Vesconite Bearings in the Netherlands received 30 crates of stock in February.

Many of these crates include extra-large marine bearings made of Vesconite and Vesconite Hilube bearing materials that do not swell or distort in water, do not delaminate or distort under higher loads, do not corrode, do not require lubrication, are resistant to oils and fuel, are easy to fit and remove, and prolong shaft life.

“The intention is to be able to get rudder and stern tube bearings to customers quicker,” says Vesconite Bearings BV MD Conrad Penzhorn.

“Lead-times-to-delivery are particularly important for marine customers, and we want to cater for this requirement,” he says, noting that dry-dock fees are considerable and waiting for parts needs to be avoided.

Vesconite’s stock includes many popular sizes of rudder bearings and stern tubes.

These are packed, and ready to be sent as soon as orders are received.

Vesconite Bearings’ warehouse is located near Utrecht in the Netherlands.

Stock bearings can be delivered within Europe within a day of being despatched from the facility.

Stock can also be collected by arrangement, with the warehouse within easy access of the cities of Utrecht, Rotterdam and Amsterdam.



A desalination plant in the Middle East commissioned a 6 MW pump with a Vesconite labyrinth seal in 2022.

This is according to the product manager at a large Austrian technology company tasked with designing the pump.

His company advertises that “thanks to today’s state-of-the-art technologies, potable water and desalination plants are able to achieve levels of safety and efficiency that were previously unimaginable”, and these are some of the considerations that he uses when he develops products for this industry.

It was initially for efficiency reasons that the pump OEM engaged with Vesconite.

Wear rings and seals, such as those produced by Vesconite Bearings, exhibit 5% efficiency gains, the product manager says.

With high power intensities, the savings from these gains become increasingly important and have resulted in the whole world striving for more efficiency in the technologies that they employ, he notes.

Interestingly, the technology company believes that Vesconite Bearings’ main differentiating factors are its service and its flexibility.

The product manager informs that a competitor had in one case quoted a seven-to-12 week delivery time from the placement of an order, as compared to a week’s despatch time for Vesconite.

“Sometimes a lengthy delivery time is not acceptable for us,” he says.

Vesconite’s service and support was also a distinguishing factor in choosing labyrinth seals made from Vesconite self-lubricating no-swell bearing materials.

The product manager explains that Vesconite Bearings was willing to discuss the technology company’s design requirements and did not simply dismiss them as impossible to achieve.

As a result, the labyrinth seal was produced applying the close clearances that the client desired.

“We were able to search for solutions together,” describes the product manager.

The technology company has been using Vesconite parts for five years and estimates that between 40 and 60 pumps globally have between 80 and 100 Vesconite parts installed on them.

These are used in a variety of industries, including desalination, which is becoming an important way to secure drinking water for urban needs.



A specialised Southern African railway signalling company, Actom Signalling, has found minimal wear in accelerated wear testing on the Vesconite slides that are contained in its point machines, which control railway tracks and switch the tracks that particular trains will be directed to.

This was confirmed by Actom Engineering Projects and Contracts Development Technician Wayne Meyer.

He notes that testing was carried out in November and December 2022 on a complete B1 Switchmatic Point Machine that was taken out of the production line for the express purpose of testing the performance of the point machine.

“We have to back our products so, periodically, we do these tests,” says Meyer.

“They provide comfort to our customers on the performance of our machines,” he notes of the tests that over a few days put a randomly-selected machine through its expected operating life.

More than 5,000 actuations, or movements of the point machine drive bar, were tested at the company’s factory in Germiston, South Africa.

Since Vesconite slides are among the components that are used on the machines, slide wear was also tested.

Vesconite slides are located around the detection, lock and drive bars at the point where they exit the points machine housing.

The point system blades and bars also run on a track of Vesconite so they are enclosed within Vesconite when they are within the point system housing.

Meyer notes that most of the wear was on the bottom Vesconite slides; this measured around 0.17 mm.

“This is very little for the amount of work that was done,” he says.

Wear on the top-most and side liners was almost undetectable, with wear of 0.05 mm being present, informs Meyer.

Point machines are critical in controlling the directional change of a train and for the safety of rail services.

Among the important components of the point machine are the detection blades, which determine the position of the right and left lines on the track; the locking blades, which physically locks the rail in place in a new position; and the drive slide, which is used to push the tracks into the correct position.

“With each actuation of the B1 Switchmatic point machine, the stroke of it is 300 mm, so there is 300 mm of movement over the Vesconite liner each time the machine will actuate,” describes Meyer.

“For the amount of wear, that is very good,” he says.

The B1 Switchmatic is Actom’s most popular point system, and is a well-tested machine that was first developed in the 1980s. It is the model on which Actom’s other point systems are based.

Actom has also developed the C1-H clamp lock point machine, the in-sleeper or integrated point machine, and the yard point machine — all of which include Actom’s important safety features and locking mechanism.

The C1-H is a smaller machine that was developed in the 2000s and is frequently used on passenger rails on which the rail tracks are normally located closer to one another than would be the case with freight rail.

The yard point machine is a robust, portable machine which is used in shunting yards and operated with high frequency.

The in-sleeper machine is Actom’s newest machine, which combats vandalism and theft by being small enough to be installed securely between the rails and inside the concrete sleepers.

All of the machines use Vesconite extensively, with some of the original machines still operating 40 or 50 years later with low-friction low-maintenance wear-resistant Vesconite still installed.



Vesconite Bearings, through its supply of marine bearings to the MN Colibri charter vessel in June, is proud to be associated with an exciting communication satellite launch that took place in September 2022.

The supply of bearings allowed the Colibri to transport the Eutelsat Konnect VHTS satellite, which is regarded as an important addition to global telecommunications infrastructure.

The MN Colibri transported the satellite to Pariacabo Harbour in French Guiana, near the Kourou-based Guiana Space Centre, the main spaceport of France and the European Space Agency.

On arrival at the port, the Eutelsat was transported off the ride-on ride-off charter vessel.

It then made its way to the launch site, where it was later successfully launched by an Ariane rocket.

The Eutelsat Konnect VHTS is expected to deliver high-speed broadband and mobile connectivity throughout Europe, North Africa and the Middle East from the second half of 2023.
“Vesconite Bearings is pleased to have contributed to this momentous project,” says Vesconite Bearings marine applications engineer Monique Potgieter of the development that plans to supply European users with 100 Mbps broadband as well as to eliminate broadband black spots.

“Our marine bearings are used in many intriguing shipping projects that contribute to the technological advancement of our world,” she notes.

Potgieter explains that, when the MN Colibri charter ship was undergoing planned inspection, it was found that the upper and lower flap bearings needed to be replaced on the flap type rudders.

The bearing supplier was then approached by a company that focuses on rudder new builds and servicing to supply the bearings.

Vesconite Bearings had the right size bushing material in stock at its Netherlands warehouse, and was able to quickly deliver the stock to Hamburg, Germany, for further machining and installation.
Material for two bearings, measuring 170 outside diameter (OD) x 150 inside diameter (ID) x 157 mm (long (L)) and 180 OD x 150 ID x 190 mm L, were ordered at 5pm on June 27, 2022, despatched just after noon on June 28, and delivered to the dry dock that did the final machining shortly after 1pm on June 29.

Marine bearings are essential to the delivery of all manner of cargo, much of which is time sensitive.

“Our team of marine specialists is dedicated to attending to urgent enquiries and we engage with ship captains, ship servicing companies and vessel managers through WhatsApp, Skype, direct calls, email and the other platforms they prefer to ensure a high level of availability, quick responses to enquiries and fast processing of orders,” says Potgieter.

The next step in Vesconite’s ability to deliver rudder bearings and stern tubes quickly is its strategy to have a large number of bearings stocked in locations around the globe and, where necessary, to manufacture these quickly at the dedicated marine bearing facility for the production of extra large bearings.

This dedicated facility can manufacture some of the largest marine bearings in the world in one to two days using its five large horizontal lathes and two large vertical lathes.

“In the case of the Colibri, we had bearings available close to the dry dock machine shop that was working on the ship,” says Potgieter.

“We are proud that our marine-supply strategy makes us the supplier of choice for many shipyards and repair companies that trust us for fast deliveries, excellent customer service and quality products,” she notes.
The Colibri (Image credit: 2021 ESA-CNES-Arianespace/Optique vidĂ©o du CSG – JM Guillon).
A Vesconite Hilube marine bearing



Vesconite is pleased to be associated with one of the final-year Mechanical Engineering projects at the University of Kwazulu Natal, South Africa.

Vesconite-sponsored bushings were used for a traverse, a subassembly of the three-axis traverse and test stand. The traverse secures and positions aerodynamic probes in wind tunnels to measure parameters such as velocity and pressure around objects within the flow annulus. The traverse consists of a linear actuator that linearly extends the probe and a yaw subsystem that secures and rotates the probe about its tip.

In a letter of thanks to Vesconite Bearings Mechanical Engineer Tristen Wintershoven, who assisted with arranging the manufacturing, supply and delivery of the bushings, the study team noted that, “six bushings were used to minimise friction for the linear actuator, where the bushings were situated between three stainless-steel rods and a 3D-printed carriage.”

“The bushings enabled effortless movement of the carriage even when carrying the weight of the yaw subsystem. Two bushings were used for the yaw subsystem between a 3D-printed gear housing and a rotating stainless steel shaft. The bushings provided a smooth rotation of the shaft. Additionally, one of the project’s aims was to design a lightweight traverse.”

