Agriculture is a tough environment for bearings – ask any farmer. Traditional bronze and steel bearings have a particularly hard time of it, given the host environment of grit, mud and water. More often than not, the result is rapid wear to both bearing and shaft, and eventual failure and costly downtime. Not so with Vesconite. A unique blend of self-lubrication, low abrasion and high load-bearing strength makes Vesconite the ideal choice for a variety of agricultural applications.

Benefits for_ Agriculture

Vesconite does not swell or distort in water.

Vesconite has a high abrasion resistance.

Vesconite does not delaminate.

Vesconite does not corrode.

Vesconite does not require lubrication.

Vesconite saves on costly maintenance downtime.

Vesconite is resistant to oils and fuels.

Vesconite bearing are easy to fit and remove.

Vesconite is shaft-friendly.


Combine harvester steering shaft and kingpin bushes.

Pivot point bushes on planters.

Final drive and front-loader bushes on tractors.

Articulating arm bushes on sprayers.

Undercarriage pivot bushes on agricultural trailers.


Bronze and steel gauge arm and linkage bushes in planters have high wear rates, due to the abrasive working environment. This results in inaccurate seed placement.

Traditional tractor king pin, axle and final drive bushes can be affected by water and dirt. Not the case with Vesconite.

Vesconite offers a huge time saving compared to bronze and steel bearings in planters and sprayers, where maintenance involves lubricating hundreds of grease points.

Vesconite Agriculture Case Studies
Order for Spillminator with Vesconite bushings dispatched

An order for a Spillminator with Vesconite bushings at the pivot points was dispatched by Lani Service Centre to a South African gold-mining company in September 2017.

A Spillminator is a piece of equipment that lies within a standard bulkhead installation and attaches to the hanging wall overpass chute opening to control the flow of ore onto hoppers or conveyors in underground mines.

It comprises two doors, including primary and a secondary back-up door, which are pneumatically driven and manually operated.

The primary door allows the required ore to pass through the chute, while the secondary door ensures that the chute remains closed in the case of a mud rush. In the case of a door jam, the secondary door serves as a backup to avoid any ore or mud passing through and compromising worker safety.

Lani Service Centre workshop manager Jonathan van Biljon informs that Vesconite bushings are installed at the pivot points around which the two doors, which lie at either side of the chute, rotate.

The bushings are desired because they are self lubricating, can withstand the high pressures involved in the application, and are able to cope with a dirty wet mining environment, he says.

Van Biljon informs that the company, which repairs and manufactures many engineered products out of steel, produced eight doors (or four set ups) last year and has produced two doors (or one set up) this year, following a successful tender.

He notes that many mines use Spillminators of different sizes.

This specialised application is being introduced widely since it ensures the efficient flow of ore, without spillage. It also ensures that staff and machinery are protected from mud rushes that have historically claimed lives as well as resulted in equipment damage in South Africa’s mining sector.

Vesconite Hilube bushings in an independent test

A. Introduction

Vesconite Hilube was tested by an independent laboratory in Vancouver, Canada, in 2002. The purpose of the test was to evaluate the performance of self-lubricating Vesconite Hilube bushings for use in wicket gate applications in hydroelectric turbines.

B. Specification

The specification defines an accelerated wear, high loading oscillating test, simulating similar operations in hydro turbines. Bushings were tested under conditions representing the worst-case scenario for wicket gate operations.

These conditions included maximum design loading with impulse loading from passing turbine blades, plus small continuous oscillations to simulate governor hunting and/or built-in governor dithering to maintain motion of the gates.

C. Test Program

The test programme was divided into three sections: initial set test, creep test and accelerated wear test.

1. Initial Set and Creep

Before the accelerated wear test, the same bushing and sleeve are statically loaded to 3,300 psi (23 MPa). The shaft displacement relevant to the test block (wear) is continuously monitored. In the first four hours the shaft is rotated / oscillated¬†¬Ī5¬į¬†from centre line at 0.1 Hz every five minutes. For the next twenty hours the shaft is rotated / oscillated the same amount, but every ten minutes. This period was used as the set and creep measurement phase for both wet and dry tests (straight test sleeves).

2. Accelerated Wear

After the set and creep phase tests, the accelerated wear tests begins. This applied radial load of 3,300 psi (23 MPa) has, in addition, a superimposed dynamic load of 1000 psi (7 MPa) at 2 Hz. The shaft is rotated at¬†¬Ī¬†1¬į¬†from centre line, continuously, at 2 Hz. Every 15 minutes the radial dynamic load is paused and the shaft rotated at¬†¬Ī¬†15¬į¬†at 0.1 Hz (10 seconds to complete the swing), with only the static radial load applied. This phase of the test runs for a minimum of 120 hours.

The wet test version is a repeat of this process, with the exception that the bushing/shaft assembly is placed in a distilled water environment.

