Category Archives: bearings

Vesconite Bushings Ensure Glue Pump Restarts Successfully After Down Time

One of Vesconite’s customers, a large independent polyurethane and plastic foam manufacturer, restarted an important gear pump without difficulty after the company’s closed period from December through January. This gear pump is used to pump glue to rebound foam chips.

Because it pumps viscous adhesive liquid at one of the company’s two chip plants, the gear pump can fail to restart if component parts are immobilized by glue after a long period of inactivity.

Viking Pump Restarts With Ease With Hilube

However, with the introduction of Vesconite Hilube polymer bushings in the well-known Viking internal gear pump, the company’s pump restarted with ease.

Vesconite HilubeNot only that, the Vesconite Hilube pump bushings, which were inspected at the time of the restart, showed no wear.

The foam manufacturer service manager noted that the self-lubricating hard-wearing Vesconite Hilube polymer bushings replaced carbon graphite ones, which had tended to crack in the warm operating environment, in which the viscous glue-like chemicals needed to be heated to be applied to the foam chips.

This did not occur with the Vesconite Hilube, which had the added advantage of being self-lubricating and being able to move in the high-friction environment.

“You can’t use an ordinary plastic bush,” says the service manager.

The gum dries out and sticks to the bush if you try. After the December break and after long weekends, the gear pumps ceased to operate before we used Vesconite Hilube.

The company manufacturers 800 tons per year of chip mattress blocks, which are used for bus seats, gymnasium mats, restaurant seats, mattresses, and other high-density furniture/bedding applications.

The service manager said that the Vesconite Hilube bushing was currently on it’s eight month, and is pleased it has survived and continued to operate after the holiday period.

He has installed Vesconite Hilube bushings on several gear pumps at the factory, including several pumps where temperatures can reach 65°C.

He believes that this is a low-maintenance solution for a challenging operating environment.


For the original article, visit Vesconite’s website.

Gallagher Fluid Seals is an authorized distributor for Vesconite products. For information or to see if it is a right fit for your application, contact us today.

Freudenberg Develops Next-Generation Low Friction Bearing for Improved Lubrication

Freudenberg Sealing Technologies has developed an optimized design for its proven Levitorq axial thrust washers.

Through a new “scoop” feature, the enhanced Levitorq design is able to collect and push lubrication under the washer to enable higher critical speeds and enhanced performance. Levitorq is part of the company’s Low Emission Sealing Solutions (LESS) product portfolio.

The original Levitorq design was created to reduce weight, decrease friction, improve thickness/flatness control and often provide a cost benefit to the customer. It relies on the principles of hydrodynamic oil film technology and is designed to create a surface on which a bearing can roll, or a load can be applied. Traditionally, thrust washers are made from metals, but Freudenberg has used its material expertise and design knowledge, along with proprietary software and testing capabilities, to develop design alternatives in thermoplastic or thermoset materials that allow engineers to replace heavy metal thrust washers.

In pushing thrust washer technology further, Freudenberg engineers and material scientists looked at a variety of application parameters to optimize design performance, including thrust load, rotation speed, temperature, counter surface characteristics, lubricant type, and availability of the lubricant. A team of experts developed several scoop designs based on the types and availability of lubricants used in powertrain applications. These designs help optimize the availability of lubrication at the inner diameter, thus improving lubrication across the washer.

Nine Times the Pumping Ability, Three Times the Critical Speed

picture of levitorqPressurized or splash lubrication from the outer diameter is challenging to address because of limited fluid availability to remove heat. Recent design and material innovations from Freudenberg have enabled the use of polymeric thrust washers for such applications. The new Levitorq scoop feature significantly affects performance as it enables the application to use available fluid more effectively. Also, polymeric materials are designed to have low friction coefficients even in dry running conditions. These materials have dry friction coefficient one tenth of metal thrust washers.

Critical speed is when loss of pumping ability occurs due to centrifugal force. In a comparison between Freudenberg’s patent-pending D11 polymer thrust washer and its traditional thrust washer, the effectiveness of the new scoop design becomes obvious. The new polymeric thrust washers have nine times the pumping ability and three times the critical speed.

These designs are ideal for applications with limited or splash lubrication. The scoop feature is able to successfully move fluid under the washer to enable the application to run at higher critical speeds – up to 10,000 rpm – and pressures without failure.

An Exciting New Industrial Solution

“This patent-pending design is ideal for transmissions and driveline components, as well as a number of industrial applications,” says Ray L. Szparagowski, Technical Director Automotive and High Performance Plastics at Freudenberg-NOK Sealing Technologies.

“Our new Levitorq thrust bearings have the potential to optimize lubrication in most applications, so the possibilities are very broad and exciting.”

