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Vesconite Success Stories

Vesconite slides outperform roller bearings in tough marine conditions
Rob Bower
South Africa
"I had a sliding 'car’ made up for my yacht from a piece of Vesconite,” says Rob Bower of the piece of equipment that moves along the traveller rail and serves as an anchor point for the sheave that adjusts the main sheet to achieve good speeds and acceleration in different wind conditions.

“The part was originally made from cast aluminium with roller bearings, but all failed and I was not able to get a spare traveller.”

“So, I machined one from a piece of Vesconite of about 150 mm x 50 mm x 50 mm - no ball bearings, just a surrounding-type slider.”

“It took a bit of machining but resulted in an excellent sliding system that works really well despite exposure to the harsh conditions when at sea.”

“The tensile force on the traveller car could reach a ton - perhaps more.”

“You helped make my summer boating season awesome”
Don Finney
I would like to thank Vesconite Bearings for your fast service: you helped make my summer boating season awesome. I received the new bushings and installed the Vesconite Hilube bushings without adhesive and just grub screws. All of your bushings fit great. We have a 1986 Marinette Sportsman - our boat is all aluminium and your bushings work well for our boat. I don't have a clearance problem anymore. No problems … I like that the prop shafts turn by hand when out of the water. With the old bushings the prop shafts seized up out of the water.
‘Using Vesconite was a no-brainer’
Andries Keyser
South Africa
"We have successfully used Vesconite on many applications on the miniature railway in Stellenbosch, so using it on a full-size rail vehicle was a no-brainer!"

The team behind the Winelands Light Railway, in Stellenbosch, was asked to revive the old Ratanga Amusement Park 24" gauge railway that had, since the closure and redevelopment of the area, fallen out of use. The old train set was assessed and found to be in too poor a state to rebuild and so the concept of Century City Tramway, in Cape Town, a brand new battery-operated tramway, was born, says Winelands Light Railway's Andries Keyser.

"The challenge was to build a vintage-looking tramcar from scratch with zero emissions and minimal maintenance as there are no service facilities on site. Since the tramcar was to run on a fully paved and concreted in-track bed, dripping oil had to be avoided at all costs."

"Greased self-aligning bearings were only used on the main axles; all other sliding and rubbing surfaces were made of Vesconite. With virtually no direct metal-to-metal contact from the chassis to the rail, the vibration carried from the concrete-encased track was also minimal."

"The drive system is all electric running on lithium iron batteries; at full capacity, 50 km is easily attained on a single charge. With the bogies moving very freely on Vesconite rollers, drag is reduced in the corners and less energy is needed to propel the tramcar along."    
‘756 days of print time and 28,661 meters of filament’
Keith Beaul
"I bought my first Prusa MK3 printer in August 2018 and a couple of months later I purchased Vesconite Hilube bushings for all the axes rods. The linear roller bearings included with the printer just weren’t holding up. This printer is still my workhorse with the original Vesconite Hilube bushings. Here are the stats on that printer using Vesconite Hilube bushings:  28,661 m of filament over 756 days of print time (over 2 years of printing). I have never had to disassemble the printer for bushing maintenance.

"Since then, I have purchased several other printers. Including several of my friends’ purchases, all of them are using Vesconite bushings! I have an additional four printers, which are variations of the Prusa MK3, and all the  MK3 printers were built between 2019 through 2021 and are using either Vesconite Hilube or Vesconite Superlube from the day they were built.

"Of my newer printers, one uses Vesconite Superlube and only prints ABS and ASA, one uses Vesconite Hilube and prints PLA, PETG and TPU, one uses Vesconite Superlube and prints PLA, PETG and TPU, and one uses Vesconite Hilube and only prints carbon fiber.

"I ordered the newly-released Prusa MK4, which will be arriving mid to late June 2023. I have ordered and received the new LM8UU Vesconite Superlube self-centring bushings from Vesconite for this machine.”

