Category Archives: Vesconite

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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Vesconite Bushings for Earthmoving Equipment

EarthmovingThe dirt, abrasion and loads associated with earthmoving equipment create notoriously harsh operating conditions for moving parts. Despite these conditions – more often than not combining dirt and water – Vesconite performs well, and is the ideal material for bushings operating under slow speeds or oscillating movements under high load. With its lubrication-free qualities, Vesconite can save machine operators considerable lubrication downtime, not to mention reduced wear on costly counter moving parts.

UK Dump Truck Manufacturer Continues to Fit Vesconite Bushings

Earthmoving - Dump TruckUnited Kingdom – An original equipment dump truck manufacturer first tested the company’s Vesconite Hilube material in its articulation bushes in 2014, and established that they performed well in harsh operating conditions including large-scale construction projects, quarries and mine sites. The 355.95mm-outside-diameter Vesconite Hilube bushings were found to be cost-effective with prolonged durability in the long-run. The dump-truck manufacturer continues to order Vesconite bearings for its 38 ton dump trucks, which have a heaped capacity of 23.3m3 and an engine power of 331kW.

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Vesconite Bushings for Railway, Transportation

Vesconite has over several decades been successfully used in a number of railway applications. The material’s self-lubricating properties make it well suited to railway components that are prone to metal on metal wear and require regular greasing. Not only will a switch to Vesconite bushings avoid long periods of downtime, the noise and squeal issues commonly associated with rolling stock, is significantly reduced. With a resultant reduction in rolling resistance, considerable power savings have been noted with the use of Vesconite components.

Vesconite Hilube on Tram Drive Bushings

Vesconite - Tram Bushings for RailAustralia – An Australian tram operator continues to order approximately 100 Vesconite Hilube motor axle bushings a year, following its successful introduction to the product in 2006. The motor axle bushings, which require no lubrication and are wear resistant, have completely replaced the standard metal main drive H-class-tram bushings, which had been in use prior to the introduction of the polymer product.

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Vesconite for Transportation/Automotive Industries

Transportation / Automotive bushings require regular maintenance and greasing, and are prone to wear especially in wet or dirty conditions. Self-lubricating Vesconite and Vesconite Hilube eliminate the need for continual greasing and at the same time increases bushing life. Vesconite and Vesconite Hilube are tough and durable and perform well under the mechanical stress that occurs on vehicle suspension systems.

Rail container trailers fitted with Vesconite

Vesconite Pivot BushingsSouth Africa – Vesconite flanged pivot bushings have been successfully installed and used on container trailers at the national rail utility. The Vesconite bushes, with a flange of 205 mm diameter and a bore of 165 mm, were fitted to the walking beam center pivot bearing that equalizes component parts of the rear axle bogies. This heavy duty application required a material which had high load carrying capacity, low friction, high wear resistance and good dimensional stability. Vesconite, with all these characteristics, was used on the trailers that are used to transport 12-m-long general purpose containers.

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Vesconite Ensures Smoother Operation

Vesconite HilubeUSA – An aeration windmill manufacturer installed Vesconite Hilube bushings on its windmills, leading to smoother and more efficient operation. The bushings are an essential component in aeration windmills, which aerate ponds in private and public spaces, since fan rotation is key to ensuring that the diaphragm moves up; compressed air is taken in; and the compressor builds up pressure, which is released into the air line leading to the water. Because of this, the windmills are more efficient at reducing algae and foul smells, controlling mosquitos and creating a healthier environment for fish.

Vesconite for Renewable Energy

Vesconite Hilube bushings reduce energy costs in renewable energy applications. Turbines associated with these applications need to move rapidly and easily to produce efficient power, meaning wind, wave, tidal and current-driven turbines require a low coefficient of friction. Reduced energy losses as a result of the lower friction present in Vesconite Hilube bushings, allow turbines to rotate easily, producing electricity faster and at a reduced cost.

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Vesconite Rudder Bearings Reduce Wear

Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina –  The waters of the Parana River tend to be wide and deep, with significant suspended debris and sand. Due to these abrasive conditions, rudder bearings on tug boats operating on the river are susceptible to rapid wear. The result is frequent dry docking for repairs. In response, Vesconite bushings have been successfully fitted to 20 tug boats working the Parana River. The combination of exceptionally low wear, self-lubrication and easy installation makes it an ideal material for this application.

Vesconite for Marine Applications

Rudder BearingVesconite, and Vesconite Hilube in particular, are ideal for the submerged and corrosive conditions of the marine industry. Suited to both dry and underwater applications, Vesconite’s internal lubricants allow for prolonged life where the setting is characterized by irregular greasing schedules, or no greasing at all. Unlike most bearing materials, Vesconite offers long wear life and a high load-bearing capacity with no distortion or delamination, despite the wet and abrasive working environment. Vesconite is easily removed and refitted, saving in costly downtime.

