Schaeffler recently announced that it has produced the largest spherical plain bearing in the company’s history. The special bearing, which was manufactured in just three months, weighs nearly 4.7 tons with an outside diameter of 1,900 millimeters, a bore diameter of 1,500 millimeters and a height of 600 millimeters.
The bearing will be used on a cutter-suction dredger built by Royal IHC, a Dutch company which specializes in equipment, vessels and services for the offshore, dredging and wet-mining markets. The shock loads in the application required the inner and outer rings to be implemented in a single-piece design.
The bearing also had to be engineered to eliminate edge stresses and support large forces according to its dimensions. Because the forces only act unilaterally on the spherical plain bearing, it was designed asymmetrically, making savings possible in terms of space and weight.
To ensure long operating life and low levels of wear, Schaeffler created a special system of lubrication grooves so grease would be evenly distributed. Because the operating conditions found in offshore applications also require special protection against corrosion, the sliding surfaces of the bearing were coated with a lubricating varnish to ensure no metallic contact occurs between the inner and outer rings. In addition, using grease for lubrication should further protect the bearing against corrosion.
For more information, visit www.schaeffler.com.