Vesco Plastics Australia Pty Ltd Phone : +61 (03) 9796 4098
3 Carl Court, Hallam, Victoria 3803
Fax: +61 (03) 9796 4180

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Maintenance free Vesconite for nozzle rudder

This success story is about a project which started during the winter of 2001 in Poland. The CEO of Intertech bv, Vesconite stockists in the Netherlands, met with the ship's superintendent. He was interested to learn more about the material since he had heard positive things about Vesconite from his office.

While Intertech was in the ship yard assisting in the installation of a Vesconite bearing on another vessel, the superintendent was able to witness the ease of machining and installation of the Vesconite bearing.

The superintendent's vessel happened to be in the neighbourhood of Intertech during October 2002. An appointment was made to discuss the upgrading of the rudder bearings to Vesconite bearings during the vessel's next docking in January.

The vessel was a bulk carrier (36,000 DWT), plying between the USA and Europe, and needed rudder bearings replaced.

The rudder bearing had worn oval because of the high loadings of the nozzle. It had achieved only 4,5 years of service life.

A 400 x 300 x 500 mm bearing was delivered to the yard the day before the vessel docked. To save time, the bearing was machined during the night while the ship entered the dry dock after unloading her cargo. First a few repairs were made to the nozzle.

The installation was performed using a pressfit. A hoist was installed and a load of approximately 12 tons was applied to the bearing. Due to the lead in chamfer the installation went smoothly and took only 15 minutes. The ship left the dock again later that night.

Vessel in drydock January 2003 having arrived the evening before
View from the dock doors to the stern of the ship. The nozzle required overhaul and re-alignment
Side view of the nozzle. The Vesconite bush is to be installed in the lower pintle which was supported
Worn rudder bearings of previously used material. Bearing life was 4.5 years
For removal, they were cut in half and removed from the housing
Machined rudder bearing housing prior to Vesconite bearing installation
Vesconite bearing after machining to final sizes
Dockyard employees leading in the bearing. They commented on the clean method of machining and ease of installation
New Vesconite bearing ready for installation supported by the hoist. Installation force of 12 tons used and installation proceeded smoothly within minutes
The bearing after installation and ready for its new task as long lasting maintenance free rudder bearing unit