Increase Bearing Capacity
Initially used as a high-performing substitute for metallic linings, engineered polymers now provide increased bearing capacity and reliability for a wide variety of rotating equipment.
Polymers combine higher strength at elevated temperatures and higher fatigue strength than babbitt with embedability and conformability comparable to babbitt’s.
With these properties, polymer-lined and solid polymer components can serve as direct replacements for babbitt components or be incorporated into new designs to extend operating limits.
Thinner Hydrodynamic Films
Surface properties and the mechanical strength of engineered polymers allow bearings to operate with thinner films than traditional babbitt bearing materials, providing:
- High load capacity – up to 10 MPa (1500 psi)
- Reduced power loss – up to 30% savings
- Operation with low-viscosity lubricants
Intro to Bearing Materials
The selection of the bearing materials plays a significant role in the performance of fluid film bearings. Load, speed, operating temperature, insulation requirements, and lubricant type and cleanliness may all play into the material choice.
Download our “Introduction to Fluid Film Bearing Materials” for an overview of material characteristics, benefits and limitations in fluid film bearing use.
Polymer-lined tilt pad thrust and journal bearings can replace babbitt bearings to withstand high temperatures resulting from heat soak. This high-temperature capability provides additional safety in the event the back-up lubrication system fails or can even eliminate the need for a back-up system, saving on both weight and cost.
Electric Submersible Pumps (ESPs)
Polymer-lined tilt pad thrust bearings are the standard for ESP operating temperatures up to 200°C (392°F) and loads up to 8 MPa (1160 psi). They are used in the motor to account for thermal expansion and in the seal/protector section to withstand the pump load. As an additional benefit in the motor, the bearings provide electrical insulation.