D. Bushing Test Sleeves

  1. Diameter : 5.000 / 4.999 inches, 6.4 inches long
  2. Material : Heat treated 17-4 PH stainless steel
  3. Hardness : Mini Ra 0.4 micrometers (16 micro inches) or better
  4. Sleeve replacement : A new test sleeve was used for each testD. Bushing Test Sleeves

E. Bushing Design

Inside Diameter after installation: 5.026‚ÄĚ (running clearance of 0.026‚ÄĚ) Vesconite Hilube can be used at close clearances and close tolerances because of its excellent dimensional stability.

F. Test Results

The Vesconite Hilube bushings performed well with very little evidence of operating stress. There was no audible noise generated during the test. There was no indication of damage to the journals or damage to the bushings.

The dry test performed well with relatively low coefficients of friction and low wear rates – 0.173 mils/100 test hours (0.00439 mm/100 test hours). There was evidence of wear debris/ lubricant forming in the contact face and providing the desirable features of a self-lubricating bushing.

Dry Test Coefficient of Friction (Static): 0.131
Dry Test Coefficient of Friction (Dynamic): 0.110
Average Wear Rate: 0.173 mils/100 test hours
0.00439 mm/100 test hours

G. Conclusion

Vesconite Hilube performed exceptionally well in the stringent laboratory tests.
Vesconite Hilube has the following advantages in hydro-power applications:

  • High design load carrying capacity whether wet or dry (4250 psi or 300 kg/cm2¬†– highly loaded, for slow moving or oscillating applications)
  • Exceptionally low friction with no stick-slip
  • Dynamic friction goes as low as 0.08
  • No water swell
  • Longest life, low wear and low maintenance
  • Cost effective

Vesconite Hilube is the long life, cost effective solution for many hydro applications, including:

  • Pump bearings, wear rings and seal rings
  • Sluice gate bearings and slides
  • Trash rack bearings
  • Control linkage bearings
  • Wicket gate bearings – upper, middle and lower
  • Segmented shaft seals
  • Kaplan hub bearings
  • Kaplan turbine bearings
Reduced downtime for forklift fitted with Vesconite mast slides

A sawmill forklift has to operate under dusty conditions and over rough terrain. These unfavourable conditions coupled with poor lubrication resulted in the original bearings on the mast breaking down approximately every six months. To reduce the downtime, the six high capacity roller bearings were replaced with two Vesconite slides (500 mm x 140 mm x 38 mm thick) (20″ x 5.5″ – 1.5″ thick). The change to Vesconite slides resulted in the following improvements: Downtime on the machine due to bearing failure has been eliminated. Longer bearing life. Three years later there was no sign of wear.

Forklift hire company uses Vesconite retainer stubs, side-shift wear pads

A large South African forklift hire company uses Vesconite retainer stubs at the bottom of their integral side shift forklift attachments, as well as top and bottom side-shift wear pads. The company reports that they outlast competing products and that the components can be tailor made, so each part is for a specific purpose on a specific machine. The hire company notes that customers do not require OEM parts since they are not brand conscious – instead they require components that work consistently and can be used without needing replacement for long-term 60-month rentals as well as shorter-term rentals.

Foundry forklift side-shift carriage pads replaced with Vesconite

A forklift repair company in Australia has replaced forklift side-shift carriage pads with Vesconite. This machine operates in a Foundry, the conditions are often harsh and dirty. Having experienced troubles with premature wear of the lower pads they made up new pads out of Vesconite which have solved their wear issues and continue to perform well under these challenging conditions.

UK bracket manufacturer selects Vesconite for 3D printer bushings

A UK manufacturer of brackets for electrical equipment has changed its 3D printer bushings to Vesconite ones. The company has Vesconite Hilube bushings installed on one printer and Vesconite Superlube, the lower-co-efficient-of-friction polymer bushing, installed on the other.

The UK bracket manufacturer will also install Vesconite on future 3D printers as the business expands.

Innovator tests 3D printer bushings

Norwegian innovator Kent Thoresen used Vesconite Hilube sleeve bushings in his project to build a more reliable and less-noisy 3D printer. About eight years ago, he started 3D printing various parts for other projects and became aware of some clear weaknesses in open-source 3D printer designs. So, he started redesigning and refining his own 3D printer. Friends began to request his designs, as well as friends of friends; he continued to refine his designs, eventually building more than 200 printers for his network of acquaintances.

His current printer assembly is stiff and dependable, an improvement over many of the low-cost, flimsy designs that are available. It is tough and technically solid, and does not require calibration if the plates are moved, unlike many of the less-sturdy, commercially-available designs.

“The current design has been tested for almost 4,000 hours,” said Thoresen in June 2018. “I will test it for 5,000 hours and, if I am comfortable with its performance, the design will be released to the open-source community.

“After 2,500 hours, we also tested the bushings and there was no indication of wear,” he continued. The bushings, along with the other printer components, were currently undergoing their final leg of testing in June 2018 and, if they proved themselves, were to be part of the final design.

“We want to create a printer that is cheap, dependable, and will eliminate worries about wear,” Thoresen noted. “Print jobs can take two to four days and I want to ensure that users can print continuously without having to worry about equipment failing or cost of the print time and the material used should there be a failure.”