Freudenberg’s LESS portfolio of engine, transmission and E-Mobility products includes a variety of seals, gaskets, encoders, accumulators, sealing modules and lightweight housings. These products have been uniquely engineered to reduce friction and weight, cut fuel consumption, ease installation challenges and lower emissions. First developed and benchmarked for automotive applications, Freudenberg has been able to leverage its LESS technology for other industrial applications resulting in a significantly shortened development cycle.


The original article was featured on Fruedenberg’s website and can be found here.

Gallagher is an authorized distributor of Freudenberg products. For more information about this low friction bearing, LESS technology, or other Freudenberg products, contact our engineering department.

Vesconite Bearings Expands into 3D Printing Industry

Changing Bushings to Vesconite

A UK manufacturer of brackets for electrical equipment has changed its 3D printer bushings to Vesconite bearings.

picture of vesconite bracketThe manufacturer had previously used roller bearings on its two Prusa 3D printers, but had found that roller bearings wore away the printer rods. They also required regular greasing, which limited production uptime and value.

Following some online searching, Triple Link Manufacturing founder Mark Bagnall discovered a reference to Vesconite 3D printer bushings and was attracted by the fact that they were low maintenance and required no greasing.

In addition, he was pleased with the fact that the product promised low rod wear and would not result in costly damage. The time spent having to strip down the 3D printers to replace the rods and bushings was costly, so combating that would provide a lot of value to the business.

Mark reports that, following some adjustments to make sure that the positioning and the spacing of the bushings was correct, the bushings have been operating well in the 3D printers.

The company has Vesconite Hilube bushings installed on one printer and Vesconite Superlube, the lower-co-efficient-of-friction polymer bushing, installed on the other.

“We produce perfectly good quality products,” states Mark, who notes that the finish is great for functional components that compete with commercial bracket suppliers.

Triple Link Manufacturing, through sister company Indigo Lime, produces Sky TV box brackets, TV wall and stand mounts, and even Playstation mountings, among other products. Mark highlights that customers are accepting the quality of 3D printed parts for functional usage since they are cheaper than injection-molded parts.

The process also allows for the production of the necessary volumes, without large overruns, and, with Mark’s expertise, he has been able to optimise the designs to reduce the print time and the material usage involved in printing, thereby further decreasing the manufacturing and raw material costs.

The company has been steadily growing its electrical equipment bracket manufacturing since sales began at the beginning of the year.

In addition, the design and manufacturing company also continues to produce prototype 3D printed parts for customers who will eventually manufacture their own injection-molded parts.

Vesconite Bushings in Future 3D Printers

As the business expands, there will be more Vesconite installed on future 3D printers due to the success of these first two runs. 

Vesconite is happy to be part of the expansion of 3D printers and stands ready with its non-grease bushings.


The original article was featured on Vesconite’s website and can be found here.

For more information about Vesconite Hilube, or to see if your application would be a good fit, please contact our engineering department.

Vesconite Bushings Fitted to Guinness World Record Steam Train

About Vesconite’s Hilube

Internally-lubricated, the ultra-low friction Hilube polymer has no stick-slip, doesn’t swell and provides a wear life ten times that of bronze. It machines to +/-0.001″, making it ideal for applications with tight tolerances.

Breaking World Records with Hilube

The team that was awarded the Guinness World Record in 2017 for the longest distance covered by a miniature steam train is setting its sights on improving its record.steam engine vesconite

Keyser Locomotive Works, together with the Pietermaritzburg Model Engineering Society was able to cover 330km (205 miles) in 24 hours in its record-breaking attempt, which outstripped the previous 1994 record of 269km covered in 24 hours.

It did so for a number of reasons, one of which was the self-lubricating Vesconite polymer bushings that were fitted to the connecting and coupling rods.

These internal, hard-to-reach turning components did not need to be oiled, and this helped reduce stopping times during the record attempt.

“You can’t oil these bushings on the run,” says the locomotive owner Andries Keyser.

This was not the case with many of the original bronze bushings that had to be oiled every hour when the locomotives stopped and the drivers were changed.

Six of the main crank bushings are currently made from Vesconite polymer bushings on the record-breaking locomotive named Doreen, but the intention is to replace all the bushings with Vesconite eventually so as to reduce oiling requirements in future record-breaking bids.

“The Vesconite has no heat expansion and, using a sloppy fit, didn’t heat up at all” Keyser notes.

“The engine output was not compromised in any way and still runs today on the same bushes, two years and many kilometers later,” he says.