The student team, consisting of J. C. Yellappen, K. Z. Khanilye, I. A. Pillay and supervised by Professor G. C. Snedden, noted that the Vesconite bushings are much lighter than metallic bushings or bearings and this assisted in the design of a lightweight traverse.

The bushings had an excellent fit, performed well, and did not require lubrication, they enthused.

“As an engineering company, we hope to empower young engineers with the tools to solve real-world challenges,” says Wintershoven of how he introduced the team to Vesconite’s online bearing design tool which helps with various bearing parameters, including determining clearances and deciding on whether an interference fit is necessary.

“We aim to better the way individuals undertake analytical thinking,” he says.



A global petrochemical company, headquartered in South Korea, has ordered 20 pump bushings made of Vesconite Hilube, a premier-grade bearing material.

The bushings will go into vertical-turbine pumps that supply sea water to a petrochemical plant for cooling purposes.

The order for suction, line-shaft and pump-bowl bushings, is made up of bushings of significant size, with outside diameters ranging from 170 to 230 mm, inside diameters from 135 to 180 mm, and lengths from 180 to 240 mm.

“Vesconite Bearings has significant experience in providing pump bushings that come into contact with sea water,” describes pump application expert Phillip de Villiers.

“Our pump parts are widely used in desalination and sea-water-cooled plants,” he explains.

Vesconite Hilube bushings survive well in salt water and, unlike metal bearings, do not corrode.

In addition, they do not swell and can be machined for close clearances, which reduces vibration and improves pump efficiencies.

Cooling with the use of sea water is popular in coastal areas since it eliminates the use of scarce fresh water.

It is regarded as a sustainable technology, since there is typically no contact between the water and contaminants and the water can be released back into the sea with only a slight change in temperature being observed.


Pump application expert Phillip de Villiers notes that Vesconite Bearings has significant experience in providing pump bushings that come into contact with sea water.



Vesconite Bearings is pleased to have received the Business Resilience Award, presented by the Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of South Africa (SEIFSA) and Mining Equipment Manufacturers of South Africa (MEMSA) last week.

This is according to CEO Dr Jean-Patrick Leger, whose company was honoured as one that showed resilience, agility and adaptability during the Covid pandemic.

“We’re going to see pandemics again and they have happened throughout history, so let’s be prepared for the next one,” Leger said in his acceptance speech for the award that highlighted Vesconite’s business initiatives and management during the pandemic.

Leger stressed that the competition entry gave him the opportunity to examine how to ensure business stability in incredibly difficult times.

“Covid meant very unusual things like putting our sales staff to start shifts at 11 o’clock at night so that they could phone New Zealand, where the pandemic was not having an effect. Their end-of-day meeting was at 5 am in the morning so that we could discuss how they had managed to develop sales leads.”

Besides this sales initiative, Vesconite invested in health and safety interventions, skills development, creating and marketing new products, technologies and initiatives for remote work, logistics management and ease-of-access to products, improved financial oversight, renovating buildings and increased manufacturing resources at its factory, and growing a strong order book.

“I was also very struck that we had carried on paying salaries and, yes, after six weeks, of no real income coming in, it was very nerve-wracking about what was going to happen next,” Leger noted in his speech about the early days of the pandemic.

“When I look back, I recognise that all our employees were stabilised in this very stressful time. It meant that, when we came back with new ideas, they were energised because they were not fearful of their futures. It made a huge difference.”

Besides the Business Resilience Award, other companies that were honoured at the 2022 Awards for Excellence, included Macsteel, which received the Best Customer Service Award; Pamodzi Engineering, which received the Most Transformed Company of the Year Award; MSC Technical, which received the Environment Stewardship Award; Electrolux South Africa, which received the Corporate Social Responsibility Award; Caleisle Ngwenya, the director at CeeWay Engineering, who received the Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award; ArcelorMittal, which received the Industry Apprenticeship Award; ProProcess Engineering, which received the Customised Customer Service Award; Buraaq Mining Services and Rham Equipment, which received the Localised Supply Chain Award; NTGR Engineering Projects, which received the Manufacturing Solutions Award; Kobus De Beer, the current Chairman of International Steel Fabricators of South Africa and the Structural Steel Export Cluster and a Commissioner on the International Trade Administration Commission of South Africa, who received the Lifetime Contribution to the Industry Award; Michelle Austin, the group financial director at Keegor South Africa, who received the Business Woman of the Year Award; Keegor South Africa, which received the Workplace Health and Safety Award; and Bell Equipment, which received the MEMSA Member Manufacturer of the Year Award.



A freight operator in Africa tested Vesconite’s Hilube 20 pedestal liners on its type 9307 locomotives and will be installing these liners due to their better wear resistance.

Pedestal liners are installed on the locomotive at the interface between the pedestal leg and the axle box. They reduce the friction at this interface, which enables the axles to move freely in a vertical and lateral direction. Low-friction pedestal liners are key in reducing the force required for the wheel set to move laterally when the train comes into contact with a defect in the rail.

Hilube 20 is a ductile, self-lubricating material with a maximum design load of 20 MPa and a coefficient of friction ranging between 0.15 – 0.19.

The freight operator replaced its manganese steel pedestal liners with Vesconite’s Hilube 20 to determine if the company would get better performance during on-track testing.

The operator carried out a preliminary inspection of the liners one month after installation. The test revealed the wear plates to be intact, with no evidence of wear or abnormality. The rolling stock engineer said that, in comparison to Hilube 20, the manganese steel liners wear faster on visual inspection. The engineer also found the installation time of the Hilube 20 liners to be much quicker.

Due to the improved performance of the Hilube 20 pedestal liners, the liners have been approved as a replacement for manganese steel liners on the rail operator’s rolling stock.



Vesconite Bearings has received a large order for wear-resistant bushings from a Canadian agricultural manufacturer that manufactures air seeders, among other equipment.

This is according to Vesconite application developer Marius van Zyl, who has been involved in the project since its start.

The project began when an Australian distributor of the air seeder tested standard Vesconite bushings on the pivots on the row units. The distributor then also evaluated Vesconite’s premium bearing material, Vesconite Hilube.

Both materials performed well on the seeder’s two highest-load points.

Because of availability, the Australian distributor supplied Vesconite Hilube bushings on its high-load high-wear pivot points on the planters ahead of the Australian planting season in 2021.

However, from this time on, standard Vesconite will be fitted to these points since this had a longer testing record of reliable performance and is more economical.

Testing of standard Vesconite has also been in progress in Canada through the spring 2022 planting season. The Canadian air-seeder manufacturer is now considering changing all of the pivot bearings to standard Vesconite to streamline production and improve wear across the row units.



Keeping a golf course lush and emerald green is an important consideration for any golf course maintenance or irrigation engineer.

As a result, when a well-known original equipment manufacturer’s pumps’ wear parts were consistently failing, and resulting in less than optimum greens and fairways, a South African golf-course irrigation company turned to Vesconite Bearings to test prototype bushings and wear rings.

The global golf course context

Globally, the golf industry is large, with the US industry (which represents half of global golf courses) estimated to have an impact of USD70b on the US economy, according to Golf Course Industry’s 2017 Golf Industry Outlook.

Maintenance spending in the US totals $9b each year, according to the same survey, with around 56% allocated to labour and the remainder to other expenses, including irrigation costs, which are believed to make up one of the largest parts of these maintenance costs, with the importance of watering, overwatering, the existence of brown patches in the grass, grass thinning or loss of colour consuming much attention. Various other countries, including Canada, are said to have 2/3 of the maintenance budget of the average US course for each of their courses, but, whatever the global golf-course maintenance budget, the sums that are being spent on golf-course maintenance and on irrigation are substantial.

Interestingly, the US, Japan, Canada, England, Australia, Germany, France, Scotland, South Africa, etc., have the largest number of golf courses in that order, with irrigation playing a more or less important role depending on how scarce water is and whether the golf courses are open year round, among other factors.

Since many golf courses are located in water-scarce areas, irrigation can be challenging, especially since golf-course irrigation needs are often pitted against communities’ basic water needs. Capturing storm water, using water from dams and rivers, and re-using effluent and wastewater are all possible alternatives. These are all possible substitutes to using potable water 
 but they sometimes bring their own challenges that original equipment manufacturers may not be considering sufficiently.

The case study

The irrigation company that eventually switched to Vesconite Hilube bowl bushings and wear rings is a well-established provider of irrigation solutions to the many of South Africa’s 532 golf courses, of which 400 are under irrigation. Each South African golf course typically has three to 16 pumps, although the number of pumps can be as high as 38, as on one elite South African golf course designed by Jack Nicklaus.  Each pump typically has four to 12 stages in its multiple-stage canister pumps, which are the type specified by a large golf-course irrigation solution supplier.

These pumps have to cope with water that is often characterised by high abrasiveness, high alkalinity or high acidity. This is because water-scarcity issues, as well as a national requirement to provide for the country’s basic water needs, have resulted in many of South Africa’s golf courses switching from potable water to water sourced from effluent wastewater; rainfall runoff captured in ponds or reservoirs; streams and ponds; and groundwater.

The impact on wear rings

Prior to the introduction of Vesconite Hilube wear rings, the irrigation company used multiple-stage canister pumps with neck ring casings with phenolic wear rings.

Phenolic wear rings are typically made with a base material such as paper, fibreglass or cotton, which is permeated with a phenolic resin, or phenol formaldehyde resins.

Despite the fact that phenolic wear rings are seen as highly abrasion resistant, they were discovered to not be nearly wear-resistant enough to cope with the acidity levels and debris found in the storm water run-off and waste water that many South African golf courses are now using in line with global norms.

