Our Vesconite rail polymers have over several decades been successfully used in a number of railway applications. The materials’ self-lubricating properties make them well suited to railway components that are prone to metal on metal wear and require regular greasing. Not only will a switch to these bushings and wear components avoid long periods of downtime, the noise and squeal issues commonly associated with rolling stock will be significantly reduced. With a resultant reduction in rolling resistance, considerable power savings have been noted with the use of Vesconite rail polymer components.

Benefits for

Vesconite rail polymers create overall smoother train and wear component movement.

Vesconite rail polymers ensure low wear in expensive rail box bearings and shafts.

Vesconite rail polymers avoid the need for regular greasing.

Vesconite rail polymers reduce noise and squeal associated with rolling stock.

Vesconite rail polymers are resistant to oils and fuels.

Vesconite rail polymers reduce maintenance on rails, wheels and axle bushes.

Common Rail

Centre cup liners

Flat liners

Brake beam guides


Brake rigging systems

Pedestal liners


Manganese steel tends towards material fatigue and cracking.

Metal center liners have a higher friction coefficient compared to Vesconite rail polymers. The result is greater turning effort and faster wear on rails and wheels.

Metal bushings and liners are difficult to remove and fit. This is not the case with Vesconite rail polymers. 

Metal to metal wear causes costly downtime on rolling stock – an issue often not factored in.

Rail Case Studies
Hilube 10 & 20 locomotive side-bearer guides

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

Superlube replaces original bogie support pads

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

Hilube 20 pedestal liners put to the test

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

Hilube 10 fitted to Arctic ore wagon

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

Vesconite on cross-anchor bushings
South Africa - Vesconite Bearings has supplied thousands of cross anchor bushings in the last 40 years in South Africa. During development of the national rail utility’s HS self-steering bogie during the early 1970s, various materials were tested for the four cross-anchor pivot points (also known as stabilisation points). After extensive testing, Vesconite was accepted as the material that best satisfied the requirements of the application and was used for several decades on the HS bogie. 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 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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