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.

Over the past 50 years, hundreds of industrial and leisure marine applications – from yachts to supertankers – have been equipped with Vesconite and Vesconite Hilube, testifying to its success in this industry.

Benefits for Marine Industry

  • Vesconite does not swell or distort in water.
  • Vesconite does not delaminate or distort under higher loads.
  • Vesconite does not corrode.
  • Vesconite does not require lubrication.
  • Vesconite is resistant to oils and fuels.
  • Vesconite bearings are easy to fit and remove.
  • Vesconite prolongs shaft life

Common Marine Applications

  • Stern tube bearings
  • Rudder bearings
  • Marine winch bearings
  • On-board machinery bearings
  • Container ship hatch covers

Material Comparison

Bronze has a high friction rating and requires lubrication. Vesconite is self-lubricating and has a low friction coefficient. 

Elastomers lack dimensional stability and have a high thermal expansion. This is not the case with Vesconite.

Laminated and composite materials tend to absorb water and swell.

Rubber has high friction and causes stick-slip, resulting in vibration and high shaft wear.


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