The phenolic wear rings, which were observably paper like, were found to delaminate, a process by which repeated stress causes the layers to separate. They tended to only last six to eight months.

The phenolic wear rings reduced pump performance. The pressure suddenly dropped, the client reported, noting the effect of the delamination and degradation of the wear rings, which are regarded as essential in this application since wear rings are typically used to create a virtual contact between a pump’s moving and stationary parts; to stabilise the pump rotor; and to reduce circulation between the pump stages.

The irrigation company approached Vesconite Bearings to produce differently-sized prototype wear rings for each of the pump sizes that it installs on South Africa’s golf courses. These were to be made of one of its polymers, Vesconite Hilube, a very strong, wear-resistant, low-friction, ultraviolet-stable engineered polymer that is also dimensionally stable in water.

After a year of testing at one golf course, the irrigation company still did not need to replace the wear rings and the wear rings showed no evidence of needing to be replaced. It began ordering sizeable quantities of wear rings from Vesconite Bearings so that it could install them as standard parts in the pumps that it was installing on South African golf courses.

The polymer wear rings were found to be suitable for the difficult water application, since they did not delaminate even when exposed to mild acids and alkalis or when in contact with abrasive materials. With the introduction of Vesconite Hilube wear rings, the dramatic pumping pressure drops and the frequent wear ring replacements also became a thing of the past.

Bowl bushings

The South African irrigation company also experienced difficulties with the carbon-graphite bowl bushings in the multiple-stage canister pumps before it introduced Vesconite Hilube bowl bushings.

Carbon-graphite is usually regarded as a hard-wearing material, since it includes the wear-resistance, strength and hardness of carbon and the self-lubricating characteristics and corrosion resistance of graphite. However, the abrasiveness of the grit and debris in the water that was being used for irrigation proved too much for the carbon-graphite bowl bushings too. Debris in the water sometimes caused the bushings to wear, with fast-moving fragments sometimes coming into contact with the impeller, damaging or removing vanes, and, in some cases, destroying the pumps.

Fine grit and fine particles also frequently embedded themselves into the carbon-graphite bushings and ate into stainless steel pump shafts.

As a consequence, shafts sometimes needed to be replaced, and, where shafts started vibrating due to shaft and bushing wear, the impellers came in contact with the metal chambers. The costs were considerable as canisters or even whole pumps sometimes had to be replaced.

Then the irrigation company introduced Vesconite Hilube bushings for seven canister pump models.

The results proved favourable, as a result of the Vesconite’s wear resistance.

Grit did not embed itself in the Vesconite Hilube bushings and lead to subsequent shaft damage and instability that damaged pump components.

The irrigation company was satisfied that after one year the bushings did not show significant wear and, importantly, there were no significant expenses related to bowl bushing failure.

It began ordering and stocking the Vesconite Hilube bowl bearings for use on the golf courses that it provides irrigation solutions to.

The benefits for golf courses with Vesconite wear rings and bowl bushings

Golf courses rely on the steady irrigation and are often viewed as undesirable places to play if they have visible stressed or burnt-out turf.

They are also averse to high maintenance costs including high electricity costs, which may be elevated if a pumping system is not operating optimally.

In addition, they are increasingly aware of the labour time, and the associated costs, involved in making repairs, managing and adjusting the irrigation system and hand watering dry areas where an irrigation system is found to be not optimal.

The case for ensuring that an irrigation system’s wear parts are well suited to the application is thus clear.

The benefits for the golf-course irrigation solution supplier

According to a presentation on the 2017 Golf Industry Outlook by Golf Course Industry, suppliers to the golf industry need to increasingly package what they sell as solutions rather than simply products. This would ensure that there is not a simple rush to the bottom in terms of price and that a knowledgeable supplier of appropriate solutions would be favoured over a supplier of a simple product that might not meet the needs of the client.

The presentation on the 2017 Golf Industry Outlook by Golf Course Industry also highlighted how tinkering and experimenting among golf-course superintendents is at an all-time high, and it seems that the trend towards independent thinkers, who are trying to optimise how resources are used to produce the best results on a golf course, may extend well beyond superintendents.

Vesconite Bearings is in favour of this approach, especially since it is self-evident that not all pre-packaged products work in all applications. The irrigation company that Vesconite Bearings supplied the wear parts to is well thought of in the industry, and a proactive technical team that are proactively searching for improved solutions to irrigation problems is one reason for this.

A last take-away

Turf-heads, as those who are knowledgeable about golf turf and the irrigation thereof like to be known, are convinced that water provision is the biggest long-term issue facing golf courses.

Several have even suggested that playing on natural grass may become a thing of the past, as concerns about water availability become paramount.

Irrigation using non-potable water sources is thus an inevitability if the continued use of natural turf is desired.  The use of storm water, water from dams and rivers, and effluent and wastewater all present technological challenges that the golf industry continues to address creatively, including in its assessment of the most suitable wear rings and bowl bushings for canister pumps.



A plant hire company in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, has improved bushing life by installing Vesconite self-lubricating bushings on some of its equipment.

This is according to BPD Plant Hire workshop manager Richard Stoltz, who installed Vesconite bushings on the main pivot points of a JCB TLB (tractor-loader-backhoe) and a New Holland skid steer

Prior to introducing Vesconite, OEM bronze parts were installed on both machines, notes Stoltz.

However, operators did not grease the parts and the hiring company found that the bronze bushings tended to wear away within three to six months, he says.

Seeking a solution to the wear problem, BPD turned to Vesconite bearing materials.

Stoltz had used the material for its wear and self-lubricating properties in the past, but had used it for wear plates and slides rather than bushings previously.

Needing a solution to overcome the short lifespan of the bronze bushings, he first installed the Vesconite bushings on the TLB and was so impressed that he then installed Vesconite bushings on the skid steer.

The Vesconite TLB bushings have operated for two years and are still in working condition. The skid steer bushings, meanwhile, have been installed for six months and are running well.

Stoltz confirms that self-lubricating Vesconite has proven advantageous on the bushings of the bucket dipper arm of the TLB and the bottom loader arm bushings on the skid steer.

These parts are exposed to the most friction and wear and, if bronze OEM parts are used without greasing, they, unlike Vesconite, do not last, he says.



Buying Vesconite products in Namibia has become easier with the establishment of a wholly-owned Namibian subsidiary. 

Known as Vesconite Bearings Namibia, the new company will stock frequently-ordered hollow bar, solid rods and plate for ease of ordering and distribution into the Southern African country.

“Coastal Couriers, a leader in the Namibian courier industry, will assist us,” notes Nadia Swart, who is tasked with managing Vesconite’s Namibian business.

“We will keep stock shapes at Coastal Couriers in Windhoek, and distribute from there,” she says.  

The new company will focus on the marine, mining, manufacturing, agriculture, forklift, abattoir and pumps industries, among others.

“Currently we have customers in many African countries, including South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Kenya and Nigeria,” says Vesconite Bearings CEO Dr Jean-Patrick Leger of Vesconite’s African supply and growth strategy and performance on the continent to date. 

“The challenge is transporting goods across borders, and clearing customs,” Leger states.

“We look forward to the creation of the free trade agreement across Africa, with a view of this opening up better opportunities for trade,” he says



Metalfor, a leading Argentinian equipment manufacturer, has used Vesconite Hilube bushings for its Class 7 combine harvesters since 2010.

Vesconite Hilube wear-resistant, self-lubricating bearing material is used for king pin bushings on the steering system and axle pivot bushings on the back axle.

“We switched from bronze to Vesconite Hilube in 2010 since these are such important applications,” a design engineer stated when Vesconite Bearings visited the company in 2022.

Metalfor applies grease to the bushings upon installation to increase wear life and it also installs a grease zerk for greasing if desired.

However, Vesconite is internally lubricated, which is advantageous if a farmer does not grease bushings for long periods.

Axle pivot bushings.

“Because this is such a crucial application and a failure results in super expensive and long downtime, we felt the protection of Vesconite’s internal lubrication is exactly what we needed to ensure a bulletproof design,” the design engineer stated.

According to Metalfor’s design engineers, about 60% of the loaded combine harvester (roughly 25 metric tons) is placed on the back axle. 

The Metalfor engineers have not heard of a bushing failure since employing Vesconite bushings.

They also have never had to replace a Vesconite Hilube bearing because of excessive wear, unlike when bronze bushings were installed.

Vesconite Hilube king pin bushings on the combine harvester.



Metalfor, a leading Argentinian equipment manufacturer, has used Vesconite bushings in sprayer boom pivots on self-propelled crop sprayers since 2007 
 and with great success.

Metalfor’s crop-sprayer bushings have to face a variety of challenging operating conditions. Whilst spraying, crop sprayers are continuously exposed to water and a mixture of chemicals. After use, a sprayer is also typically cleaned with high-pressure water to blast the chemicals away. The spray chemicals and pressure washing also typically flush grease out of the pivot points.

Vesconite has proven to be the solution to these operating conditions. Unlike bronze, it resists a wide variety of chemicals. Vesconite also does not corrode because it is a polymer, which is an advantage because of the chemicals sprayers encounter.

Moreover, Vesconite is highly valued for its self-lubricating properties; while Metalfor provides for the greasing of bearings where a farmer desires this, the bushings’ self-lubricating properties are an extra benefit when greasing is absent.

These Vesconite properties make the bushing material suitable for the harsh conditions encountered by agricultural sprayers, Metalfor says.

The Vesconite bushing.
Where the bushings are located.



We understand your frustration with messy grease on your forklift.

