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vesconite hilube hangar bearings african palm oil industry

Cameroon Palm Oil Producer Prototypes Hangar Bearings

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.

sugar cane refinery

Sugar Tech

The Sugar Engineers

Use of 3CR12 in the Sugar Industry

3CR12 is a weldable, structural, corrosion resistant steel containing a nominal 12% Chromium. 3CR12 was originally developed as an alternative material of construction to materials such as mild steel, galvanised and alurninised steel, where the mechanical properties and corrosion resistance of these materials was unsuitable. With an average life expectancy of 5 to 10 times that of mild steel and at considerably less cost than higher grades of stainless steel, 3CR12 is recognised as an extremely effective alternative to coated mild steel, resulting in minimum capital cost increases and significant maintenance cost savings. 3CR12 has been in use in the sugar industry, locally and world-wide, since 1980 and has become an accepted material in many applications ranging from the cane yard to the final product. 3CR12 exhibits excellent properties in wet sliding abrasion applications by resisting corrosive attack, therefore improving flow and reliability. This allows widespread use of 3CR12 in cane sugar and beet handling applications, where abrasion is aggravated by the moisture and solids present in the cane and beet being processed.

The Benefits Of 3CR12 Corrosion Resistance

All metals react with oxygen and water in he air to form a surface layer of oxide. That formed on carbon steel is soft, friable, hydrated iron oxide rust. The process of rust degeneration is greatly accelerated by surface abrasion or scouring. 3CR12 with a nominal 12% Chromium content, has an inert tough surface layer of iron-chromium oxide. This passive layer is invisible to the naked eye, allowing the natural brightness of the metal to be seen. If scratched, the film has the ability to reform instantaneously, thus maintaining protection. Corrosion prperties of 3CR12

Corrosion Abrasion

With mild steel, abrasion removes the corroded layer and exposes fresh reactive surfaces for further corrosion to take place. 3CR12's excellent wet sliding abrasion properties are derived from its superior corrosion resistance and slideability. Under dry conditions, 3CR12 offers only marginal improvement over mild steel, but under wet or damp conditions (eg. over 4% moisture), the corrosion vector is underestimated. Dry conditions are seldom encountered in the cane sugar and beet sugar industry. When the cost per unit loss by corrosion abrasion is taken into account, 3CR12 is superior to other grades tested. (See histogram below). corrosion abrasion

Cane Sugar Processing

The sugar industry is characterised by high maintenance costs due to the replacement and repair of equipment due to corrosion and corrosion abrasion. Sugar cane is not washed prior to cutting and crushing in the mills and the presence of sand and stone contribute to the abrasive conditions that already exist. 3CR12 with its excellent wet sliding properties improves the flow of materials and has gained rapid acceptance in cane handling and bagasse applications. It has also gained acceptance in most other areas within the sugar mills due to its corrosion resistance and superior mechanical properties. Examples of the many applications where 3CR12 has been used in the processing of sugar cane are listed below

Maidstone Diffuser

MS Diffuser Internals Maidstone Sugar Mill have installed their second diffuser which was comissioned in the 1995 season. The diffuser is 70 metres long, 10 metres wide and capable of processing 300 tonnes of sugar cane per hour The roof, side wall internals, perforated floor sections and lifting screws have been fabricated from 3CR12.

Felixton Ash Settler

Felixton Ash Settler 3CR12 is proving its worth in corrosion abrasion applications as liners on cane carriers and deck plates on intercarriers and ash disposal carriers. The photograph on the left is of the Felixton sugar mill ash seffler deck plates which were installed in 1992 and are still in excellent condition. The carrier disposes wet ash originating from bagasse burnt in the boilers.

Komati Mill

Transvaal Sugar's (T.S.B.) new Komati mill in Komatipoort started production in March 1994, processing 225 tonnes of cane per hour which has doubled over the past five years. 3CR12 is being used in areas where corrosion and corrosion abrasion present high maintenance demands. The Komati mill has installed 3CR12 in its conveyor systems, cane carrying, diffuser feed slat and sample system conveyors. In the juice extraction area where the acidic nature of the product can rapidly degrade mild steels, 3CR12 has been used for the diffuser side walls, roof and some juice piping. Chutes and intercarriers in this area have also been fabricated in 3CR12. KM Aero belt Downstream production machinery fabricated using 3CR12 includes the clarifier launders and root mud mixers, filter frame, agitator, trough and hood filtration piping. The evaporator tubes and fourth effect condenser, pan tubes and condensation pipes have also been fabricated from 3CR12. Further into the mill, 3CR12 has also been used to build the centrifugal monitor casings, sugar screw conveyors and sugar scales. In total, over 450 tonnes of 3CR12 has been used in the Komati mill, demonstrating the versatility of the 3CR12 applications throughout the factory.

