The environmentally sensitive hydro-power industry requires components that last longer in the absence of contaminating lubricants. These two factors alone make Vesconite the ideal bushing and bearing material in these demanding conditions. Water serves as a natural lubricant for Vesconite, which in turn ensures a clean and grease-free operating environment. Unlike many traditional materials, Vesconite 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.

Benefits for

Vesconite does not require external lubrication, avoiding water contamination.

Vesconite can run dry – important for pump start-up and priming.

Water is a natural lubricant for Vesconite.

Vesconite does not swell in water, reducing risk of seizure and allowing for close tolerances.

Vesconite has a low friction coefficient, eliminating vibration and the stick-slip effect.

Vesconite’s unique combination of properties ensures long life and little downtime.

Common Hydro

Wicket gate bushings

Kaplan main turbine bearings

Trash rake cleaning machines

Pump bearing

Valve bushings

Screen bushings



Traditional bearings require costly maintenance downtime time on pump turbines.

Metal or rubber bushes can degrade quickly in dirty and abrasive environments e.g trash rake pivot points.

The low friction of Vesconite avoids stick slip on pressure relief valve guides.**

Wicket gate bushing lubrication** is often difficult due to the micro-oscillating movements associated with this application. Vesconite’s self-lubricating properties avoids this entirely.

Hydro Case Studies
Main turbine bearing fitted with Vesconite Hilube bushings

Argentina - A hydropower plant fitted its Stanley turbine with Vesconite Hilube turbine bearings in 2007. The original oil-film main- guide bearings used in the turbine ran the risk of water contamination. Vesconite Hilube proved itself as a superior alternative - hard-wearing, non-water absorbing and self-lubricating. Downtime and maintenance was significantly reduced, with resultant cost-savings.

Hoover Dam pressure relief valves fitted with Vesconite Hilube

USA - Vesconite has been the preferred choice for three pressure relief valves (PRVs) at the Hoover Dam. Originally designed in the 1930’s, the PVRs 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. Vesconite has proved to the ideal material for this application, due to it’s self-lubricating, hard-wearing corrosion-free features.

Hoover Dam control-linkage fitted with Vesconite bushings

USA - The link-arms controlling the wicket gates on America’s Hoover Dam demanded a maintenance-free self-lubricating bush. The specific bush is subjected to considerable force and has a knock-on effect on the wicket gate system, which ultimately controls waterflow to the dam’s turbines. Vesconite was supplied, machined and fitted, and has performed flawlessly for the past seven years.

Vesconite Hilube fitted to wicket gates

Canada - A manufacturer of small-scale hydroelectric plants required a hard-wearing bushing material for their wicket gates - aerofoil-shaped blades which control waterflow to the hydroelectric turbines. A central shaft runs through the wicket gate and three bushings assist in their rotation. For the past 10 years, the company has successfully fitted Vesconite Hilube bushes to these critical parts, thanks to Vesconite Hilube’s low friction co-efficient, self-lubricating properties and negligible water absorption.

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