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Holy bearings have no appetite for grease

01 September, 2000

Holy bearings have no appetite for grease

A French company has developed a form of high-pressure friction bearing that, it claims, extends the working life of joints, enhances performance under heavy loads, and is some cases does away with the need for lubrication.

The PEL-T rolled steel friction bearing, developed by HEF, achieves its performance using a combination of technologies. For a start, the thin strip of rolled steel undergoes a patented thermo-chemical surface treatment said to provide a high load-bearing capacity, a good surface hardness, and resistance to wear, seizure and corrosion.

The second innovation is the use of cavities in the surface, designed to act as grease reservoirs and to maintain an optimal load distribution. HEF claims that, as a result, the bearing normally only needs to be lubricated when it is first mounted.

In some, extreme applications, greasing may still be needed but only one tenth as frequently as would be the case for traditional technologies such as bronze or case-hardened steel bearings. In some applications, just one additional greasing may be needed during the life of an installation, says HEF. As well as making the machinery easier and cheaper to maintain, the reduced greasing requirement has environmental benefits, the company asserts.

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