Technical Data

Chemical Compostion

C Ni Mn Si P S Cr Ti
0.03% 1.5% 1.5% 1% 0.03% 0.03% 11% to 12% 0.6%

Mechanical Properties at Room Temperature

Ultimate Tensile Strength 460 MPa min
Proof Strength (0.2% offset) 280 MPa min
Elongation (in 50mm) t < 4.5 mm 18 % min
t > 4.5 mm 20 % min
Hardness t < 12 mm 220 BHN max
t>12 mm 250 BHN max
Charpy Impact (20\B0C) 35 J/cm3 min

Physical Properties

Density 7860 kg/m3
Modulus of Elasticity (tension) 200 GPa
Specific Heat Capacity 460 J/kgK
Thermal Conductivity at 100\B0C 23 W/mK
at 500\B0C 25 W/mK
Electrical Resistivity at 25\B0C 660
Coefficient of thermal expansion 0-100\B0C 10.8 μ/m\B0C
0-300\B0C 11.3 μ/m\B0C
0-700\B0C 12.5 μ/m\B0C
Melting Range 1430-1510 \B0C
German Werkstoff Equivalent 1.4003
American Equivalent ASTM A240 410S
Agrifood in Africa with Machinery

Growing Agrifood in Africa with Machinery


The future of Africa’s food manufacturing sector is looking bright due to rising disposable incomes and an expanding population. However, to remain competitive like Feronia, companies need better food processing facilities and infrastructure, says Eric Juncker, MD of Resulta Exporters said in the 2019 Africa Outlook Magazine.

Over the past years, Africa’s food and agri-processing sector has become a key economic contributor, with the industry’s value expected to rise to $1 trillion by 2030, the Africa Agriculture Status Report shows.

Juncker, who has been working with agri-food companies including palm oil producer Feronia for three decades, isn’t surprised. “From edible oils, dairy and juice to flour producers: Africa’s agri-food sector is growing by the day, in both volume and value,” he says.

There are, however, challenges. African food processors don’t always meet global quality standards due to ageing infrastructure. “This prevents them from exporting and growing,” Juncker explains. “The EU, for instance, is very strict regarding how goods are manufactured.”

Africa’s agri-food community is acknowledging this. Resulta Exporters, as a result, has become an increasingly popular equipment partner. “From mega-firms like Feronia, for who we supplied a state-of-the-art 30-tonnes per hour mill in the DRC, to smaller businesses: ventures from across Africa want us to help them enhance their processing operations with cost-efficient European quality equipment, supplied at shorter lead times,” Juncker says.

Another advantage is that Resulta focuses on Africa and is based in Africa. Juncker: “This means we truly understand Africa.”

To view the 2019 Africa Outlook Magazine, click here

Client Conference

In April 2018, Resulta Exporters hosted a dozen clients from Africa and Europe at its offices in Stellenbosch. The 5-day gathering featured a one-day conference, factory tours, and a meet and greet with the team and partner PROFEA.

The aim: connecting with clients on a face-to-face basis, showcasing Resulta’s latest projects, and providing delegates with the opportunity to sit with management and discuss their process engineering machinery and stainless steel engineering equipment requirements on a face-to-face basis.

“Organising these annual events, which we have been doing for a number of years, are valuable for us and our clients. They allow us to truly connect with one another, helping us to understand our clients’ needs better and solve their engineering problems more efficiently,” says Resulta’s Managing Director Eric Juncker.

Personal client approach

He notes that these face-to-face discussions are much more efficient than having those same discussions via email or the phone. “We live in a time in which we can do everything via the internet. Resulta nevertheless continues to believe in the importance of engaging with our clients on a personal, face-to-face level. There is only so much you can convey via email,” Juncker says.

“That is we have made a habit of visiting prospecting clients on-site and anywhere in Africa at our own expense before tendering. This helps us to identify bottlenecks and evaluate any engineering equipment requirements. Only once we have all information we need will we send a detailed proposal.”

Amongst this year’s delegates were representatives Belgian agro-industrial group SIAT, Cameroonian palm oil company Socapalm, and Ivorian edible oils company Sarci as well as various South African companies such as South Focus Enterprises, Rhodes Foods, Le Coquin Foods, and Cape Food processors.

“It was great to connect with these companies, listen to their achievements over the past year, exchange ideas about the latest developments within Africa’s food, edible oils, and beverages sectors, and discussing the latest engineering breakthroughs,” Juncker says.

Stainless steel process engineering equipment

This year’s conference’s agenda was jam-packed with valuable information. The talk by Michel Basson from the South African Stainless Steel Development Association (SASSDA), in particular, stood out. “He spoke in detail about the various grades of stainless steel South Africa manufactures, supplies, and exports – including  3CR12,” Juncker recalls, referring to the type of stainless steel that is recognised as the world’s most specified 12% chromium utility ferritic stainless steel.

“It is a phenomenal product that is price competitive, corrosion resistant, and tough, even when welded in thicknesses of up to 30mm. It retains this toughness at temperatures below freezing point, Juncker continues, adding that 3CR12 meets the European standard 1.4003 and conforms to ASTM A240-UNS-S41003. “Many delegates were blown away by Basson. They had no idea about the stainless steel sector in South Africa and South Africa’s stainless steel engineering equipment manufacturing capabilities, which are world-class and price-competitive!”

Better than emailing a brochure

The gathering’s biggest benefit for attendees was them getting a first-hand account of what Resulta can do for them, what products it delivers and that South Africa’s technical manufacturing capabilities and the quality of its raw materials are top-notch. “Such tours are much better than emailing clients an online catalogue or brochure,” Juncker says. “During our factory tours, our clients once again realise that we are a capable and reliable supplier of quality process engineering equipment – and responsive to their needs!”

About Resulta Exporters: Resulta is a consulting project engineering company in South Africa that supplies quality process engineering equipment, components, and other machinery to dairy companies, food manufacturers, and processors across Africa. We partner with companies in the edible oils, palm oil, dairy, fruit & vegetables, beverages, and agro-processing sectors. Our competitive edge lies in our ability to customise all design elements of our process engineering equipment. This allows meeting our customers’ very specific and ever-changing needs time and time again. 

This is amplified by our personalised service ethos, which includes on-site meetings with prospecting clients (on our account) prior to tendering.

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