, low-maintenance bearing alternatives. Whether you’re a farmer, repairer or manufacturer of harvesters, planters, sprayers, harrows, etc, Vesconite and Vesconite Hilube should be considered as bushing and wear material substitutes.

I can’t understand why more farmers don’t use Vesconite.
-Old Farmer

This comment was made by an old farmer who had driven 185 miles (300km) to buy Vesconite bushings from our Johannesburg sales office.  We can’t help but agree with this sentiment – that any farmer who hasn’t tried Vesconite for bushes, and other sliding wearing parts is unwittingly creating unnecessary work and expense for themself.

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CIP Composites for High Temp Applications

CIP Composites - High Temp MaterialCIP Composites offer design engineers an attractive, cost effective alternative to the traditional materials used for bushings, bearings, wear pads, and thrust washers, such as bronze or nylon. CIP Composites are only 1/6 the weight of steel, easily machined, have good dimensional stability and do not contain harmful or toxic materials.

CIP offers material selections that provide high load capacity, and dimensional stability in high temp applications, up to 400°F (200°C). Materials such as CIP333 and CIP353 are manufactured with meta-aramid textile for reinforcement, a high-quality vinyl ester resin, and solid lubricants evenly dispersed throughout the entire material.

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CIP Composites for Industrial Applications

Industrial applications can be found in many industries and range from hydraulic cylinders to heavy duty equipment. Many industrial applications are in harsh environments including dirt and mud, chemicals, a range of temperatures, and hard to reach locations, making maintenance a challenge. Equipment down time for maintenance and repairs can be detrimental to the industry.

CIP Composites offers solutions for rigorous industrial applications by extending wear life while reducing or eliminating external lubricants and undesired maintenance. As a general guide, CIP Composite bushing materials can replace your current bronze or nylon based wear and bearing materials. Sold in tubes or sheets for easy machining onsite, or custom manufactured with short lead times.

Hydraulic & Pneumatic

CIP Composites - Wear Rings
CIP Wear Rings

Hydraulic cylinders are the ideal choice for a host of mobile and industrial applications where power and reliability, along with low operating costs are required. Hydraulic (and even pneumatic and electrical actuator) cylinders are handling more demanding applications than in previous years, such as the use of smaller cylinders which force higher and higher operating pressures. Manufacturers and servicers alike depend on quality components to ensure that their finished product meet or exceeds the customer requirements including long service life, affordability, and availability.

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