Vesconite has been most successfully used as bearings for large main cooling water, vertical spindle mixed flow
pumps in a New Zealand power station.
The pumps at the power station were fitted with cutlass rubber in-line shaft bearings when the pumps were
installed in 1977.
Designer Ebara, Japan
Pump capacity 5 m3/sec
Pressure head 14 m
Pump power 900 KW
Pump speed 680 RPM
Pumped medium Partly filtered fresh river water with suspended pumice sand.
The pump in operation at thermal power station
In line shaft bearings :
5 Off per pump. 230 x 180 – 280 mm long with 12 longitudinal grooves.
Shaft sleeve material : 316 L stainless steel.
The pumps had operated successfully for 20 years when they needed to be refurbished.
At this point Vesconite bearings were installed rather that the originally designed rubber in a bronze sleeve.
The grooving design of the Vesconite bearing was similar to the rubber groove design.
Date Vesconite bearings installed - March 2000
The reason for change of material was that the utility required a material that would perform as well as the
rubber had, but the material needed to be readily available.
In many cases large diameter rubber bearings have to be specially manufactured to order. In contrast, ready to
machine Vesconite bushing stocks are kept in many worldwide centers. Stock material or finished machined items
can be quickly sent by courier from the manufacturer if required.
When Vesconite bearings replace metal backed bearings, the bearing and shell are removed and replaced with
Vesconite. The interference fit on Vesconite is easily overcome with press or freeze fitting the bearing.
Vesconite can also be installed into machined out metal housings.
At this power station, a further advantage noted is that the installed running clearance was much closer for the
Vesconite bearings than was possible with the original cutlass rubber bearings. The benefit is that the impeller
does not run on the casing and therefore the pump is more efficient, both in respect of pumping ability and a
saving in power consumption.
The reliability of Vesconite make it suited to critical pump bearing applications.
The original bronze backed rubber bearings that were manufactured and installed in Japan.