The sluice gate at Faraday Dam in Oregon operates fully submerged with approximately 40′ of head at the middle of the gate. The estimated operation pressure on each of the bushings is around 4,000psi (4ksi). The gate is used for water level control, therefore continuously makes small adjustments to its elevation.
The gate was removed in September 2014 to perform inspection of gate wheel assembly and bearings. It was determined that several of the wheels had either stopped working or fallen off due to corrosion and lack of lubrication. The remaining bearings were found to have excessive clearance due to wear. New stainless steel sleeves were fabricated by Portland Manufacturing and welded onto the gate wheel stub shafts. New composite greaseless bushings supplied by CIP were installed to replace the failed bearings.
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Hydropower has been used for thousands of years and represents the largest, most efficient and proven renewable energy source on the planet. The rehabilitation and repowering of existing generation stations, as well as developing generation at non powered dams, and introducing pump storage strategies provide a multitude of opportunities for continued growth within the industry. Water management in much of the world is faced with changing regulations to support the balancing act between power generation, ecological sustainability, and agriculture irrigation. New technologies, equipment, and modern controls systems to optimize production are aiding the industry in this balance while continuing to increase power generation.
Suppliers, like Columbia Industrial Products, must be equipped to provide quality assurance, formal documentation, and products that will perform for decades in mixed use environments. CIP has built a solid reputation while working with the US Army Corps of Engineers, Utilities, and Contractors fulfilling these requirements while providing a high quality bearing product.
CIP Composites is the leading manufacturer of environmentally friendly, self-lubricating bearings and wear pads designed to replace greased bronze components inside a variety of turbine designs, gates and valves, and auxiliary equipment. CIP composite products provide the perfect balance of performance, availability, and cost to satisfy the most rigorous demands of your hydro generation project, no matter the schedule or scale.
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In May of 2016, a cruise ship went into dry dock for service which included replacing a broken stabilizer. It was determined that the flap bearings from the OEM for the new fin stabilizer would not work, and needed to be replaced. CIP is known for its 24-hour dry-dock emergency support for replacement bearings. When the call came in CIP answered the request for this urgent delivery and provided the bearings the same day!
Oil leakage and lubricant discharges from marine equipment such as fin stabilizers are causing marine operators to find alternative solutions to previous standard grease and oil systems. Although the EPA has provided accommodations allowing the use of environmentally acceptable lubricants (EAL), the better alternative is to replace bearing grease systems altogether with water lubricated materials.
CIP Composite fin stabilizer bearings are water lubricated with the added ability to have axial grooves machined into the bearing, providing better water flow and lubrication. Columbia Industrial Products offer 24 hour emergency support, minimizing dock time. CIP Composites are easily machined onsite and can be freeze fitted or press fitted. Their knowledgeable team can provide technical support for the design calculations for interference and clearance fits for your application.
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Gallagher Fluid Seals is a distributor of CIP Composites full product line. CIP Composites are laminated polymer materials made by impregnating textile with thermoset resins. The physical properties of CIP materials make them superior bearing materials. CIP Composites offer design engineers an attractive, cost effective alternative to the traditional material used for bushings, bearings, wear pads, and thrust washers. The following describes the physical characteristics and application factors to replacing bronze bearings with CIP Composites.
Coefficient of Friction
CIP Composites have lower coefficients of friction than bronze in both static and dynamic situations. It is common to achieve 50% lower coefficients of friction when transitioning to composites. Bronze bearings pose a risk for metal to metal contact if grease is non-existent or not sufficient to support the shaft, and may develop high break-away torque requirements after prolonged periods of rest. CIP Composites are self-lubricated, minimizing the concerns with lubrication systems, specifically in high load, slow speed, or oscillating applications. CIP Composites eliminate noisy stick-slip problems, extend operating life and reduces wear, making for better operating efficiency.
There can be concerns with moisture absorption for non-metallic materials. Moisture absorption can create swell and expansion of the bearing material and potentially premature failure. Some common plastics in use today have water absorption rates as high as 5-7%, which can lead to bore closure of the bearing and seizing on the shaft. CIP Composites have a negligible absorption of less than 0.1%, and effectively eliminate this concern when moving away from a metallic solution.
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