7,253 hours of printing with no signs of wear

A company that sells South African computer components and accessories chose Vesconite Hilube bushings when the brass bushings on one of the owner’s 3D printers needed to be replaced. The owner, Deon Eksteen, has three 3D printers he uses to make components for local businesses and factories, as well as toys he sells.

When one of his printers’ bronze bushings wore out from a combination of use and the abrasive paste of lubricant and particles which formed between it and the shaft, he searched for a polymer bushing replacement for his XYZ Da Vinci 1.0A printer.

This was difficult in South Africa, where 3D printing is still establishing itself and where 3D printing stores and filament importers do not supply replacement components for that printer due to a lack of demand and support from 3D printer distributors.

Eksteen sought in vain through an online shopping app known for supplying the latest electronics, fashion, phone accessories, computer electronics and toys, but did not find replacement brass bushings of the correct size. Approaching various brass bushings suppliers was also unsuccessful as he was asked to place orders for more than 1,000 units.

Armed with the dimensions supplied by a globally-recognized blog specializing in 3D printer conversions, Eksteen approached Vesconite Bearings and ordered 8 mm long bushings with the correct specification.

Within five days of finalizing the order and verifying that Vesconite Hilube was appropriate for his needs, a courier dropped off the bushings, which were exactly made to specification. Eksteen‚Äôs 3D printer was fitted with the bushings and, in June 2018, had printed for 7,253 hours with no signs of wear on the bushings and the rods are still “super-smooth.” His previous bronze bushings had a life of 2,000 hours.

Vesconite suspension bushes used in Dakar Rally 4√ó4 vehicle

Vesconite Hilube bushings were used as suspension bushings in a modified 4×4 vehicle at the Dakar Rally. The polymer bushings were thoroughly tested prior to the rally. The gruelling 9,000km Dakar Rally is a multi-country South American endurance race through various terrains, including sand dunes, mountains and salt flats.¬†Suspension bushings are considered important in vehicle safety, ride comfort and handling and also align suspension and steering components, paramount in the Dakar, in which vehicles travel at between 100 kph and 200 kph in all kinds of terrain over 15 days. In the Dakar 4×4 vehicle, the bushings were exposed to an oscillating movement with many cycles per minute taking place, and performed much better than the nylon-molybdenum bushings that they replaced.

Vesconite tested on suspension of heavy transport vehicles

To compare the performance of Vesconite and OEM bronze bushings, hanger and spring eye bushings in Vesconite and bronze were fitted to an RE 29 Leyland petrol tanker used in the Northern Cape, South Africa. Vesconite was fitted to the off road side, the side where bushing wear is generally highest. The bronze bushings were fitted to the road side.

Regular greasing of the hanger and spring eye bushings through the nipples should be carried out. But in practice lubrication is often neglected.

A high proportion of the roads used by the tanker in this trial were dirt roads. This means that the bushings were subjected to excessive dirt and dust. The tanker was in almost constant use, making the trial a severe one.

After two years the bushings on the tanker were inspected. The bronze bushings were completely worn out. As may be seen in the photograph some had worn through to the housing.

Severe pin wear and even housing damage occurred. All the pins had to be replaced.

The Vesconite bushings were still working well with less than 0,2mm (0.008″) wear measured.

Negligible pin wear was found on the Vesconite side and the pins could be reused.

Bronze could not survive the dirt, dust and infrequent greasing. The ability of Vesconite to withstand the effects of dust, dirt and a lack of grease is illustrated particularly well in this application.

Vesconite bushings used on front suspension of Raceco off-road racing car

A South African enthusiast imported a Raceco off-road racing car from the United States where it is manufactured and assembled.

Within four races, the four front radius suspension arm bushings had worn badly and damaged the mating shafts. The steering was adversely affected. The bushings had to be replaced and the shafts re-finished.

The acetal bushings were replaced with Vesconite bushings. The bushings successfully operated for a full season of six races without further attention other than lubrication.

Vesconite is also used on the back suspension, again successfully replacing the original imported bushings.

The advantages of using Vesconite in these applications are:

  • Availability – produced in a wide size range of bushings for easy machining and replacement
  • Competitive cost
  • Longer life
  • No shaft damage
  • Minimum maintenance
Australian agricultural equipment manufacturer uses Vesconite Hilube

An Australian agricultural equipment manufacturer has switched from oil impregnated nylon to Vesconite Hilube polymer bushings for the hydraulic tynes that it manufactures for seeding machines.

The Vesconite Hilube polymer is valued by farmers and agricultural equipment manufacturers for being a self-lubricating, wear resistant polymer, which is widely used in tough agricultural applications characterised by grit, mud and water.

With seeder tynes being the teeth that cut through the soil during seeding, their exposure to harsh wear conditions is significant.

OptiAg Systems director Peter Hills explains that there are up to 80 or more hydraulic tynes on a seeding machine. These allow for seeds to be planted at the correct depth so that seeds have better access to moisture and nutrients.

