Developing hangar bearing materials for screw conveyors
Resulta Exporters, equipment supplier and engineering process designer for the palm oil producer, has already had significant success using Vesconite, Vesconite Bearings’ standard-grade bearing material. Further, Resulta applied Vesconite Hilube as a hangar bearing, an advanced-grade bearing material. But Resulta, always keen on testing and improving the products it supplies to the agroprocessing industry, looked for further improved materials.
“We have used Vesconite since 2007 and this has contributed to the good reputation Resulta Exporter’s screw conveyors have in the industry,” says Project Engineer Quihen Marais.
“We see Vesconite hangars lasting for more than a year,” he notes of the bearing material’s performance in the palm oil industry when the bearing is correctly designed.
With the introduction of Hitemp 150, Resulta hopes to see even longer life hangar-bearings, as well as further reducing plant downtime.
Hangar bearings in the palm oil industry
The palm oil industry is notoriously tough on hangar bearings used in the essential screw conveyors that transport palm oil processing plant products, including steriliser fruitlets (oily), cake from press (oily), nuts (non-oily), cracked nuts (kernels and shells, non-oily), kernels only (non-oily) and shells (non-oily).
“Hangar bearings are the major source of maintenance and breakdowns on screw conveyors,” says Marais.
“Every time a hangar bearing is replaced it comes with costly down time of the factory,” he notes.
According to Marais, hangar bearings that are made from inferior materials often require replacement. They also cause more shaft wear, and this can result in more frequent and expensive shaft replacement.
Hangar bearing design can also contribute to failure: “Designing for a very low PV limit (<5) extends the life of the bushings significantly,” Marais explains.
Both of these issues have been combatted with the introduction of Vesconite and Vesconite Hilube, since these are wear-resistant materials and can safely operate without any lubrication below a pressure-velocity rating (PV) of 5 and 8, respectively.
The palm oil industry in Africa
The palm oil industry in Africa is small compared with the industry elsewhere. However, there is considerable scope for growth and significant investment is taking place.
Resulta has supplied screw conveyors, which include Vesconite Hilube hangar bearings, to the African palm oil industry since 2007. Countries supplied to date include Nigeria, the DRC, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Gabon and Ghana.
Resulta Exporters continues to pride itself on high-end processing machinery and engineering solutions, and endeavors to work with its clients to solve their engineering challenges.