Tag Archives: bearing protection device

A New Generation of Conductive Seals

Freudenberg Sealing Technologies is developing a new generation of conductive seals designed to ensure a durable electrical connection between housings and shafts while preventing bearing damage caused by electricity and electromagnetic radiation.

In many operating conditions, the shafts used in electric powertrains are electrically insulated from their housings. The insulation is created by the lubricating films in the contact zones for the bearing and the shaft seals. Lubrication is necessary to promote long-term system functionality. Alternating current and its electromagnetic fields produce changes in the electric potential between the rotor and the stator and the rotor becomes charged. The current can only be drained off through a grounded system that allows the electricity to travel from the shaft to the housing. If there is no grounded pathway, the current flows to the area of least resistance – the bearing – and produces an abrupt discharge when electricity flows from the inner ring to the outer ring across the bearing. Discharge flashes cause surface burns and material compromises that permanently damage the system. The result: The contact surfaces in the rolling bearing are steadily and systematically destroyed. The mounting becomes noisy and the bearing must be replaced to prevent powertrain failure.

Finding the conducting element

conductive simmeringDamage from electric current must absolutely be avoided. The simple solution is to develop a lasting, reliable electrical contact between the shaft and the housing that facilitates a continuous flow of electricity and prevents excessive build up and sudden discharges. The more difficult challenge is to find a system element that can conduct the current via ongoing contact with both the housing and the shaft. As a rule, seals are made of insulating materials and are not suited for this purpose.

For several years, Freudenberg Sealing Technologies has been producing an electrically-conductive nonwoven disk as a series- production system element. The advantage: It is firmly connected to the shaft seal ring and requires almost no additional installation space. The conductivity of the nonwoven is achieved with special fibers that are embedded in a matrix. The system has been used in regular-production electric vehicles for years and reliably prevents bearing damage. The electric resistance in this approach is already at a very low level, but the sealing specialists at Freudenberg continue to develop the solution further.

Power densities continue to grow in upcoming electric powertrains, increasing current, voltage and disruptive electromagnetic fields. To offer a robust solution for these situations, the company is now developing a new generation of conductive seals. The first validated, functional models in this category will be available within a few months. “Our goal is to achieve constant resistance values over a long period of operation – even in adverse conditions,” said Dr. Tim Leichner, who is responsible for Strategic Product Advance Development at Freudenberg.

A new dynamic testing procedure

To fulfill the new requirements for seals in electric powertrains, Freudenberg Sealing Technologies has developed the appropriate test procedure to evaluate and compare the functioning of current dissipation elements. Test stand trials have shown that static measurements of the elements’ electrical resistance are not adequate to predict electrical conductivity during actual dynamic use. So development engineers in Germany developed a dynamic testing procedure that delivers alternating-current flows in the frequencies found in automobiles.

“There is the possibility of doing even more with conductive seals,” said Francois Colineau, who is in charge of the development of this product line at Freudenberg Sealing Technologies. “High electrical conductivity lends itself to possible shielding of disruptive electromagnetic radiation.” The exit point of the shaft from the housing, in particular, is normally a location where “impermeability” is only achieved with difficulty. At this location on every electric motor, there is a shaft seal that could help handle the shielding. It would be possible to combine the sealing of oil and other media with impermeability to electromagnetic radiation – without necessarily adding another nonwoven layer. “Perhaps we will even find an entirely new electrically conductive sealing material. We’re working on it,” Colineau said.


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

For more information about this new generation of conductive seals, contact Gallagher’s engineering department.

Orion Engineered Seals Receives BPD Patent

Orion’s Path to Innovative Bearing Protection Technology and the Issuing of their Patent

Since the opening of Orion Engineered Seals in 2011, their team has been working tirelessly to ensure they have the most innovative products available to increase the reliability of rotating equipment. Among their various product lines, it is their patented Bearing Protection Device (BPD) in its many design variations that separates them from their competition. In March of 2017, after a long yet rewarding process, they were issued a US PATENT for their robust and distinctly innovative Bearing Protection Device (BPD) technology. There is so much they could say about why their products stand above their competition, but today we’re going to focus specifically on the team behind the BPD and why Orion has been so successful.