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Vesconite Pump Application Case Studies

Vesconite - Hilube for Pump ApplicationsThermal Power Station Condensate Pump

Texas, USA – A thermal power station required a high-wearing, low maintenance bearing alternative for a condensate pump assembly. The line shaft and pump bowl bearings used in this vertical spindle pump operate in pure water conditions at a temperature ranging between 30˚C and 60˚C (86°F to 140°F). Removal and maintenance cost on the pump are high. Vesconite Hilube bearings were manufactured and fitted. Resultant performance has been impressive – the replacement bearings have run without fault for four years, on a pump assembly that has a seven yearly maintenance rebuild schedule.

Water Utility Uses Hilube on Vertical Spindle Pumps

Vesconite - Hilube for Spindle Pumps

Texas, USA – A water utility in Texas had over the years experimented with different  grades of nylon bearings in its vertical spindle pumps, but with little success. The pumps operated in the abrasive conditions found in pit-wells. The combination of debris and sand would eventually lead to excessive wear of the original bushings and eventual seizure. The original parts were subsequently replaced with Vesconite Hilube, which requires no lubrication, does not swell and can operate in dirty conditions as characterized by the above. The re-fitted pumps have since been running without incident for over a year now.


Why Use Vesconite in Pumps?

Vesconite has been used for decades in a wide range of specialized pump bushing applications. The material thrives in water and exhibits excellent dimensional stability, with zero delamination. The result is low downtime and associated hassle factor. Its friction coefficient range of 0.1 – 0.2 allows for dry starting – an issue commonly associated with high wear rates in traditional bushing materials. Corrosion of the bushing is entirely eliminated with Vesconite, Vesconite Hilube is recommended for most pump applications.

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Vesconite Hilube in the Hoover Dam

The environmentally sensitive hydro-power industry requires components that last longer in the absence of contaminating lubricants. These two factors alone make Vesconite Hilube the ideal bushing and bearing material in these demanding conditions. Water serves as a natural lubricant for Vesconite Hilube, which in turn, ensures a clean and grease-free operating environment. Unlike many traditional materials, Vesconite Hilube does not swell in water, nor does it distort or creep under load within wet hydro-power settings. Therefore not only does Vesconite last longer, so does it’s metal counterparts.

Vesconite Hilube - Hoover Dam

Hoover Dam pressure relief valves fitted with Vesconite Hilube

Vesconite Hilube has been the preferred choice for the pressure relief valves (PRVs) at the Hoover Dam. Originally designed in the 1930s, the PRV’s divert water around the turbines when flow to the turbines needs to be stopped. Vesconite Hilube was selected to replace the existing cast iron parts, which had oxidised and seized, preventing the valve from functioning. Vesconite Hilube has proved to the ideal material for this application, due to its self-lubricating, hard-wearing, corrosion-free and low slip stick features.

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Vesconite Hilube for Underwater Applications

Vesconite HilubeVesconite Hilube is a thermopolymer, designed for particularly difficult operating environments. Hilube is specifically recommended for moist and underwater applications. These include the pump and marine industry, where regular maintenance is not practically feasible or cost-effective. Displaying superior wear life, especially in poorly lubricated and dirty conditions, Vesconite Hilube has been shown to offer up to ten times the life of bronze bushings.

Vesconite Hilube incorporates an internal lubricant that translates into an exceptionally low friction coefficient. Combined with excellent dimensional stability, low wear rates and a high load-bearing capacity. Hilube has a PV rating (pressure x velocity) four times that of nylon bushings.

Vesconite is available in a wide range of rods, bushings, plates, and machined custom parts.

Hilube Key Features

No Water Swell
Fully saturated, Vesconite Hilube has a negligible moisture absorption rate (0.5%). Its linear swell rate of 0.07% allows for fine clearances in the majority of applications. By way of contrast, nylons absorb moisture by as much as 9% of total mass – resulting in high swell rates and critical loss of clearance, which can lead to seizures.

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Gallagher Becomes Vesconite Distributor

Gallagher Fluid Seals is proud to announce that we are now a distributor for Vesconite self-lubricating bearings and bushings.

Vesconite Product LineupVesconite – The Original

A specialized hard-wearing thermopolymer designed for challenging operating conditions, Vesconite gives up to 10 times the life of traditional bronze or nylon bushings. Combining high-load bearing strength, internal lubrication, a low friction coefficient and low wear rates, it does not require external lubrication, even where conditions are dry and dirty.  Over the past six decades, Vesconite has become internationally recognized as a versatile, high performance replacement for traditional bushing and bearing materials.

Tried and tested in literally thousands of applications across a wide range of industries  – from general industrial, to marine and agriculture. Vesconite has an impressive dimensional stability, and unlike many synthetic alternatives, it retains its strength under wet conditions and displays negligible creep under high load.

Vesconite is available in a wide range of rods, bushings, plates, and machined custom parts.

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