Speaking about the introduction of Vesconite Hilube bushings to his tynes, Hills says: ‚ÄúI believe it to be a superior product to the oil-impregnated nylon we have been using‚ÄĚ.

“As grain growers ourselves, we are looking for the best product for use. We want to provide our clients with the best possible product as well.”

OptiAg will be testing the lifespan of the Vesconite Hilube bushings as compared to the oil impregnated nylon bushings and expects that, although there are higher upfront costs associated with the Vesconite Hilube bushings, the longer life and the lower maintenance requirements will show the Vesconite Hilube bushings to be a superior product.

Argentinian hydro projects opt for Vesconite

Two significant Argentinian hydroelectric projects have chosen Vesconite: Central Los Quiroga and Planta Hidroeléctrica Cabra Corral-Salta. Vesconite Hilube replaced bronze wicket gate bushings in 2009 at Central Los Quiroga. The results were very satisfactory, the bushings were reported to still be like new in discussions held in 2019. In addition, five turbines at Planta Hidroeléctrica Cabra Corral-Salta were fitted with Vesconite Hilube in 2011 and were reported to be operating without any problems in 2019.

Vesconite Hilube used on irrigation project

Twenty Vesconite Hilube staves were provided for Drop 4, Unit 2, of GE Hydro’s Imperial Irrigation Project. The Imperial Irrigation District is community owned and provides irrigation water in the south-eastern portion of California’s desert. The housing diameter was 700 mm, shaft diameter 572 mm and the bearing length 940 mm. The Vesconite Hilube replaced rubber staves.

Turbine supplied to Integrated Power Plant and Iron Works

A 5-wing Kaplan wheel turbine that was supplied to Haapakosken Tehdas Oy in 2007 included a Vesconite Hilube bearing with an outside diameter of 225mm, inside diameter of 180mm, and a length of 300mm. The Kaplan turbine provided electricity for this Finnish integrated power plant and iron works, including power-intensive foundry. This old ironworks environment was owned in 2021 by Haapakoski Ruukki and protected by the Finnish National Board of Antiquities. The turbine (including the Hilube bearing) is still working. The electricity is used for the small needs of Haapakoski Ruukki and the rest is sold out to the general net.

Alstom test report

After a long testing campaign, where a series of self-lubricating products were tested in the Centre de Technology in Grenoble, France, Vesconite Hilube was approved for Alstom turbines, in wicket gates, connecting rods, servomotors, radial and axial segments. This approval is valid worldwide.

The basic results and testing conditions are as follows:

Supplier: Grafimec Bearings Systems ‚ÄstBrazil
Material tested: Vesconite Hilube
Size of bushings: 95 x 80 x 60 mm
Testing conditions:
Test: dry
Temperature: room
Tests duration: 1.800.000 cycles
Specific load: 20 MPa
Speed: 15 mm/s

Wear: ‚ȧ0,1 mm
Dynamic friction coefficient: <0,12 

I believe you have a great product!

I recently installed Vesconite Hilube bushes to my Bear printer in the USA. The bushes and printer have been performing faultlessly. I then removed the metal linear ball bearings from my Prusa MK3 and installed the Vesconite Superlube bushings. They are also spot on with no deviation on that set of rods. I believe you have a great product!

No slop with Vesconite

My order from Vesconite Bearings in South Africa arrived in Canada quickly and in great condition. The major concern with competitors is that they do not work well due to massive amounts of slop. Well, the Vesconite bearings don’t have that, which is amazing. The bearings aren’t as tight on the rods, but are far superior tolerance wise than competing bushings…by a lot. Whoever pointed me in the direction of Vesconite, thank you!

All I now hear is stepper motors and fans!

I have finally installed my Vesconite bushes. All I hear now is stepper motors and fans! Other movements depending on bushings are quite silent. Most of all, without any rattling sound at all. Plus, the print quality has improved. I’m very satisfied.

Over 6000 hours of printing with no signs of wear

We have been running trials with Vesconite Hilube sleeve bushings on 3D printers in Norway, to create more robust, reliable and smoother-operating machines. The current Vesconite Hilube bushings fitted to our test printer, have now exceeded 6000 hours of use and, on inspection, show no signs of wear. It is amazing how incredibly durable this material is. We are now looking at standardising printer bushing sizes and will certainly be using Vesconite Hilube in the future.

These bushings are remarkable!

I have installed the Vesconite Superlube bushings on my MK3 with stock rails and the Vesconite Hilube on my Bear with MK3 stock rails. I also installed both Superlube and Hilube on hardened rods and have had brilliant results. These bushings are remarkable and were shipped to me in the USA without any trouble.

Vesconite Hilube bushing running smoothly

The Vesconite Hilube bushings ran smoothly with slight clearance when I tested them on the rods. I have now re-built the extruder with printed spacers to move the bearings 0.2mm further apart so they match the spacing at the rod end fittings. This setup is running extremely well so far.

Vesconite Superlube bushings doing a fantastic job

I have installed the Vesconite Superlube bushings on my machine. After a small amount of testing with these bushings, I have to say I am very pleased with the outcome. The Vesconite bushings are doing a fantastic job! I would certainly recommend them to others in the industry.

