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Premature bearing failure problem at petrochem site is solved by NSK Spacea

15 January 2013

NSK Spacea series bearings equipped with Molded Oil solid lubricant have solved a problem of premature bearing failures in the extremely demanding environment of a petrochemical plant in Spain.

The bearings are installed on the submerged rollers of a conveyor belt and are directly in contact with water, hydrocarbons and particles in suspension from the production process. The first two contaminants were causing lubricant loss and corrosion, while the third was causing damage to the bearing raceways.

NSK recommended using stainless steel bearings from its special Spacea series of bearings, complete with DDU type contact seals to deny contaminant ingress. In addition, to ensure effective lubrication under the extreme working conditions, the use of NSK's solid Molded-Oil technology was considered the best option.

Spacea is a special range of bearings that provides high performance and reliability under all types of demanding operating conditions - contaminated, corrosive, super-clean, vacuum, non- magnetic, high/low temperature and high speed. The bearings meet the widest range of technical requirements with a programme of high performance materials, surface finishes and specially developed lubricants, in addition to Molded Oil.

The H-20 Spacea bearings provided for the conveyor rollers are manufactured with outer and inner rings and balls of Martensite stainless steel for maximum corrosion resistance. The bearing lubricant, Molded Oil, has been specially developed by NSK for use in water and dust contaminated environments. In real world tests, Molded Oil offers more than twice the operating life of grease lubrication in water contaminated environments.

In addition, the technology means that operating environments are kept free of grease; and there is no need for refilling of lubricant, as Molded Oil provides a continuous supply of lubricating oil. Importantly, Molded Oil also effectively overcomes the problem of loss of lubricant due to water ingress.

The sealed Spacea bearings complete with Molded Oil lubricant were installed on the conveyor rollers with excellent results. To-date the bearings have performed for more than a year without problems, easily exceeding the bearing life originally targeted.


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