Category Archives: Vesconite

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.

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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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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