Keith is also waiting for the LM10LUU (self-aligning) version to be finalised by Vesconite Bearings, and he will be installing these bushings on the Z-axis of the new MK4.  
‘A great material to work with’
David Holbourn
United Kingdom

I have used Vesconite for both the top and bottom bushes for my Hanse 301. I spoke to some very knowledgeable people in South Africa and, unfortunately, the size of tube I required was not held in UK, so it was sent, and with it instructions on how to machine the material. I followed those and machined my own bushes in the farm workshop, then went to the boat and offered them in… perfect fit, both into the hull and in the cockpit… was a perfect fit for the rudder tube. It was a great material to work with.

‘First class in every respect’
Christopher Long
United Kingdom
I was absolutely delighted with the service provided by your company, it really was first class in every respect. I made an enquiry and a day later Vesconite Bearings phoned me up to confirm my requirements: a lower bush for a rudder on a 10 metre sailing vessel. I placed the order and five days later the material arrived, safely and undamaged. The online design tool allowed me to confidently obtain dimensions for an interference fit of the bush in the housing, I had the material machined in a local workshop and I used dry ice to shrink the bush before fitting it. The bush and rudder are now back in position. The bush is an excellent fit in the housing and on the rudder stock, there is minimal side play and the rudder feels very smooth and light.
‘The ONLY rudder bearing to use that NEVER requires replacement is Vesconite’
Bavaria Owners' Association
United Kingdom

"I battled for two years with stiff rudder movement. I then tried Vesconite. Vesconite is a self-lubricating polymer that never swells and can be machined to size and couriered to anywhere in the world. I had it machined to 0.25mm smaller than the original size by Vesconite Bearings on the inside and outside diameter. The rudder can now be steered with two fingers, what a difference! The cost of two bearings and two bottom washers is less than the price from Bavaria. I received really good service."

‘We don’t do much sourcing from outside the USA, but your product is so fantastic we can’t resist’
Ross Reels

"We’ve found another material to replace our bronze bushings, the material is called Vesconite," says Ross Reels CEO Craig Baker of the company’s redesigned Colorado Fishing Reel.  "It is an engineered polymer designed specifically for underwater load-bearing and bushing applications. It is used in high-speed trains, oil rigs, water pumps, deep-sea drills, and that kind of thing. We have been testing it for like a year or so in all of our products and putting it in the sand and jamming it together and running. The new Colorado is the first in the Ross lineup to use the Vesconite as the bushing material. We believe it is something that’s just going to last longer and perform better."

"We don't do much sourcing from outside the USA but your product is so fantastic we can't resist," Ross Reels and Abel Reels Accountant Ken Watson enthuses.

Find out more about how Ross Reels uses Vesconite here

‘The entire process with Vesconite worked fantastically well’
Jorge Veiga

"On the annual maintenance inspection of a 1984 model, Jeanneau Arcadia sailing yacht named Ghaaata, significant play was detected in the rudder, due to wear in the internal structure of its housing. The yacht, which is used for coastal sailing on the Oslo Fjord in Norway was hauled into dry dock to have the rudder and housing stripped out for a replacement. Through extensive research, Vesconite Hilube was selected as the bushing material of choice for the main rudder bushings, this due to its excellent reputation for self-lubrication and ability to maintain shape, under load, while submerged in salt water. “I contacted Vesconite, asking where I could have the bushing manufactured here in Norway. It turned out that Vesconite provides a full machining service from their factory in South Africa, with quick global distribution. The entire process worked fantastically well. Vesconite provided answers almost immediately, were always available and personally informed me of the the progress and tracked the shipment, right up until it arrived in Norway. I have no hesitation to endorse Vesconite.”