My ears are very happy!

There’s little to no torsional play in the bed of my printer since fitting the Vesconite Hilube bushings and I cannot see any deficiencies or print problems in my parts. They’re as good or better than what I was getting before. Square parts are square and surface finish is very good. My ears are also very happy! I was printing in power mode the other day and it was only the actual motors themselves (and fans) that were audible. If I ever run into Z axis issues, I now know what I’m going to buy to replace those bearings.

Delamination-free wear rings increase pump life

South Africa РA golf course irrigation company that supplies many of South Africa’s golf courses had historically used multiple-stage canister pumps with neck ring casings with phenolic wear rings.

The phenolic wear rings 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 irrigating with in line with global norms.

Vesconite Bearings’ differently-sized prototype wear rings were tested for a year, and the wear rings showed no evidence of needing to be replaced.

Pump manufacturer installs bushings with ease

Argentina – A global company dedicated to the manufacture, sales and service of fluid-handling equipment has commented on the ease with which it installed a total of 12 Vesconite Hilube line-shaft bushings and two Vesconite Hilube stuffing box bushings in two 18-m-length pumps.

The bushings were 300mm long but, after two hours in dry ice, the pump manufacturer fitted the bushings by hand without any help.

Because thermoplastics harden and soften with temperature, freeze fitting is particularly useful when installing large polymer bushings, bushings with thin walls, or bushings where the length is greater than the shaft diameter.

Vesconite throttle bushings extend pump seal life

Australia – A company that supplies mechanical seals as well as engineered sealing solutions has found that a Vesconite throttle bush can extend the life of seals.

A typical single-stage pump includes a throttle bushing that is located below the sealing mechanism and supports the shaft as well as being a close clearance bush and creating a stuffing box cavity with increased pressure differential reducing flush water requirements.

‚ÄúWe recommend Vesconite throttle bushings, and have found that pumps perform as expected and that seal life is extended with reduction in flush water requirement,‚ÄĚ a company representative says, noting that client companies use the bushings as part of a good proven pump repair package.

Rail container trailers fitted with Vesconite bushes

South Africa – Vesconite flanged pivot bushings have been successfully installed and used on container trailers at the national rail utility. The Vesconite bushes, with a flange of 205 mm diameter and a bore of 165 mm, were fitted to the walking beam centre pivot bearing that equalises component parts of the rear axle bogies. This heavy duty application required a material which had high load carrying capacity, low friction, high wear resistance and good dimensional stability. Vesconite, with all these characteristics, was used on the trailers that are used to transport 12-m-long general purpose containers.

Vesconite bushings used in tyre test rig

South Africa РMechanical and aeronautical engineering students at the University of Pretoria, in South Africa, are using Vesconite bushings in their tyre test rig, located at the University’s Vehicle Dynamics Group. The rig consists of a shaft that is pushed axially through the bushes by an actuator. On the other end of the rig is a metal plate that is pushed against a tyre when it is tested. The rig currently tests small commercial vehicle tyres, but the intention is for the Vehicle Dynamics Group to test larger dump truck tyres.

Vesconite selected as ideal material for trailer axle bushings

Asia-Pacific / Australia-New Zealand – Vesconite and Vesconite Hilube bushings continue to be ordered by a large manufacturer and supplier of trailer axles in Australasia. The company converted to Vesconite and Vesconite Hilube bushings over a decade ago, having used nylon previously, and continues to order hundreds of bushings, advertising that it has partnered with global experts in truck and trailer technology to ensure savings in maintenance and downtime. The Vesconite and Vesconite Hilube bushings are wear resistant, operate quietly and do not delaminate or distort under high loads. The self-lubricating bushings outlive bronze or nylon and, for axle manufacturers, the bushings also offer the opportunity of extending the warrantee offered with axles.

Vesconite suspension bushes used in Dakar Rally 4×4 vehicle

Argentina – Vesconite Hilube bushings were used as suspension bushings in a modified 4×4 vehicle at the Dakar Rally. The polymer bushings were thoroughly tested prior to the rally. The gruelling 9,000km Dakar Rally is a multi-country South American endurance race through various terrains, including sand dunes, mountains and salt flats. Suspension bushings are considered important in vehicle safety, ride comfort and handling and also align suspension and steering components, paramount in the Dakar, in which vehicles travel at between 100 kph and 200 kph in all kinds of terrain over 15 days. In the Dakar 4×4 vehicle, the bushings were exposed to an oscillating movement with many cycles per minute taking place, and performed much better than the nylon-molybdenum bushings that they replaced.

Vesconite ensures smoother operation of aeration windmills

A US based aeration windmill manufacturer installed Vesconite Hilube bushings on its windmills, leading to smoother and more efficient operation. The bushings are an essential component in aeration windmills, which aerate ponds in private and public spaces, since fan rotation is key to ensuring that the 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.