Our forklift team replaced the bronze liner on this forklift with a Vesconite part and couldn’t be more pleased that our warehouse staff won’t have to concern themselves with greasing this part anymore.

Vesconite has developed many forklift parts that will save you from the mess, irritation and cost of greasing. Parts that we produce include side shift pads, mast pivot bushings, steer axle articulation bushings, lever and pedal bushings, king pin bushings, tilt cylinder bushings and gantry support bearings.

Find out more about how Vesconite can save you from your forklift greasing, friction and bearing wear problems. Contact Calvin Mpofu or Tristen Wintershoven on +27 11 616 1111.



A forklift rental company in the Cape winelands, South Africa, is experiencing less downtime, expenditure and fewer equipment repairs thanks to the introduction of Vesconite king pin and thrust bearings on its forklifts.

This is according to brothers Jacques and Van Rhyn who, together with their father, Japie du Plessis, supply forklifts to clients in the agriculture, fruit and wine industry through JP Fork Truck Rental, a family-owned and operated company.

In the forklift hire industry, clients often say, “rev it like a rental”, indicating that rental machines are used intensively since maintenance and repair costs are allocated to the rental company.

In extreme cases, clients lift loads that exceed the capacity of the machine causing the rear wheels of the forklift to lift and then drop, often causing damage to the axles.

“It caused severe damage to the rear axles, and we would have to collect the forklift from our clients to do the repairs and send some of the parts to an engineering workshop to have them fixed,” describes Van Rhyn. 

“It used to cost a lot of money,” he adds.

This was before the rental company moved to Vesconite low-friction wear-resistant king pin bushings and thrust bearings for the main pivot point on the rear axle.

The Vesconite parts replaced the conventional needle roller bearings for the king pin as well as the thrust bearings.

Van Rhyn comments that Vesconite king pin and thrust bearings do break in some instances but in most cases they only deform slightly.

If the part has deformed, it usually is an indication of impact, and the bushing is either replaced or shimmed and can be used again, he says.

Jacques, who has completed a PhD in mechanical engineering, comments that the rental company appreciates Vesconite’s hardness while still being ductile enough not to crack or shatter under impact.

“It can withstand a lot of wear. It is hard and, at the same time, it not brittle,” he notes.

The ability to withstand high axial loads and stress is particularly important in forklift thrust bearings due to the weight of the machine’s counterweight, which needs to be able to absorb impact and not crack or shatter.

The brothers explain that conventional thrust ball bearings were used before the introduction of Vesconite’s plain bearings.

With a ball bearing, the contact between the axle and stub-axle is multiple point loads (contact with the balls) and, in the case of a severe impact, the ball bearings shatter or even push outwards breaking the bearing housing. This, in turn, causes the steering plates and the stub-axle to bend and the stub-axle to rub up against the axle resulting in extreme wear on the components.

Quantifying the savings from switching to Vesconite is difficult, but the downtime has been significantly reduced, which leads to savings in maintenance and transport costs.

“Re-occurring bearing failures were eliminated, which means that these parts are now on a preventive maintenance schedule instead of corrective or failure maintenance schedule,” says Jacques. 

“This has saved a significant amount of downtime and inconvenience for both our clients and ourselves,” he notes.

JP Fork Truck Rental is so impressed with the Vesconite parts that it has installed Vesconite mast liners and trunnion bearings in addition to king pin and thrust bearings in about 80% of its fleet of more than 80 forklifts.

It also expects to have all of its machines fitted with Vesconite parts by the end of this year.

“Clients are happier when you don’t have downtime on your machines,” says Van Rhyn.

“This is not an issue anymore,” he notes.



High-temperature-resistant bearing material Hitemp 160 has been certified for contact with water up to 65ÂșC (150ÂșF).

This is according to the maker, Vesconite Bearings, which informs that the bearing and wear material has been approved by the Water Regulations Approval Scheme (WRAS).

WRAS is an independent UK certification body for plumbing products and materials. It informed Vesconite that Hitemp 160 has passed the full test of effect on water quality.

The bearing material is advertised as being able to be used in the high temperature range up to 160 – 200ÂșC depending on the chemicals in the solution.

With the certification, the material is certified as safe for water intended for human consumption up until 65ÂșC.

“UK pump and potable water component manufacturers can confidently use the product within the given temperature parameters,” says Vesconite Bearings CEO Dr Jean-Patrick Leger.

The certification also provides comfort for the general safety of the bearing material where it is used outside of the UK, he notes.



An ocean of noise could be greatly reduced if more ship owners opted for noise-free marine bearings.

This is according to Vesconite Bearings, which is promoting its bearings materials as ones that exhibit low squeal, vibration and noise because of their low friction, small clearances and no slip stick.

Vesconite bearing materials have unusually low co-efficients of friction so there is little squeal when using Vesconite since:-

  • Vesconite has a co-efficient of friction of 0.12 – 0.15 running dry on stainless steel;
  • Vesconite Hilube has a co-efficient of friction of 0.08 – 0.12 running dry on stainless steel; and
  • Vesconite Superlube has a co-efficient of friction of 0.05 – 0.08 running dry on stainless steel

In addition, the materials exhibit little to no slip stick, the jerky motion associated with sound that is common in applications with intermittent motion. This is because Vesconite Hilube and Vesconite Superlube, in particular, have excellent stiction characteristics, since their co-efficients of static friction are lower than their co-efficients of dynamic friction 
 and this results in less noise or no noise at the start of motion and during slow rotations.

Moreover, because Vesconite does not swell or distort, Vesconite bearings can be machined with small clearances. This considerably reduces vibration and associated noise, since there is much less play between the bearing and its housing.

These bearing characteristics are important in an ocean environment in which noise levels are believed to have doubled every decade since the 1950s. This has largely been due to the increase in shipping and is also contributed to by small boat traffic in coastal waters.

Depending on the species, and the noise frequency and intensity, various physiological conditions have been noted in animals, including increases in blood pressure, heart rates, cortisol levels, cholesterol levels and respiratory rates.

For marine animals, besides physiological disturbances, there may be behavioural responses to avoid noise, including ascents that are too rapid and spending too much time on the surface.

These factors make the choice of bearing important for those who are concerned with the environmental impact of human activities in marine environments.

Read more about how Vesconite can reduce noise in many environments. Go to



Extracting, filtering, milling, purifying, mincing, liquefying, emulsifying, cooking, pickling, pasteurising, canning, slicing, dicing and drying are some of the many physical and chemical means through which raw food ingredients are transformed into other forms. 

As with any equipment in a food processing plant, instruments and apparatus need to be assessed on the basis of their longevity, cost and whether they are fit-for-purpose. Important in a hygiene-critical environment though is whether the equipment is safe and hygienic to use. The health toll on consumers can be high if this is not considered, and the impact on a food company can be devastating if hygiene-related issues result in costly food recalls and significant reputational damage. 

As with any food-processing equipment, bearings need to be assessed for their suitability in a given application. Like other apparatus connected with the industry, health and hygiene are important considerations. After all, the often inconspicuous bearing plays a part in many food-related processes. They are intimately involved in blenders and mixers, ice machinery, picking and weighing equipment and conveyors, among other equipment. They perform many millions of cycles and are an essential although often unacknowledged part of food processing. As a result, those in the food processing industry might want to look at these seven health and hygiene considerations before they choose a bearing for their production line.

Consider a bearing’s swell index

Fortune Magazine reports that microbiological contamination is responsible for 47% of food recalls. Microorganisms, such as bacteria, yeast and fungi, and their build-up, should thus be avoided. When it comes to bearings, materials such as non-food-grade nylon should be avoided, since it absorbs water and harvests bacteria. Other bearing materials should be carefully investigated, and only those thermoplastics that do not swell should be considered since trapped stagnant water is an environment in which microbes thrive. 

Choose the right colour

Unsurprisingly, white is the preferred colour for bearings in the food industry. Many thermoplastics are made of this colour and should be considered for food applications in which there is direct contact with food. The colour allows quality controllers to quickly ensure that there is nothing foreign in the system that has led to a colour change in the bearing. It also ensures that no colour is transferred from the bearing to the food product and that no visible foreign material can be detected in the final product.

Avoid lubrication

Food-grade lubricants can be used safely in food processing plants without the concern that the lubricants may contain toxins that will be harmful in the food that they are in contact with. Bearings, including thermoplastic ones, often operate better with lubricants. However, many thermoplastic bearings offer the advantage of avoiding lubrication in the food-processing plant if required. This eliminates food particulates being caught in lubricant and later contaminating the production chain. 

Choose bearings that are resistant to chemicals

Cleaning is of extreme importance in a food processing environment and the bearings that are chosen should not degrade when in contact with food chemicals or the cleaning chemicals that are used to ensure hygiene in the processing environment. Many thermoplastic bearings have demonstrated chemical resistance over a range of acids and alkalis and these may be preferred to untested bearings. 

Check optimal operating range

For many food-processing lines, steam cleaning is the advised method of cleaning. Numerous thermoplastics are able to operate at high-temperature ranges and these should be chosen over plastics that cannot withstand high temperatures. It is advised that the temperature of the steam should be verified though, since some plastic bearings will melt if exposed to high temperatures for sustained periods.

Ensure certification for food-grade applications

Various certifications are possible for plastic bearings and the polymers that make them. Among them are the FDA certification, common in the US, as well as various other certifications, including the National Test Laboratory certification of France, that apply elsewhere. These apply various aqueous tests, including distilled water, acetic acid and ethanol tests, as well as a fat test, that might include testing using sunflower oil. These are designed to ascertain the inertness of the polymers and the likelihood of a compound in the polymer being transferred to the food.