’12 years on and Vesconite bearing shown minimal wear’
Martin Wibmer

"After regularly replacing white metal stuffing box bearings on my 1962, 4,5 ton Bermuda-rigged sloop, Calloo of Wivenhoe, I sought an alternative. In 2007 I began researching more suitable options and found Vesconite. The replacement part was machined from this ultra-low friction material and fitted to the sloop during the same year. 12 years later, on a routine inspection the material shows minimal deterioration, despite its exposure to salt water and grit. As a bearing material, Vesconite doesn’t seem to wear at all! I continue to sail solo on the Moray Firth in Scotland and take part in an annual cruise on the west coast of Norway. The Vesconite bearing has saved me considerable costs and time in servicing and maintenance."

‘6 years and no need for replacement’
Merv Schwart

"When we started making 18 to 30 foot ornamental and aeration windmills, we used a bearing in the center hub. Because they're so far off the ground this bearings never or rarely got greased and would eventually fail. From there we used a nylon bushing with a brass insert, but the stainless steel shaft would quite literally eat those things for lunch! Needless to say they squeaked and carried on, which made us research further and try to find something that would last but not require any grease. The Vesconite bushing has been the answer to our prayer. This material is awesome. It does not require any lubrication, in fact, it is self lubricating. We haven't replaced one Vesconite Bushing since we started using them 6 years ago."

‘Vesconite controls 13 tons of yacht through the toughest ocean conditions’
Luke Fisher
South Africa
"I investigated many ways to bush the main rudder shaft on my 38' steel sailboat Bryana, and decided to move from traditional brass to a single, large Vesconite bearing. This bearing controls 13 tons of yacht through the toughest ocean conditions and due its dimensional stability, high load strength and reliability, Vesconite was the perfect choice for the project. I installed the bearing myself with a homemade puller. Our family competed in the 2,000 nautical miles Governor's Cup, Simon's Town, South Africa to St. Helena, winning the Ambrose Family Trophy. The Vesconite bush on Bryana's rudder is still 100%. I sold the boat in 2015, and since transfer she has added over 25000 nautical miles to her log."
‘Over 6000 hours of 3D printing and no sign of wear’
Kent Thoresen

"We have been running trials with Vesconite Hilube sleeve bushings on 3D printers, 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."

