Hilube 10 & 20 locomotive side-bearer guides

Australia – In this case study, a rail company requested durable side-bearing guides to replace the standard guides fitted to its passenger cars. Hilube 10 & 20 side-bearer guides were installed on the locomotive, with resultant less wear than the original guides. Fitted to the side of the bogie, the Hilube 10 & 20 side bearers work together during the rotation of the bogie, ensuring a specified turning torque and safe operation of the rail vehicle.

Superlube replaces original bogie support pads

South Africa – A South African company operating a long heavy-haul railway required replacement load pads for its locomotives, as the original pads lacked sufficient load-carrying capacity and low friction performance. As a result, the locomotive wheel sets tended to run out of alignment when coming out of a curve, with associated high wear. The replacement Superlube bogie support pads have eliminated both these problems.

Hilube 20 pedestal liners put to the test

Argentina – A rail company has successfully tested Hilube 20 pedestal liners on its locomotives over a six-year period. The Hilube 20 liners were found to last beyond the required maintenance schedule. Given the ease of fitting the Hilube 20 liners, the rail company is able to replace the liners using one engineer, as opposed to two in the past. The Hilube 20 replacements have also extended the life of the axle boxes and bearings.

Hilube 10 fitted to Arctic ore wagon

The Arctic – A railway line operating in the Arctic required centre liners that could function in sub-zero temperatures while carrying fully-loaded iron-ore wagons. This combination of high load and freezing conditions tended to result in rapid wear to traditional liners. Hilube 10 replacements were opted for, as the material can withstand temperatures up to -40˚C. Easy machining and fitting and smooth running bogies on straight and curved tracks were the result.

Vesconite on cross-anchor bushings

South Africa – Vesconite Bearings has supplied thousands of cross anchor bushings in the last 40 years in South Africa. During development of the national rail utility’s HS self-steering bogie during the early 1970s, various materials were tested for the four cross-anchor pivot points (also known as stabilisation points).

After extensive testing, Vesconite was accepted as the material that best satisfied the requirements of the application and was used for several decades on the HS bogie.

Vesconite ensures a slow wear rate on the bush. This is essential to the continuous alignment of the bogie and to facilitate the desired low contact force (lateral force) between wheel and rail.

In addition, the cross anchors are important to the optimum stabilisation of the bogie during operation. Vesconite has proven itself as the bushing material of choice in the stabilisation points.

The material offers wear resistance, high-compression strength, dimensional stability and low water absorption.

Vesconite Hilube on brake beam guides

Zimbabwe – Brake beam guides were supplied to a railway in Zimbabwe.

Prior to polypropylene brake beam guides being introduced, excessive wear had been found to occur between the brake beam and the guide, causing the brake shoe to be applied unevenly to the wheel. Both the guide and the brake shoe wore unevenly leading to their premature replacement.

With the introduction of polypropylene brake beam guides, the African railway has experienced increased life of brake shoes, guides and beams; the elimination of uneven wear on brake beam guides and brake shoes; good braking efficiency; smoother brake beam release, which eliminates brake shoe drag on wheel; and maintenance and operational cost savings on brake shoes, wheels and tracks.

In addition, the brake beams were found to run true with the correct angle of operation between the brake shoe and wheel.

Vesconite Bearings developed Vesconite Hilube brake beam guides, made of a superior wear material, following the successful use of the polypropylene guides.

Vesconite and hopper door bushes

South Africa – Vesconite Bearings supplied a large producer of light railway materials, including hoppers, with hopper -door bushes for use on its 5t bottom discharge hopper.

The hoppers were used in South Africa’s diamond and gold industries but, prior to the introduction to Vesconite hopper-door bushings, the phosphor bronze bushing on the release mechanism became loose in the housing due to the impact it was subjected to.

The phosphor bronze bushing was replaced with a Vesconite bushing (84mm x 65mm – 30mm). This lasted substantially longer than the original phosphor bronze.

This application was not lubricated so the choice of alternative materials was limited. Some synthetic materials that were tested squeezed out, and were thus found to be unsuitable compared to hard-wearing Vesconite, which requires no lubrication.

Vesconite Hilube on tram drive bushings

Australia – 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.

Excessive wear to motor axle bushings can cause accelerated wear of axles, motor pinions and drive gear systems.

Wear to drive bushing will result in misalignment that can lead to excessive wear and failure of motor bushings and damage to motors.

The tram bushings that were introduced in Australia have been found to exceed the life expectancy in bronze in an application in which speeds of up to 30km/h are common, with travel distances of up to 4km between stops.

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