Looking to the future with Vesconite Hilube

Another innovation that will assist Keyser to further improve the record is the fact that he is building the longest straightest track that he can in the Stellenbosch Winelands, in South Africa. This will enable the locomotive to run at higher speeds on a track gauge of only 184mm.

Known as the Winelands Light Railway, Keyser is establishing a theme park with 1/3-scale trains, matching buildings, bridges and tunnels, and a hobbies expo for locomotive enthusiasts once a year. Presently there are four steam and one electric locomotive in the engine shed, with 13 wagons able to haul up to 50 people per train. Everything is hand made and based on narrow-gauge prototypes from all over the world.

Starting on the 14th of December 2019, the park will be open on weekends, public and school holidays if the weather allows. This unique attraction aims to become the biggest family-friendly destination in the Western Cape within the next 10 years. 

Keyser will make another world-record attempt sometime in the near future, and expects that between 30 and 60km will be added to the current distance record.


The original article was written by Vesconite and can be found on their blog here.

Gallagher Fluid Seals is a preferred distributor of Vesconite in the United States. For more information about their bearings or bushings, please contact our engineering department.

Vesconite Hitemp 150 FG – Development of a Food Grade Polymer

Vesconite, a market leader in grease-free polymer bushings and wear materials, has developed a food-grade, high-temperature, abrasion-resistant bearing poloymer.

The polymer is known as Hitemp 150 FG (food grade), and its name signifies that it can be used in applications that run at temperatures up to 150ºC and in which food contact is incidental or likely.

The previous version of Hitemp 150 did not explicitly use food grade ingredients, but, as a result from calls from the food industry to produce a similar hard-wearing product for use in food applications, alternative ingredients were sought for food safety.

“We have produced this Hitemp 150 FG product in which a food-approved ingredients have been used,” comments technical sales representative Eddie Swanepoel.

hightemp vesconite“It is cream with a streaky marble look as opposed to the previous rust-coloured Hitemp 150 polymer,” he notes.

The next step is to have the polymer approved as compliant with Standard 51 of the US’s National Sanitation Foundation (NSF), the standard that deals with polymer materials and components used in food equipment, including products that come into contact with food and beverages.

Vesconite Bearings is confident that the newest version of the Hitemp 150 FG polymer will be judged to be food grade since all the raw materials ingredients are certified as food grade.

Stay tuned for this excellent addition to the product catalog from Vesconite.


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

PTFE in Motorsports

PTFE and its many applications

Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) has an interesting history and has been used in a number of ways over the years. There is, of course, the best-known PTFE brand Teflon® – the miracle cookware coating. But PTFE is also used in aerospace and computer wiring, and it’s even coated the fiberglass dome of the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis. But the Metrodome isn’t the only sports-related application for PTFE. Because it’s so slippery and resistant to extreme temperature changes and chemical reactions, PTFE is an excellent component for many parts such as: bearings, gears, and of course, seals – like those used in so many motorsport vehicles. So, what role does PTFE play in the exciting world of motorsports?

PTFE in racing cars and trucks

TRITEC Seal’s PTFE rotary lip seals can be found in the race cars of nearly every NASCAR team, ensuring reliability for the chassis, drive train, and accessory drive systems. In addition to these high pressure seals, PTFE is now part of fuel hoses of many high performance vehicles. Relatively recent changes in fuel additives have shortened the life span of rubber fuel hoses, and PTFE, with its extreme temperature durability and chemical inertness, has been an ideal addition to fuel hoses.

picture of motorcycle ptfePTFE in motorcycles

Because of its ability to withstand high vibrations and temperature extremes, PTFE is an important component of a motorcycle’s piston seals. It can also be found in chain lubricant and some motorcycle oil.

PTFE in boats

High performance boats such as MasterCraft use PTFE seals to improve the output of their inboard shaft drive systems. PWC’s such as SeaDoo’s also take advantage of engineered sealing solutions by using PTFE rotary lip seals as well as wear sleeves in all of their PWC models. PTFE is often part of boat wax because of its ability to repel dirt and stains, and offer a high-sheen finish.

PTFE in riding mowers

Believe it or not, PTFE can even be found in the specialized sport of lawnmower racing. It is sometimes a part of the lubricant for belt pulleys. And PTFE rotary oil seals are used extensively in John Deere riding lawn motors to seal the crankshaft.

PTFE in go-karts

Go-kart racers may use a lubricant that includes PTFE, or it may also be part of the seal on a kart’s ceramic bearings, although there are a number of healthy debates about whether ceramic bearings make any significant difference in performance over standard bearings. (But that’s another story!).


For more information about PTFE and to see if it’s the right application for you, contact the Gallagher Fluid Seals engineering department.

This original article was originally featured on Tritec Performance Solution’s website.

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.