Avoid toxic components

Thermoplastics are often preferred to metallic components, including bronzes, which often contain lead and tin. This avoidance of tin and lead for the food-processing company has become important as consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the dangers of heavy metals to tissues and organs.

Consider optimal bearing fit

For the food-processing company, there might, however, be other considerations other than the physical properties of a bearing that might be employed. For instance, optimal bearing fitment should also be considered, since food that remains in the running clearance of the bushing is likely to lead to contamination of the entire production chain. Optimal bearing fit requires that operating temperatures be taken cognisance of since some bearings expand when heated.

Benefit from smoothness

Food and beverages also tend to fall into any crack or hole on any surface in the production process. Some bearings are designed to have these features since these are necessary for smooth operation. Others have fewer moving parts and are constructed to form a single unit. Depending on the bearing required, thermoplastic bearings may offer advantages in that they tend to have smooth surfaces in which food particles are unlikely to accumulate. If they have been chosen for their smoothness and their lack of cavitation, it is important that they remain dent and damage free. To achieve this, improper forceful mounting, which might cause denting, wearing or cracking, should be avoided. Similarly, the bearing should not be extremely roughly treated during maintenance.

With Fortune Magazine noting that the yearly cost of food-related medical treatment, lost production and mortality caused by illness related to food-borne pathogens totals $55-million in the US, food processing companies are looking carefully at the parts of their production chain in which equipment is in contact with food. 

No particular study has identified bearings as a particular cause of food-borne pathogens, but bearing manufacturers are keen on ensuring that the risk of food-related illness or diseases associated with their particular componentry remains low.

Bearings, as with other types of equipment, have to be investigated to determine whether there is a possibility of incidental food contact or no possibility of contact. Once this is determined, bearings can be specified based on hygiene concerns appropriate for a given application.

With a rapidly urbanising and increasingly wealthier global population, which spends less time on food preparation due to increasing demands on its time, processed food demand is growing each year. 

This would not be a particular concern, except that food-related outbreaks and recalls are also growing. Food-borne illnesses and their risk to food consumers and food-processing companies cannot be underestimated and any opportunity to be more vigilant about hygiene should be taken.



A Vesconite Hilube U-shaped liner bearing has been used successfully for 350 hours on a Komatsu 675-5 motor grader thanks to an engineering innovation by Hans Bester, from the South African farm Novo, owned by PW Meiring.

The U-shaped plate bearing is fitted on the mould board side shift of the grader and acts as a guide on the grader assembly.

The grader assembly, in turn, is used to construct water ways, embankments and contours, and generally protect against soil erosion at the farm that produces maize, soya and sugar beans, potatoes and wheat.

Bester had constructed his own liner bearing assembled out of small pieces of Vesconite Hilube previously. This had lasted for 600 hours and it outperformed the previous bronze OEM part that had lasted 500 hours in the same application.

Since then, he has installed a single piece of Vesconite Hilube, machined according to his specifications by the Vesconite Bearings factory. 

This was much cheaper than assembling smaller pieces of Vesconite Hilube, says Bester.

He is convinced that the single uniform part made from Vesconite Hilube will outperform his prototype part, and believes that it may be able to operate even longer.

It is also much easier to install, Bester notes.

The OEM bronze part required regular greasing but, with greasing, an abrasive grinding paste resulted when the grease combined with the soil that the grader moved.

Meanwhile, the OEM part wore out quickly without greasing.

Bester, who has worked in soil protection for 40 years, notes that there was a need for Vesconite Hilube since the bearing material protects the grader assembly from wear and aids hard-working graders that are busy for eight hours a day in the most arduous grit-filled conditions.

Vesconite Hilube liner bearings are 70% cheaper than bronze liner bearings, he says.



Vesconite Bearings commissioned a dedicated facility for high production runs of finished parts in June.

This follows its purchase of a thousand-square-meter structure that had been used as a grain silo and then as a seed store by its previous owners.

Known as WelgeleĂ«, or “well established” after the farm at which it was previously located, the new facility provides expansion space for the ‘large-quantity’ facility.

Some 20 CNC machines had been moved to the facility in April, a further 10 in May, and, with three additional CNC purchases that arrived in June, the facility houses 33 advanced automatic CNC machines to produce parts machined to tight tolerances.

“Vesconite is receiving more large-volume orders for finished parts made of our wear-resistant self-lubricating Vesconite and Vesconite Hilube bearing materials,” says Vesconite Bearings CEO Dr Jean-Patrick Leger.

“We required a streamlined, high-tech facility that could create parts in large numbers,” he notes.

The facility will produce high production runs of 10,000 to 100,000 per part a year.

It will cater for high-volume part suppliers and original equipment manufacturers that use Vesconite bearings and wear parts as standard equipment items.



For engineers at CERN (CERN, the European laboratory for particle physics), understanding the co-efficient of friction of a given friction material (including Vesconite Hilube low-friction material, which is being introduced into CERN’s new tooling system) is of utmost importance.

This co-efficient of friction number is an indication of how easily parts will slide, roll or rest on the given material, with a lower co-efficient of friction indicating that there is less friction. Low stick-slip and a more smooth motion is desired.

And this is exactly what CERN project engineer Mike Struik demonstrated this week while testing how the components for the next phase of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) interface.

He has had considerable experience at the LHC with the various friction materials that have historically been used to assemble the more than 2,000 superconducting magnets at CERN.

Some 1,232 dipole magnets have been assembled in the facility straddling the Swiss-French border in which he works.

Typically weighing 29 tons each, these magnets have to be slid into the 15-meter-long tubes (vacuum vessels) in which they are housed using a system of winches, steel rails and sliding material before being installed in the accelerator.

The sliding material used historically is a 3- to 4-millimetre-thick Teflon-filled bronze wear pad that had to be glued to the base material.

“We don’t like the old material,” says Struik of the old engineering tooling system that has been used since the year 2000.

“If the glue on the sliding material comes off, we have a 29-ton magnet that we can’t mount anymore,” he elaborates.

So, when LHC upgrades were proposed to increase the amount of data that could be collected, using more sophisticated superconducting magnets that cool to 1.9 ÂșKelvin, this was the ideal opportunity to improve on the tooling system that would also have to be upgraded.

Struik specified that the manufacturer of the tooling use a sliding material that could be fitted into a recess on the housing so as to avoid needing to glue the wear pad to the base. He specified winching speeds of 50 mm/minute and 100 mm/minute. He also specified that the sliding material not grip the high-quality surface of the steel rails on which it was placed and have a low co-efficient of friction with a high yield load strength.

The design Applus+ Laboratories, a worldwide leader in the testing, inspection and certification sector, developed in response included an assembly table; an adjustable table that can be configured to support different-sized vacuum vessels; a synchronised lifting system to lift and hold the magnets in place; and winches to pull the magnets in and out of the vessel.

The design also included temporary extension rails made of steel inside each tube and three sliders, with each slider having a 50-centimetre-long block of Vesconite Hilube low-friction sliding material on each side to safely and efficiently guide the magnets in and out.

Vesconite Hilube was also positioned to guide the magnet laterally and keep the magnet in the middle of the tube. Once completed, Applus performed a functional test with a lighter magnet, simulating what could be expected at CERN, which was still, at that stage, to receive delivery of the 24-ton cryomagnets that are be employed at CERN.

The functional test proved successful and the tooling system was shown to be able to manoeuvre a magnet into a vacuum vessel and keep the magnet in the correct position.

CERN decided that it would perform the real test when the actual magnets that would be used were delivered, and it was able to do so in May 2022.

“We had to try and fit this 24-ton magnet inside another tube and then we had to lift it, we had to align it and we had to drop it,” says Struik.

“Everything went well and we are super happy with it,” he notes of the involved test that included the interface between all the existing and newly-introduced components.

As a conclusion to the test, the Vesconite Hilube pads were removed and tested. No wear was detected.

“The friction co-efficient was also lower than we expected it to be,” Struik notes of the smoothness with which the magnet was manoeuvred into the vessel using Vesconite Hilube wear materials.

With the alignment and equipment tests all completed, the cold tests of the assembled cryomagnet are expected to start in June.

These will demonstrate whether the magnet is able to concentrate a particle beam and that the new upgrade involving an additional 37 more-sophisticated cryomagnets at the LHC will be a welcome addition to the 27-km-long accelerator that is part of the largest particle physics laboratory in the world.

Large hadron collider upgrades include more sophisticated superconducting magnets that cool to 1.9 ÂșKelvin



A marine adventure company has installed Vesconite wear rings on all its SeaDoo Spark jet ski pump sets with great success.

Offshore Adventures first tested a sample of the precision machined, no-swell, wear-resistant Vesconite wear rings as an alternative to the OEM ones, made out of an alternative polymer material, and the replacement ones, made from stainless steel.

Impressed with the results, the adventure company then changed all of the pump set wear rings on its six jet skis to the Vesconite ones.

Vesconite application developer Phillip de Villiers notes that the Vesconite wear rings form part of the housing that contains the jet skis’s propeller.

This is always wet because the propeller is the means by which the jet ski is propelled through the water.

As a result, Vesconite was favoured for its no-swell properties and good dimensional stability in water. The no-swell properties also allowed De Villiers to design a wear ring with a much smaller running clearance, which resulted in better efficiencies and superior operation than had ever been achieved on the jet skis previously.

“The wear rings also sometimes came in contact with abrasive beach sand when the jet skis were started close to the shore,” says De Villiers.