Canadian ocean-powered turbines fitted with Vesconite Hilube

Two mounted ocean-powered turbines are generating electricity in Nova Scotia, Canada, using Vesconite Hilube plates that make up large bushings. The ocean-powered turbines went live in November 2016, and their installation is seen as a trial of future current-powered farms that could comprise of 30 turbines. These ocean-powered turbines are expected to utilise the continuous directed streams of seawater which, circulate through the oceans, to generate electricity.The 300-t steel assembly forms an open-ended turbine and has a simple lubricant-free design with no seals or gearbox, so as to reduce maintenance requirements.

Tidal energy equipment developer chooses Vesconite Hilube

Tidal energy equipment developer Norwegian Ocean Power has successfully trialled its Pulsus horizontal-axis spiral-design tidal turbine, as part of the development of its first commercial unit. The turbines were tested dynamically for composite structure and bushing performance. The 0,5m-diameter Vesconite Hilube bearings which were installed on each end of the horizontal unit, performed well in their ability to absorb vibration. Vesconite Hilube was selected after the testing of various competing products that were less flexible and exhibited dry-run problems.

Vesconite grader bushings show low wear

A Vesconite kingpin and centre cone bushing were tested on a municipal grader. After 450 000km, the wear on the large bush was 0.2mm and the wear on the small bush was 0.08mm. Not only did the parts cost less than the original OEM parts, the longer life of the bushings and the reduced wear on the shaft made a convincing economic argument for the replacement of the bushings with Vesconite.

Hire business pleased with seal performance

An earthmoving-equipment hire business has fitted its bulldozer’s hydraulic shift transmissions with Vesconite Hilube seals. The company maintains, repairs and, when required, makes its own components, recently machining the seals between transmission housings and rotating clutches from Vesconite Hilube, with excellent results. Vesconite Hilube’s easy-to-machine qualities ensured a quick and simple solution, withstanding the high temperatures associated with the operation of these machines. The seals were tested in position with compressed air and found to seal more effectively than the OEM parts.

UK dump truck manufacturer continues to fit Vesconite bushings

An original equipment dump truck manufacturer first tested the company’s Vesconite Hilube material in its articulation bushes in 2014, and established that they performed well in harsh operating conditions including large-scale construction projects, quarries and mine sites. The 355.95mm-outside-diameter Vesconite Hilube bushings were found to be cost-effective with prolonged durability in the long-run. The dump-truck manufacturer continues to order Vesconite bearings for its 38 ton dump trucks, which have a heaped capacity of 23.3m3 and an engine power of 331kW.

Grader fitted with Vesconite rear frame hanger bushing

A grader operator spent considerable sums on labour and downtime by lubricating the bronze rear frame bushings on the machine. Despite regular greasing, the lifetime of the original bushings was still limited. The grader was fitted with Vesconite rear frame hanger bushings, with satisfactory results, avoiding the need for regular greasing and ensuring hassle-free operation.

Vesconite Hilube ensures smoother operation of aeration windmills

A US based aeration windmill manufacturer installed Vesconite Hilube bearings on its windmills leading to smoother and more efficient operation. 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.

Sugar mill fitted with Hitemp hanger bushings

A sugar mill has converted to Hitemp 150 screw conveyor hanger bushings for its conveyor transporting massecuite. The 11 double-flanged bushings support the screw conveyor and ensure that the screw does not collapse or touch the housing. The Hitemp 150 bushings are made from a polymer with a high temperature tolerance, low frictional qualities and wear resistance. Replacing brass bushings, The Hitemp 150 bushings performed well and showed limited wear and no distortion.

Vesconite bearings replace nylon parts on a planter

Vesconite Bearings has produced a chain tensioner sprocket, a chain tensioner bush and a bush in a seed transmission for a planter. The components were made out of nylon and replaced other nylon parts.

Vescolene skid plates used on harvesters

South Africa – Several farmers in South Africa have installed Vescolene Ultrablack skid plates made from ultra-high-molecular-weight high-density polyethylene on their harvesters so as to prevent wear and damage to the flexi table when harvesting a crop. Farmers found that various original equipment manufacturers did not have skid plates in stock and changed to the Vescolene Ultrablack skid plates.

Hilube 10 & 20 locomotive side-bearer guides

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

Superlube replaces original bogie support pads

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

Hilube 20 pedestal liners put to the test

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

Hilube 10 fitted to Arctic ore wagon

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

Vesconite on cross-anchor bushings

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

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

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

Vesconite Hilube on brake beam guides

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

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

Vesconite used in pulley system of sailing blocks

South Africa – A company manufacturing hardware for sailing yachts, has used Vesconite as the material of choice for the pulley system of its newly developed sailing blocks.

These blocks are part of the rigging system which operate the running rigging or ropes on yachts sails. These blocks need to be extremely robust and withstand high loads, without wearing to avoid loss in the sail’s performance.

Vesconite’s dimensional stability in water, high wearing properties and resistance to uv rays, makes it an ideal material to use in the blocks, which not only carry high strain, but are also subject to all weather and corrosive salt water.