‘Vesconite cures wear problem in offroad Baja Bugs’
Edward Ginsberg
United States
"We build offroad Baja Bugs and were spending a lot on metal link pin shims for the front end. In my case I use five shims per side with a total of 40 shims for wheel camber alignment. The use of several shims allows for a slight movement in the joining surfaces. After a short time these shims wear and push themselves out. I then tried silicon bronze but this was too brittle and broke. Vesconite to the rescue. I machined four Vesconite shims with a width of .086 each. to replace the 40 shims that had cost a good amount of money. To date, I have not had to replace any of the Vesconite shims. Vesconite has solved the problem."
‘Shaft vibration eliminated with Vesconite Hilube’
Robert Metzen
United States
"After replacing the all-rubber cutlass bearing of my new Jeanneau Sun Fast 35, Tide The Knot a frustrating two times in seven years, I sought an alternative. A fellow sailor told me about his positive experience with Vesconite Hilube as a rudder bearing. Shortly after contacting Leandro Panzini from Vesconite, I had a state-of-the-art polymer bearing installed. The propeller shaft had vibrated severely at 2900 - 3000 rpm, caused by the original cutlass bearing materials wearing prematurely. Jeanneau recommended replacing the cutlass bearing annually—a time-consuming and expensive proposition. Their all-rubber part simply did not have the longevity and reliability I needed. With the Vesconite Hilube bearing, there is no vibration at all, even while running the boat at full rpm. Inspection upon haulage has shown no sign of wear or damage either. The service and product I received from Vesconite was excellent, I could not be happier with the result."
‘Vesconite Hilube bushings show no signs of wear after 7253 hours in 3D printer’
Deon Eksteen
South Africa
" We recently needed to replace the worn brass bushings on one of our 3D printers. We produce components for businesses and factories as well as a range of toys, meaning that the printers work around the clock. The original brass bushings on the machine had worn considerably from use, as well as from the lubricating paste applied to them, which over time becomes abrasive, wearing the shaft down as well. We approached Vesconite Bearings who confirmed that their self-lubricating Vesconite Hilube was the right product for the job. They were able to machine to spec and supply the required bushings within 5 days of us placing the order, impressive indeed. To date the machine has printed for 7253 hours, has required no lubrication and shows no sign of wear on either the shafts or the bushings."
‘Vesconite is now used globally in our airboats, with excellent results’
Chris Grouch
South Africa
"We manufacture airboats, which utilise an engine, gearbox and large wind turbine. These boats are used in flood relief, disaster management, environmental clean-ups, anti-poaching missions, border patrol and oil and gas exploration in Africa, the Middle East and Asia. The boats previously used nylon dampers encased in stainless steel tubes, as supports for the engine, gearbox and propeller system. Due to the constant vibrations and strain, these tubes cracked continually. A new disc and cup system was designed to replace the tubes and Vesconite was our material of choice. With its excellent low-friction properties, easy-to-machine qualities and ability to work well in salt and fresh water, Vesconite is now used globally in our airboats, with excellent results."
‘This product withstands the most extreme conditions…’
Jonathan von Biljon
South Africa
"We use Vesconite for many applications, ranging from radial doors in mines to moving components on outdoor gyms. This product withstands the most extreme conditions, from harsh chemicals to dust, water, grit and mud, performing well under load and showing minimal wear or failure. On our outdoor gyms for instance, we use a Vesconite bushing combined with a stainless steel pin, which has withstood the exposure even in coastal conditions, an application where brass bushings failed dismally. Vesconite out performs any other product we have ever used before, and remains our first choice for all bushings and bearings."
‘No signs of deformation or stripping … Machinability was fantastic’
Jonathan Oldnall
South Africa
"As part of a university project, I designed and built an underwater gripper for a submersible ROV. The gripper needed to operate in salt water at a depth of up to 400m and at 40 bars of pressure. A key component on the gripper was a power screw and traversing nut arrangement, which was initially made from stainless steel. The salt water and co-efficient of friction between the stainless steel screw and nut did not produce good results, leading to the use of Vesconite for the nut component. The Vesconite nut was the force actuator on the gripper and was tested to exert a clamping force of 150kg with no signs of deformation or stripping! Further to the nut, I used Vesconite as bushes and washes at all interfaces between aluminium and stainless Steel to prevent galvanic corrosion on the device. Vesconite's machinability was fantastic in these unique designs of washers and capped bushes. The gripper performed brilliantly and served two years as the first prototype for the ROV."
‘It is a fantastic material…’
Nardus Koekemoer
South Africa