“The occasional contact between the wear rings and beach sand was also not problematic for Vesconite, since the material is wear resistant and copes well with abrasive conditions,” he notes.

The wear-resistant nature of the material also meant that it survived the rare contact between the wear ring and the propeller, resulting in less replacement and lower maintenance costs, he adds.

“In the jet-ski rental industry, one can’t afford downtime,” says Offshore Adventures owner Jaco Kruger.

“These wear rings are not only long-lasting but affordable!” he enthuses. 

Offshore Adventures is based out of Plettenberg Bay in South Africa. Besides various other marine adventures, including swimming with the seals and observing the once-a-year sardine run, the company rents jet skis and provides guided jet ski tours with a qualified skipper.

Plettenberg Bay is part of the CondĂ© Nast Travellers Gold List – its list of the nine best destinations in the world for 2022.



Vesconite Bearings is proud to be associated with tidal energy equipment developer Norwegian Ocean Power, which successfully trialled its Pulsus horizontal-axis spiral-design tidal turbine, as part of the development of its first commercial unit, in 2016.

The turbines were tested in Drammensfjorden, Norway, where a dynamic test on the composite structure and bearings was performed.

The structure bent and flexed with tidal currents, which can produce significant turbulence and considerable upward and sideward forces, so the testing of uneven forces was a key part of testing for this tidal turbine.

 “We were hoping to separate out any vibration from the structure,” informed technical director and founder Kent Thoresen in 2016, noting that the company’s turbine was successful in this aim.

The thrust bearings moved backwards and forwards and eliminated the vibration as planned, which might have otherwise led to a systemic failure.

The 0,5m-diameter Vesconite bearings, meanwhile, which were installed on each end of the horizontal unit, also performed well in their ability to absorb vibration.

They were chosen after the testing of various competing products that were less flexible and exhibited dry-run problems.

They were also shown to exhibit no swell in water; require no grease, oil or additional lubrication; and have a load capacity that is unaffected by water.

There are many failed projects in the tidal energy industry due to turbulence that causes vibration and uneven force distribution,” commented Thoresen in 2016.

That is why it was important to fully test our unit in real sea conditions,” he noted.

Norwegian Ocean Power was the owner, financer and developer of the innovative turbine technology, which was due to be installed in the sea of Norway in 2017 and begin commercial production of 1TWh of energy per year for use in Norway.

The intention was to start production on several turbines in 2017 and 2018, with Canada and the UK being the most likely first markets for these turbines.



Two mounted ocean-powered turbines were generating electricity in Nova Scotia, Canada, in 2016 using Vesconite Hilube plates that make up large bushings.

The ocean-powered turbines went live in November 2016, and their installation was seen as a trial of future current-powered farms that could comprise 30 turbines.

Located in Fundy Bay, the ocean-powered turbines were to utilise the continuous directed streams of seawater that circulate through the oceans to generate electricity.

The 300-t steel assembly formed an open-ended turbine and has a simple lubricant-free design with no seals or gearbox, so as to reduce maintenance requirements.

“The turbines were fitted with large-diameter Vesconite Hilube bushings,” said Vesconite Bearings renewable-energy bushings consultant Eddie Swanepoel in 2016.

“They are included on the outer plate that connects to the blades, which will rotate with current movements,” he noted.

The trial ocean energy-generating project saw the two turbines generating 2MW each.

This generating capacity, as well as future generating capacity in the region, was seen as an important contributor to the economy of Nova Scotia.

The government had committed to approving a 300MW farm of ocean-energy turbines.

It also hoped that the industry will create 22,000 jobs and contribute up to USD1.7bn to the regional GDP by 2040.

The project was understood to be the first ocean-powered project that was connected to the grid in Nova Scotia, which has a well-developed policy and planning framework for growing the ocean-energy industry in the region.



This week we celebrated the 91st birthday of my father, Mr Alain Leger, the founder of our company. I am delighted to share his talk where he shared some important aspects in his life.

We hope that my father’s pointers will be valuable for colleagues and customers: in fact for the well-being and health of all of us.

Please join me in wishing my father health and joy this month!

Kind Regards,
Dr Jean-Patrick Leger
Vesconite Bearings CEO



An aeration windmill manufacturer in the US has found that installing Vesconite bearings on its windmills leads to them to operate smoothly and efficiently.

The bearings are an essential component in aeration windmills, which aerate ponds in private and public spaces, since fan rotation is key to ensuring that a diaphragm moves up; compressed air is taken in; and the compressor builds up pressure, which is released into the air line leading to the water.  

Because of this, the windmills are more efficient at reducing algae and foul smells, controlling mosquitos and creating a healthier environment for fish.

Vesconite Bearings’ Eddie Swanepoel notes that the 60-inch fans spin at 15mph and weigh 35lbs, with aeration windmills ranging in size from 20 foot to 30 foot.

These large windmills are difficult to lubricate, so having a bearing made of a self-lubricating polymer ensures the continued movement of the fan, he says. 

The full benefit of wind energy is also available as a result of the frictionless bearings, which ensure that windmill fans can rotate smoothly, Swanepoel indicates, noting that aeration windmills also reduce the monthly costs associated with electric aerators.

The windmill manufacturer orders about 100 bearings a year, and advertises the advantages of its superior bearings in its aeration windmills and its decorative windmills, for those interested in enhancing their gardens with this feature.

As a result of the interest in its bearings for this application, Vesconite Bearings stocks the required bearings as standard stock items.



Vesconite Bearings is proud to have supplied its largest-ever machined stern tube bearing from the long-life, wear-resistant, no-swell bearing material Vesconite Hilube.

The order was completed with the assistance of a recently-purchased six-meter centre lathe, which is part of Vesconite Bearings’ newly-introduced extra-large marine bearings’ facility.

The long aft stern tube bearing measured 534 mm (outer diameter) x 460 mm (inner diameter) and was 1,640 mm in length, excluding the 640 mm diameter flange, which was machined separately.

Vesconite Bearings marine sales engineer Wian Venter explains that the flange and the bearing had steps machined into them to allow the flange to have a sliding fit over the bearing.

Water-cooling grooves were also specified, as is typical for stern tube bearings, to help cool the bearing during operation, he adds.

A smaller forward stern tube bearing, with water-cooling grooves, was also manufactured for the client, Venter describes.

It measured 533 mm (outer diameter) x 460 mm (inner diameter) and was 410 mm in length, he says.

The bearings were installed on an oil and chemical tanker, the Celsius Mayfair, in China in December.

“I am highly satisfied with the items supplied, which have been successfully installed onboard our vessel during its third special survey,” says the Celsius Mayfair’s Manager, while discussing the Vesconite Hilube bearings that replaced the rubber Cutless bearings that were in place prior to the refit.

The vessel has been running for over six months without any problems after the installation, he notes.

Vesconite Hilube stern tube bearings typically exhibit no squeal at low speed, no stick-slip, can be easily installed, and provide a long wear life.

The one-piece stern tube bearing was approved by the Japanese classification society, Nippon Kaiji Kyokai, known as ClassNK.



Anyone involved in agriculture will tell you that maintenance is crucial to your equipment life and performance and will quickly come back to bite you if it is neglected. A planting row unit has many moving parts, all of which need to work in harmony to ensure continuous and accurate seed placement, in the harshest of conditions, all in the pursuit of better yields and higher efficiency.

“Equalizer aims to use only the best quality and fit-for-purpose components on the market, to ensure that we manufacture world-class machines, which meet any farmers highest standards,” states the head of design at Equalizer AG, a company that specialises in the design, manufacture and global distribution of planting and seeding equipment for grain production.

“To ensure all parts keep moving as intended for as long as possible, we spec SKF hubs and bearings on all our machines. We also use Vesconite bushes on almost all of our oscillating pivot points, as many years of in-field feedback has led us to believe it is the best self-lubricating engineering polymer on the market for our applications.”

Before Equalizer made the switch to low-friction, wear-resistant, no-swell, self-lubricating Vesconite bearings on its row units, it had been utilising nylon bushings on the pivot points. These bushings would typically be used on the parallel arms and closing wheel pivots.

All of these oscillating points are under high loads, as hydraulic or spring force are used to ensure the row unit has adequate downforce to plant at a consistent depth and create proper seed-to-soil contact for the best germination and even emergence. Add to that rough undulating terrain or rock filled fields – these bushings work extremely hard!

With the ever increasing push to extend part life, Equalizer identified that an alternative to the nylon bushings needed to be sought. To quote: “The main reason for the material change was to increase the life of the bushes and therefore increase the time between maintenance intervals. This keeps the equipment running as intended for longer especially on larger farm setups due to the fact that mid-season maintenance is not feasible with the narrow planting windows. The other advantage of increased bush life is a reduction in maintenance downtime, allowing clients to go through a number of seasons before needing to do anything more major than the standard greasing, which also has a significant cost saving when considering the labour component.”

“Under higher loading cases, the Vesconite resists deformation more than our previous nylon. This keeps the bushes in shape, which prevents the joints getting ‘floppy'”

“I can’t give exact values on the difference in service life between the two materials as there are many factors that would need to be considered, but what I can say is our clients have been more than happy with our change over to Vesconite, which has solidified our feeling that we have made the right ‘fit for purpose’ material choice.”

Vesconite planter bushings assist in ensuring continuous and accurate seed placement, in the harshest of conditions, all in the pursuit of better yields and higher efficiency.



Vesconite Bearings has established a dedicated extra-large bearings facility within its factory.

It will manufacture no-swell low-friction self-lubricating bearings for large ocean-going vessels, including container ships and oil tankers.