Vesconite used as corrosion isolator on aluminium boats

British Columbia, Canada – A designer of recreational aluminium boats has specified Vesconite as a corrosion isolator on their latest hydrofoil supported catamaran designs. 3mm sheets of Vesconite are used as a layer between the stainless steel hydrofoils and the aluminium hulls they are bolted to. Without the Vesconite layer, galvic corrosion would quickly occur between the dissimilar metals. Unlike nylon which would soften, absorb water and deform, Vesconite remains dimensionally stable, making it the ideal material for heavy torsional loading. The material also machines easily to the tight tolerances required for this particular application.

Vesconite used for corrosion-free drain plugs

USA РA manufacturer of marine wake boats for the leisure industry required an alternative drain plug for its boats. The company had used a brass plug with a brass base originally, but had found this unsuitable due to galvanic corrosion, causing the drain plug to seize and become difficult to remove. The solution was to manufacture t-handle drain plugs from Vesconite, which does not corrode and can withstand the effect of ultraviolet light, offering a lubrication and seizure free solution. The Vesconite drain plugs are now widely available in the US and globally to ensure boating safety and ease of use. With Vesconite’s ability to withstand submersion in water over long periods, the drain plugs do not leak or degrade and can be easily removed should the boat be trailered.

Vesconite used on luxury catamaran daggerboards

USA РA manufacturer of top-end luxury catamarans required a suitable material for the daggerboard trunks on its flagship model. Vesconite’s hard wearing properties and lack of swell when subjected to water, made it the perfect choice. The daggerboards, which operate under load when submerged, need to be raised and lowered in the trunk without seizing and cannot rattle, so tolerances are very tight. The ease of machining Vesconite and the internal lubrication means that the trunks are easy to manufacture and fit, and once in position require little maintenance or lubrication to operate smoothly.

Vesconite used on a peripheral grinder

A South Africa mining company using peripheral grinders to sharpen steel bits on rock drills contacted us for a replacement solution to high-wear bronze bushings on its grinding machines. This application receives no lubrication and operates under a great deal of dirt and grit, which accelerated wear rates on the bronze bushings. Vesconite bushing were machined and fitted to this application, and have performed superbly for the past two years.

Vesconite bushings on a vertical borer stabiliser rod

A earth-boring company was looking for a durable material to create stabilisers for its borer machines. The machine bores between levels in mines and is capable of boring chutes up to 120m. The drill steel is subject to high levels of grit and rock. The Vesconite stabilisers help align the drill steel, thereby avoiding whip in the drill. Despite the dirty conditions, the new stabilisers required no lubrication between recommended overhaul schedules, and general maintenance and downtime were substantially reduced.

Vesconite used on flask door opening mechanism

Flask doors are opening mechanisms allowing ore to pass through and into a skip situated below. Knuckle pin bushes, used on the door’s opening mechanism, are traditionally made from bronze. In this particular instance, the original bushes were subject to heavy wear and eventual seizure due to dirt and lack of lubrication Рaccessing these bushes is difficult. Vesconite bushes were retrofitted to the mechanism. External lubrication was no longer required and Vesconite’s remarkable ability to function well in dirt and grit meant that maintenance and replacement schedules were greatly reduced.

Vesconite used as oscillating bearing on filter rakearm

South Africa – A mining company sought a harder-wearing alternative to white metal liners on filter rakearms. These rakearms are used to stir the gold bearing solution at the bottom of the filter and as such are subjected to harsh and dirty conditions. The Vesconite bushings were machined and fitted, with excellent results. Unlike the original white metal bushings, the Vesconite replacements are easy to remove and refit, and offer both far longer life and considerable cost savings.

Main turbine bearing fitted with Vesconite Hilube bushings

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

Hoover Dam pressure relief valves fitted with Vesconite Hilube

USA – Vesconite Hilube has been the preferred choice for the pressure relief valves (PRVs) at the Hoover Dam. Originally designed in the 1930s, the PRV’s divert water around the turbines when flow to the turbines needs to be stopped. Vesconite Hilube was selected to replace the existing cast iron parts, which had oxidised and seized, preventing the valve from functioning. Vesconite Hilube has proved to the ideal material for this application, due to its self-lubricating, hard-wearing, corrosion-free and low slip stick features.

Hoover Dam control-linkage fitted with Vesconite bushings

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

Vesconite Hilube fitted to wicket gates

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

Deep sea fishing reels upgraded with Vesconite

Ponta do Ouro, Mozambique – A charter company operating deep-sea fishing expeditions required a tough and durable alternative to the standard handles and shafts used on its fishing reels. Its charter boats are launched from the beach in Mozambique – the equipment is exposed to sun, sand and salt water. The result is inevitable corrosion and loosening of parts. The company has since had stainless steel handle shafts manufactured, which have been fitted with custom-designed Vesconite grips. The result has been an overall increase in reliability and both smoother and stronger reel performance.

