Hull cleaning machine uses polymer bearings

27th September 2007
Posted By : ES Admin
Hull cleaning machine uses polymer bearings
UMC International designed polymer plain bearings into a new boat hull cleaning machine for use by underwater divers. The bearings require no lubrication and are impervious to corrosion and salt water. The Hampshire based company manufacture hydraulically powered hull cleaning machines, which typically have two rotating brushes. The vehicles can be powered forward or reversed, steered and the brushes raised and lowered on a gimbal mechanism. The usual cleaning speed is 1,000 square metres per hour.
The original pamper vehicle weighed 250 kg and a re-design was required to give a more compact and lighter vehicle. The steering assembly, for example, weighed too much due to the use of ball and roller bearings inside a watertight housing. These bearings also required a high maintenance regime.

iglidur® H polymer bearings from igus® were selected for the new design to support various parts of the brush lift and articulation device. These plain bearings are self-lubricating and so require no maintenance.

iglidur H is a fibre-reinforced thermoplastic material developed especially for applications in high humidity or underwater. Plain bearings made from iglidur H can be used completely lubrication-free. In wet areas, the surrounding medium functions as an additional lubricant.

The steering mechanism is a handlebar at the front, connected to a propelled castor at the rear. Each is supported by large bore iglidur Z plastic bearings, which provide a substantial weight reduction, zero maintenance and no corrosion whatsoever in salt water.

iglidur Z is a high temperature bearing material, which is suited for applications with very high specific loads. iglidur Z is suited for both average and high speeds due to its high thermal resistance.

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