The dedicated facility houses five large horizontal lathes, including a six-meter lathe, and two large vertical lathes.

It also includes an upgraded Superclad machine, which builds up and encases a Vesconite bearing on the external diameter. By using a high-strength epoxy reinforcing system, the resultant jacket provides an extremely strong final structure, combined internally with the exceptional wear properties of Vesconite.

“We are seeing an increased number of enquiries for extra-large bearings,” says Vesconite CEO Dr Jean-Patrick Leger.

“This facility will streamline our production and reduce the days between ordering and dispatch,” he says, noting that dispatch times will be reduced from four days to two to three days.

Having a vessel in dry dock for days or weeks while waiting for an oversized bearing is costly and frustrating, as is not being able to order a bearing made of your desired material.

Vesconite’s new facility solves these problems, with the company able to produce two-meter-long bearings, with outside diameters of up to 1,6 meters, in a much shorter time.

Should there be demand, even larger bearings will be produced.



When Vesconite Bearings called a Mallorca client in last month, the bearing company discovered that repairs were under way to 15 yachts, including one that was having wear-resistant low-co-efficient-of-friction Vesconite T-track slider inserts fitted to allow sliders with sheaves to move up and down tracks more easily.

Repairs to sheaves and associated equipment are a routine occurance at this highly-regarded company that specialises in marine welding, fabrication and machining.  The Mallorca company’s machine shop works with thermoplastics such as Vesconite to produce bushings, sheaves and their associated bearings when yachts require servicing.

Vesconite was used as a slider insert because it:

  • is harder than many other bearing materials;
  • can take the high loads that rigging sheaves need to carry;
  • does not heat up despite moving fast, which is a benefit in sheaves and track sliders associated with rigging;
  • can be exposed to sea water without rusting or corrosion;
  • does not swell and distort; and
  • is UV resistant, which is important because sheaves, sliders and slider inserts are continuously exposed to harsh direct sunlight.

The welding, fabrication and machining company has been operating for more than 20 years, employs 10 staff members and works with some of the finest yachts in the world, which range from 30 to 70 metres in length.



Vesconite battery slides will be introduced on all electric forklifts at a beverage producer following successful testing.

The battery slides, made from our wear-resistant low-coefficient-of-friction material, Vesconite, are used to guide the lead-acid batteries that power the forklifts.

The batteries need to be swopped out and recharged after every shift so that each forklift is ready for a later shift. Because of the considerable weight of the batteries (up to 1,800 kg), a more rigid solution was sought to prevent the bending and fracturing of the guides.

“Slides from Vesconite were tested for three months,” says Vesconite Bearings forklift application engineer Calvin Mpofu.

“Because of their successful use, the client plans to install the slides on all of the beverage company’s electric forklifts,” he adds.

The guides will become part of the growing range of precision wear and bushing components that Vesconite Bearings stocks for the forklift industry.

They were developed in response to the beverage company’s needs for a particular forklift model.

“Forklift companies are welcome to approach us with their unique wear or bearing challenges,” notes Mpofu.

“We will assist with prototype design and manufacture,” he concludes.



In the coming months, a Turkish geothermal plant will be installing Vesconite’s high-temperature bearing material known as Hitemp 160. Specially designed for pump bearings, this new material may be used in the high temperature range of 160 – 200ÂșC depending on the chemicals in the solution.

The installation follows an order received from an OEM pump supplier, which stipulated that it required a bearing material that could cope with temperatures as high as 90ÂșC for its client’s pumps.

Some 26 different bearings have been ordered. These are to be installed on four different vertical-turbine pumps at different stages along their lengths.

Turkey has 55 geothermal power plants and is a leader in this type of generation in Europe.

Geothermal energy is heat energy that is transferred from the earth’s core through to the earth’s surface and has been associated with hot springs since early times.



Vesconite Bearings has created a cold-tolerance webpage ( to explain how its bearing materials can cope with temperatures as low as -40ÂșC.

This webpage was motivated, in part, by the freezing weather that has affected the northern hemisphere lately.

Vesconite Bearings informs that Vesconite does not become brittle in cold temperatures. Testing shows that impact strength declines slightly between 20°C (68°F) and 0°C (32°F) but below this temperature is unaffected down to -30°C (-22°F). Based on generic data, impact strength is expected to remain similar down to -50ÂșC (-60ÂșF).

This information should reassure clients who experience major winter storms, blowing snow, freezing rain and howling winds, and have industrial applications that need to operate in these freezing conditions. A substantial advantage is that no special extreme cold greases are required because Vesconite products are self-lubricating.

Equally, while those in cold-affected industries may not be impacted by these unexpectedly harsh conditions, those with intermittent cold applications will also appreciate Vesconite Bearings’ experience with cold applications.

Vesconite Bearings has, for instance, had achievements in food-processing with a range of trolley and castor wheels that do not crack when exposed to alternating freezing cold in cold rooms and ambient-temperature warehouses.

Forklifts and materials-handling equipment in food processing plants and cold storage warehouses have similar results. Vesconite wear components cope well even where temperatures fluctuate widely during operation. Applications include axle bearings and thrust washers, mast bushings and forklift slides.



After replacing the all-rubber cutlass bearing of his new Jeanneau Sun Fast 35 Tide The Knot two times in seven years, Robert Metzen sought an alternative. A fellow sailor told him about his positive experience with Hilube as a rudder bearing. Shortly after contacting Leandro Panzini from Vesconite distributor VesArg, Metzen had a state-of-the-art polymer bearing installed.

At 2,300 rpm, a sailboat engine will spin its propeller shaft a million times in less than eight hours. Cutlass bearing materials such as rubber and bronze wear prematurely. This creates excessive shuddering and can seriously damage an expensive shaft, log or strut. Metzen experienced severe vibration at 2,900-3,000 rpm.

Jeanneau recommends replacing the cutlass bearing annually—a time-consuming and expensive proposition. Their all-rubber part simply did not have the longevity and reliability Metzen required.

Vesconite Hilube offers a wear life more than 10 times that of bronze. Internally lubricated, it offers ultra-low friction properties, even in dirty or silty water. Dimensionally stable, it has exceptional load strength and won’t soften or swell in water—increasing the chance of wear-related vibration—making it the ideal cutlass bearing material.

The innovative polymer is easily machined to +/-0.001″; tolerances for a 1.5″ shaft are typically .004″ to .009″. With a shell and liner, rubber bearings have limited installation options. In contrast, Vesconite Hilube is easily fitted with set screws or adhesive, or pressed into place. It’s available as raw stock or precision-machined parts.

Vesconite is no stranger to performance sailing. It’s used as a bearing material in a wide range of applications such as blocks and sliding cars, rudders, stern tubes and shafts. It’s the preferred polymer for foil and daggerboard trunks by builders such as Gunboat and HH Catamarans, and was used for that purpose on an America’s Cup boat.



Vesconite Bearings is exploring new engineering design methods, including reducing or eliminating grooves, where possible, in industrial and marine applications.

Vesconite’s bearing materials are internally lubricated so, when replacing traditional materials, Vesconite is challenging engineers to explore designs that remove redundant or superfluous grooves for cooling lubricant or water.

For instance, Vesconite engineers have redesigned a forklift lower wear pad without the seven grooves on the upper surface that were in place in the original moulded nylon parts. 

“Eliminating grooves improves the structural integrity of the part and reduces manufacturing times and costs,” says forklift application engineer Calvin Mpofu.

Similarly, Vesconite Bearings can better on previous marine stern-tube bearing designs where constant water cooling is needed and bushings have water circulation grooves. 

“The number of grooves can be reduced where the groove radius and depth can be altered to obtain a sufficient flow of water for cooling,” reinforces marine application engineer Wian Venter.

As a result, Vesconite Bearings has suggested a reduction in the number of stern-tube grooves in a case where the original design was a rubber Cutlass bearing. 

This original design, which included a nitrile rubber lining bonded to a brass shell, required many grooves running the length of the rubber lining to dissipate frictional heat and increase the cooling flow of water.

The alternative Vesconite Hilube design, without the brass shell and fewer grooves, improves the structural integrity of the stern tube and reduces manufacturing time and costs. Fewer grooves also mean that the total bearing surface in contact with the shaft journal is increased.  

Most significantly, with Vesconite Hilube closer clearances can be machined than are achieved with rubber, so there is less shaft vibration.

For Mpofu and Venter, there is a clear advantage in rethinking existing designs and improving production methodologies and product durability.

They aim to make the engineering of Vesconite simpler, better, and faster.



A wear-resistant bearing material produced by Vesconite Bearings, Hitemp 150, has been certified for drinking water use by the Water Regulations Approval Scheme (WRAS).

WRAS is an independent UK certification body for plumbing products and materials. It informed Vesconite that Hitemp 150 “is suitable for contact with wholesome water for domestic purposes”.

Hitemp 150 components met the requirements of BS6920-1:2000 and/or 2014. These standards govern whether non-metallic products are suitable for contact with water intended for human consumption.

UK manufacturers can hence confidently use the product, says Vesconite Bearings CEO Dr Jean-Patrick Leger.

The certification also provides comfort for the general safety of the bearing material where it is used outside of the UK, he notes.



A sliding table panel saw has been well utilised since it was installed late last year at Vesconite Bearings’ warehouse in Johannesburg.

The saw has mainly been used to cut Vesconite and Ultrablack wear plates that are used in a range of wear applications.

The introduction of the machine means the Johannesburg warehouse can dispatch cut-to-size orders quickly, reducing the longer lead times of having plates cut at the company’s busy factory.