Vesconite fitted to super-yacht slipway

New Zealand РMulti-million dollar expedition super-yacht builders McMullen & Wing required a low maintenance bearing material for its slipway trolleys that would not distort under wet and dirty conditions. The trolleys are exposed to oils, salt water and debris Рan environment where traditional bearing materials suffered excessive wear and ongoing replacement. Prior to the launch of the company’s Diamond Series super-yachts, the slipway trolleys were refurbished with Vesconite Hilube bearings, with excellent results, thanks to Hilube’s impressive dimensional stability and high load-bearing strength.

Vesconite replaces bronze on prime-mover axles

Asia РOne of the world’s leading companies in container handling uses Ottawa prime-movers to transport containers within wharves. These consist of a truck and trailer spanning 30m and transporting up to four twenty-foot (equivalent) container units at one time. The loads and forces on the axles are therefore considerable. The original bronze bushings used in this application were found to be inferior and prone to rapid wear. Attracted to Vesconite’s hard-wearing, self-lubricating properties, the container handling company has never looked back, and for past 20 years has been a repeat-user of Vesconite prime-mover axle bushes.

Vesconite rudder bushing reduces wear on tug boats

Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina –¬† The waters of the Parana River tend to be wide and deep, with significant suspended debris and sand. Due to these abrasive conditions, rudder bearings on tug boats operating on the river are susceptible to rapid wear. The result is frequent dry docking for repairs. In response, Vesconite bushings have been successfully fitted to 20 tug boats working the Parana River. The combination of exceptionally low wear, self-lubrication and easy installation makes it an ideal material for this application.

Vesconite Hilube used on multiple-stage canister pumps

South Africa РA South African irrigation company active in installing and maintaining irrigation systems on golf courses found that the factory-fitted bearings on multi-stage canister pumps had high wear rates. This required ongoing purchase of costly OEM repair kits. In many cases, only a few component parts of the kit were actually required. In response to the problem, Vesconite designed and produced the specific bearings that were actually required for these multiple-stage canister pumps. Vesconite’s no-lubrication, no swell bearings have resulted in a maintenance-free, low cost solution for the company.

Vesconite Hilube used on thermal power station condensate pump

A thermal power station required a low-wearing, low maintenance bearing alternative for a condensate pump assembly. The line shaft and pump bowl bearings used in this vertical spindle pump operate in pure water conditions at a temperature ranging between 30ňöC and 60ňöC. Removal and maintenance cost on the pump are high. Vesconite Hilube bearings were manufactured and fitted. Resultant performance has been impressive ‚Äď the replacement bearings have run without fault for four years, on a pump assembly that has a seven yearly maintenance rebuild schedule.

Vesconite used in mobile LPG pumps

South Africa РA liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) pump manufacturer has been distributing its portable LPG gas pumps to rural areas around South Africa. These pumps are particularly suited to remote and mobile sites, which makes it all the more imperative that running costs and pump maintenance be kept to a bare minimum. The manufacturer opted for Vesconite piston-rod bushings and piston discs, due to the polymer’s low friction, high dimensional stability and ability to withstand temperature changes. As a result, maintenance and running costs were significantly reduced.

Texas water utility uses Hilube on vertical spindle pumps

Texas, USA –¬†A water utility in Texas had over the years experimented with different grades of nylon bearings in its vertical spindle pumps, but with little success. The pumps operated in the abrasive conditions found in pit-wells. The combination of debris and sand would eventually lead to excessive wear of the original bushings and eventual seizure.¬†The original parts were subsequently replaced with Vesconite Hilube, which requires no lubrication, does not swell and can operate in dirty conditions as characterized by the above. The re-fitted pumps have since been running without incident for over a year now.

Vesconite resolves problem area on John Deere planter

In this case, Vesconite Hilube replaced a brass gauge arm bush requiring ongoing lubrication via a grease nipple on the gauge arm. Performance was greatly improved with Hilube.

Vesconite moulding fitted to planter wear liners

Vesconite’s outstanding wear-resistant properties have dramatically improved the working life of seedpot units on these South African built Monosem planters. Prior to switching to Vesconite, the metal surfaces of the seedpots exhibited high wear rates. In many cases the entire seedpot unit had to be replaced. Refurbishing the seedpots with Vesconite liners allows the seedpots to be re-used – a considerable saving all round.

Vesconite Hilube saves costs on rice planter

In a field application in Argentina, a rice planter with parallel linkage shafts had been fitted with traditional brass bushings and lubricated via grease nipples on the linkage arms. These were replaced with Vesconite Hilube. The key performance benefit was Vesconite’s ability to operate in dirty conditions with no external lubrication – translating into a large cost and time saving during planting, as well as reduced wear to both bush and shaft.

Vesconite and hopper door bushes

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

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

The Vesconite bushing lasted substantially longer than the original phosphor bronze.

Vesconite Hilube on tram drive bushings

Australia – An Australian tram operator continues to order approximately 100 Vesconite Hilube motor axle bushings a year, following its successful introduction to the product in 2006.

The motor axle bushings, which require no lubrication and are wear resistant, have completely replaced the standard metal main drive H-class-tram bushings, which had been in use prior to the introduction of the polymer product.

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