Orion Engineered Seals - BPDTodd Brickson, Director of Engineering has been working in manufacturing for over 25 years and is enjoying the fruits of his hard work. When designing the BPD device he had a few key points going through his mind.

  • To create the most effective, innovative, and efficient design in bearing protection
  • How can we be innovative in the market and create something that has never been seen before
  • Develop multiple internal layers of contaminant control that would surpass any design available in the market today.

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Protect Paper Machine Bearings from Failure

BPD-FM - Paper Machine Bearing ProtectionThe Orion Engineered Seals patented Bearing Protection Device (BPD) represents state of the art bearing protection technology and is the premier non-contacting bearing protection device offered. The BPD was designed with an understanding of the nature of the bearing housing environment under all operating conditions and utilizes the laws of physics to create what has proven to be the best performing and most cost effective way to protect the bearings of your rotating equipment.


BPD-FM - Paper Machine Bearing ProtectionProblem: Paper machines operate in hot, humid environments resulting in reduced bearing life, costly downtime and lost production.Paper machine bearings most often fail due to contamination ingress into the bearing housing.

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Protect Pump Bearings with the Orion BPD

Orion Engineered Seals - Bearing Protection Device (BPD)The Orion Engineered Seals patented Bearing Protection Device (BPD) represents state of the art bearing protection technology and is the premier non-contacting bearing protection device offered. The BPD was designed with an understanding of the nature of the bearing housing environment under all operating conditions and utilizes the laws of physics to create what has proven to be the best performing and most cost effective way to protect the bearings of your rotating equipment.

2 Common Pump Problems, 1 Solution… the BPD

Bearing Protection Device (BPD) - Centrifugal PumpProblem 1: Pumps routinely operate in high humidity and dirty environments. They are also commonly operating batch processes meaning the pump is cycled on and off.   These operating conditions results in contamination ingress into the bearing housing, which is the primary cause of shortened bearing life.

Solution: The BPD – Designed for the conditions encountered by centrifugal pumps

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Protection for Flooded Gearbox Shafts

Orion Seals BPD-C - Gearbox ApplicationThe Orion Engineered Seals patented Bearing Protection Device (BPD) represents state of the art bearing protection technology and is the premier non-contacting bearing protection device offered. The BPD was designed with an understanding of the nature of the bearing housing environment under all operating conditions and utilizes the laws of physics to create what has proven to be the best performing and most cost effective way to protect the bearings of your rotating equipment.

The BPD-C Works in Flooded Environments

Orion Seals - Gearbox ApplicationProblem: Traditional sealing methods for the flooded gearbox shafts are inadequate, resulting in oil leaking out of the gearbox, creating an environmental and safety hazard.

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Introducing Orion’s Bearing Protection Device

Orion Engineered Seals - Bearing Protection Device (BPD)The Orion Engineered Seals Bearing Protection Device (BPD)

The Orion Engineered Seals patented Bearing Protection Device (BPD) represents state of the art bearing protection technology which provides maximum protection against contaminants while maintaining lubrication in the bearing.  It is the premier non-contacting bearing protection device on the market today.

The BPD was designed with an understanding of the nature of the bearing housing environment under all operating conditions and utilizes the laws of physics to create what has proven to be the best performing and most cost effective way to protect the bearings of your rotating equipment. Every feature of the BPD is designed to work together as a system.

What Makes Orion’s Bearing Protection Device (BPD) Better

Orion Engineered Seals - Bearing Protection Device (BPD)Two Vertical Internal Chambers – The Orion BPD utilizes the laws of physics with the vertical alignment of the internal chambers to create the most effective and efficient bearing protection device on the market today.

Internal Static Elastomers – BPD is the only true non-contacting device with two internal static elastomers, eliminating the potential of dynamic o-ring hangup.

Contaminant Exclusion – With double exclusion chambers, the Orion BPD can exclude the higher volumes of contaminant, ensuring longer bearing life.

Angled Oil Return – With an angled oil return, the Orion BPD offers enhanced return flow and higher volume capacity with no oil leakage.

Angled Interface – While competing products offer a straight interface, the Orion BPD features an angled interface, giving the contaminant direction and flow to expel more efficiently.

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