Vesconite stores manager Martin Nyathi informs that a large number of plates and strips have been accurately cut on the machine and expects the saw to be a great asset in 2022.

The machine can cut lengths up to 3,700 mm long and 1,500 mm wide to an accuracy of ±0.25 mm, so it can accurately and swiftly cut the most-frequently-ordered plates that Vesconite Bearings produces.



A nylon bearing-swell problem almost led to the abandonment of a project to develop a new percussion hammer drill until the drill maker turned to Vesconite Hilube no-swell wear-resistant bearings.

The drill had been designed with a specific heat-stabilised nylon machined into linear bearings.

However, due to swell associated with the nylon, ten sets of nylon bearings had to be machined so that the drill manufacturer could find one set of components that could work together. The drill would then seize since nylon is known to swell when water absorption occurs.

The maker of drill rigs, rock excavation and construction equipment was at its wits’ end and ready to disregard the new drill design as unworkable when the design engineer heard about Vesconite Hilube.

After some size testing, the company ordered samples, notes Vesconite Bearings technical sales consultant Charlie Simpson.

The manufacturer then sent these samples to its testing facility in India, and has been testing them for three years with promising results, Simpson reports.

The decision as to whether to introduce the product as part of the company’s product line is currently being decided by the drill manufacturer’s marketing department.

From being sceptical that the company would be able to proceed with the drill, the design engineer is encouraged that the niche drill can operate and may be introduced into the company’s catalogue.

Should this be the case, it is likely that the drill manufacturer would produce a range of similar drills all fitted with Vesconite Hilube linear bearings.

These are likely to be used for rock drilling, excavation and construction globally.



Vesconite Hilube bowl, stuffing box, suction and line-shaft bearings continue to operate in a condensate pump in the US ten years after installation.

This is according to Vesconite Bearings pump representative Charlie Simpson, who returned last month from a six week Mexico and US customer-calling tour in which he visited a long-standing customer in Virginia to receive this report.

The customer is a pump repair workshop that offers timely and cost-effective repairs and specifically offers upgrades to shafting, bearings and wear rings to enhance performance and efficiency in older pumps as well as repairs and rebowls vertical turbine pumps.

The customer attests that the bearings are functioning well in the pump.

Condensate pumps operate at 65ÂșC, and are on the cusp of the temperature range that Vesconite is comfortable recommending for its Vesconite Hilube bearing material.

The continued operation of the Vesconite Hilube-fitted condensate pump after ten years attests to the fact that, even with a small amount of water cooling, the bearings are able to survive for some time, says Simpson.



A leading civil and infrastructure engineering contractor installed Vesconite Hilube wear-resistant U-shaped wear pads on graders in Nigeria.

The company found the wear pads operated well with some chiselling wear on the shorter edge of the U-shaped pad after 535 hours of use.

The wear pads acted as guides that were bolted in place on the grader assembly.

The blade assembly, in turn, slid left to right on the guides with the assistance of hydraulic cylinders behind the blade assembly.

The wear pads are essential in the lateral movement of the grader blades, which are responsible primarily for the levelling and shaping of roads and building sites.

Vesconite application engineer Juan van Wyk notes that Vesconite Hilube was particularly useful in this sliding application since it is self-lubricating, so the grader assembly could easily move horizontally for reach in this dirty, inaccessible location, and for the placement of the windrow (built-up road-building material).

Vesconite Hilube was also valued because of its wear properties, since regular placement and movement of the blade was required in often dusty and muddy conditions.

Van Wyk notes that considerable load was placed on the guides of each grader. In addition to the 2,5 ton blade assembly weight distributed over five guides, the blade pushes 2,5 tons of material and is exposed to a cutting resistance of 2,5 tons on the other side of the guide.

Vesconite Hilube wear pads coped well with the considerable compression and tensile strengths that were needed: “There was no distortion under load, even when wet,” Van Wyk says.

The Vesconite Hilube wear pads replaced bronze wear pads of the same U-shaped design, ensuring that the Caterpillar graders, which they were installed on and which are designed for power, performance, reliability and wear-resistance, continued to operate in tough arduous conditions.



Vesconite Bearings’s appointment calendar is filling quickly, following its announcement to select clients that it will visit Dubai in December.

Clients who have indicated an interest in meeting with Vesconite come from a range of industries, including the marine and pump industries.

Their enthusiasm in Vesconite is believed to indicate renewed economic optimism in Dubai, with strong GDP growth in the second quarter of 2021 expected to accelerate in the fourth quarter.

Vesconite will also attend meetings with its Dubai stockist, JOME Engineering, which has invited Vesconite representatives Marius van Zyl and Sharon McArdle to participate at its booth at Seatrade Maritime Middle East Expo on Monday to Wednesday 13 to 15 December.

“We’re excited to be coming to Dubai,” says McArdle, whose plans to travel to the emirate with Dubai area specialist Van Zyl were scuppered by Covid early in the pandemic.

“We are looking forward to meeting with our customers and visiting the Seatrade Expo,” she notes.



A time-lapse video proves that Vesconite Superlube low-friction, high-load-carrying bearings perform well as sliding bearings in large structures, including soccer stadiums.

The video starts shortly after 7pm and shows structural movement throughout the evening, when the stadium concrete beams contract due to cooling, and continues past mid-day, when higher temperatures result in expansion.

These subtle movements, when allowed by a bearing, ensure the safety and the structural stability of the stadium and the continued support of the superstructure by the support columns’ substructure.

Since the stadium was designed to have a capacity of 55,000 spectators, expandable to 75,000, engineering performance was paramount to ensure the stadium withstands temperature- and moisture-related contractions and expansions, as well as earthquake and wind loads.

History of the stadium 

The stadium was built more than ten years ago, and has been used for large sporting events.

The original bearings were a bitumen-impregnated cloth. The columns and beams were made from traditional concrete.

However, after eight years of use, excessive wear was found to the concrete of the continuous support beams and to the supporting columns.

The bitumen-impregnated cloth had been torn or ripped away in some cases, and pieces of concrete in the beams and columns had disintegrated at the corners.

Engineers motivated that an unfortunate congruency of design and building errors, combined with a choice of original bearing materials not suited to the design, necessitated an urgent review of bearing materials and expansion gap designs.

Problem 1 – Small expansion gap

All materials shrink and expand as temperature varies, so an expansion gap is required. Concrete has a known expansion rate so it is important that designs cater for this expansion.

In this stadium in which Vesconite Superlube was eventually installed, the original bearings, made from bitumen-impregnated cloth, were employed at the expansion gap to prevent the columns from bonding with the continuous beam placed on top of them.

The original contractors poured the column first and then used the bitumen-impregnated cloth to separate the column from the continuous beams.

For a joint that doesn’t move much this would have been suitable. But, in the case of the stadium, the gap size and the material specified proved inadequate and concrete was ripped out adjacent to the provided-for gaps. 

Problem 2 – Inadequate steel reinforcement and concrete cover

Since concrete is good in compression but not in tension, many structures, including bridges, have steel reinforcement to resist tensile forces. The steel tends to follow the contour of beams and columns with a certain amount of concrete cover. This prevents corrosion of the steel and the spalling of the concrete that results from exposure to the environment. However, at the stadium, concrete beam and column corners were inadequately strengthened with steel, and the corners cracked off leaving an inadequate bearing surface.

Some steel was badly positioned, possibly because of a lack of oversight during construction. The poured concrete moved, and the steel was not close enough to the surface to keep the corners strong.

The Vesconite Superlube solution

The existing bitumen-impregnated cloth was replaced with Vesconite Superlube, which is a low-friction, high-load-carrying bearing material.

Since Vesconite Superlube was to be used as a sliding bearing, the bearing material was contained within two stainless-steel plates, which would slide relative to each other to allow for translational movements in a horizontal direction.

Unlike various other stainless steel sliding bearing designs, the engineering contractor chose a top metal plate that arched down to join the bottom plate so as to reduce the ingress of dirt. The bottom plate was also longer than those traditionally used in sliding bearings and had a lip at each side; the length maintained the horizontal rigidity of the bearing during installation.

Since there were significant engineering design and maintenance problems in place at the site, installing the Vesconite Superlube bearing solution involved several measures to address existing structural issues:

  1. Hydraulic jacks were brought in to lift beams off the supporting columns.
  2. Where concrete columns or beams had had extensive pieces of concrete ripped off them, these
    were repaired by putting in form work and pouring concrete to ensure that the corners were intact.
  3. Saws with large cutting wheels were used to cut out the ledges on which the Vesconite Superlube
    bearings were to be placed.
  4. Epoxy bedding compound was placed on to the stainless steel top and bottom coverings of the
    Vesconite Superlube bearing to create a level bearing surface.

Vesconite Superlube in structural design

In structural design, vertical load is considered as well as horizontal load. These two loads are used to determine the required column base-strength and the amount of steel and concrete.

If there is a bearing on top of the column, the horizontal force that needs to be taken into account depends on the amount of friction at the top of the column. If you have a lower-friction bearing, then an engineer can design for a lower lateral force, which means less steel and concrete is needed for the column.

“You want those lateral forces to be minimised,” notes Thomas Utermark, the Vesconite structural engineer who was involved in the project.

“That is why Vesconite Superlube could be used very effectively here. The benefit is very low friction with wear resistance that is much better than PTFE,” he says.

Another benefit of implementing Vesconite Superlube in this application was that a smaller bearing could be used, taking advantage of Vesconite Superlube’s high load-carrying capacity. “If there is a space constraint, that is helpful to an engineer,” Utermark notes.