"We are a biomedical design company designing and selling medical devices worldwide. One of our devices used to monitor kidney function contains a bag which is mechanically clipped to a urine tub, using a specifically designed machine that pulls the tub and bag together under force and makes sure that the two mating surfaces 'click' in place. During this clipping process, the machine applies a force of over 100kg onto two brass bushings. This functions as a bearing, allowing rotational movement in the horizontal plane. No lubrication can be added to the bushings once assembled. Both the brass bushings and needle bearings failed and seized after less than four weeks. Vesconite was chosen as an alternative, and the company engineered and supplied the replacement bushings. After six months the bushings were still functioning perfectly and on removal for inspection showed no signs of wear at all. They were refitted and are still in use five months later. It is a fantastic material and we have subsequently used Vesconite as a replacement for other medical equipment which we design."
‘The result has been excellent’
Andre van Deventer
South Africa
"Our company designs and manufactures composite helicopter blades up to 8 meters in length. These blades operate in wet and dry temperatures ranging from -25 degrees C to 45 degrees C. The interface between the blade and the rotor head adapter, as well as the interface between the blade adapter and the rotor head consists of bonded Vesconite spacers. Vesconite was selected on the basis of its self-lubricating properties and ability to prevent fretting. The result has been excellent."
‘The best possible material for rudder bearings…’
Aleksandras Kaliberda
"I have used Vesconite Hilube as the material of choice for my sailboat rudder, which is constantly submerged in salt water. The previous material used distorted due to water absorption. The rudder has been fitted for some time now and shows no sign of distortion or expansion, plus the fact that it is self-lubricating makes it the best possible material for rudder bearings and certainly lasts far longer than the alternatives."
‘The Vesconite bushes showed no signs of wear…’
Bill Martin
South Africa
"As an engineer I was deployed to a Dolerite stone quarry, hard pressed to keep up production to feed the local demand. The nature of this particularly hard stone was taxing on the machinery involved, which ran non-stop for 16 hours per day. The swing arm jaw crusher in particular, with its 8-ton swing arm needed to be removed by hand every 2 weeks with a block and tackle to replace the 250mm diameter phosphor bronze bearings that it pivoted on. Vesconite was called in to design and manufacture replacement bushes, which were fitted on the next shut down. After 6 weeks of continuous running, the Vesconite bushes showed no signs of wear, and with far less lubrication involved it resulted in a 15% increase in production. The bushes were only replaced after a year of use."
‘Vesconite drastically reduced the sliding abrasion…’
Jan-Hendrik Hollenbach
South Africa
"Our company undertook the redesign of a 3 ton scissor-lift utility vehicle, which works under extreme conditions in hard rock underground mining operations. The main pivot point on the scissor-lift wore out prematurely, due to the difficulty in accessing grease points for lubrication, which resulted in infrequent greasing of the phosphor bronze bushes. The machine's pivoting mechanism was redesigned to accommodate a shouldered Vesconite bush. Vesconite drastically reduced the sliding abrasion between the scissor-lift arms, increasing the pin’s life and saving considerable costs. Downtime has also been significantly reduced due to Vesconite not requiring regular lubrication."
‘We have switched to Vesconite in our water purification plants’
Lindsey Quentin
South Africa
"We have switched to Vesconite Hilube in our water purification plants. The original bronze bushings fitted to our screw conveyers, lime feeder plants and floc feeder plants, all operate under extremely harsh conditions, such as sand an grit mixtures. The bronze bushing required replacement every two weeks, while the Vesconite Hilube replacements, handle these conditions faultlessly and only require replacement every six months. The cost saving due to the lubrication-free qualities of Vesconite has also be notable."
‘The results have been outstanding…’
Hannes Labuschagne
South Africa
"We have used Vesconite Hilube 20 on our diesel locomotives. The results have been outstanding, with a marked reduction in stick-slip between the axle box of the wheel and the Vesconite pedestal liner. The movement of the wheel set is now far more controlled. The original steel liners resulted in high wear, due to the steel-on-steel contact with the axle box, which meant costly and regular maintenance. There is also a noticeable reduction in rolling resistance, which again creates a saving due to less power required to haul the train along and lower wear rate on tracks."
‘Outlives any of the alternatives available.’
Aleksandras Kaliberda
"We used Vesconite Hilube on a sail boat rudder, submerged in salt water. Acetal was used previously, but Vesconite does not absorb water and does not expand. With the benefit of self-lubrication, Vesconite is the best possible material for rudder bearings, and outlives any of the alternatives available."
‘The ease of fitting and durability of Vesconite have been excellent’
John Wood
United Kingdom
"We replaced the white metal bushes on our steam rail locomotive with Vesconite bushes. The ease of fitting and durability of Vesconite have been excellent. We are now in the third cycle of savings, plus reduced oil use and resultant pollution. As a voluntary operation, Vesconite has been a great investment for us in engineering costs. We are looking to expand the use of Vesconite into other areas of our steam locomotive operations in the United Kingdom."
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