Self-lubricating polymer material used
Thordon Bearings said it had supplied the largest rudder bearing it had ever made for a 7506 TEU container ship.
The 2001-built vessel, operated by a European owner, has been retrofitted with a 1230mm long, 1111mm diameter SXL bearing after the vessel’s original bronze rudder bearing had to be replaced due to excessive wear.
Thordon’s authorized distributor in the United Arab Emirates – Ocean Power International (OPI) – has been contacted by Drydocks World-Dubai (DDW) to offer an alternative rudder bearing solution, with OPI recommending Thordon’s grease-free SXL polymer bearing.
Since receiving the order, it took just three days to manufacture, ship, deliver, machine and install the record bearing using liquid nitrogen during the 12-day dry-docking in November, the company said. society.
The bearing comes with a 15-year lifetime rudder bearing wear warranty, which covers the supply of a replacement should the bearing wear out and require renewal within 15 years of installation.
“Thordon’s factory in Burlington produced the self-lubricating polymer material in less than 24 hours,” said Dubai-based OPI managing director Rafid Qureshi. “The bearing was then loaded onto a scheduled Emirates Airlines flight to Dubai, where UAE Customs quickly cleared the product, delivered and installed within a further 24 hours.”
Scott Groves, Vice President of Sales, Thordon Bearings, said that since the bearings no longer need to be greased, the associated labour, cost and source of pollution are eliminated. Internal lubricants formulated into the material reduce friction, resulting in smoother, longer lasting, grease-free bearing operation, he said.
Thordon said its SXL material has a lower modulus of elasticity than other non-metallic bearings, resulting in a significant increase in vibration damping, edge load handling, and a better impact resistance. This reliability and performance is evident with nearly 4500 applications of rudder bearings on ships.
OPI is also currently working with DDW on various projects to replace container ship fairleads with Thordon’s greaseless ThorPlas-Blue bearings.