Extreme bearing applications
Examples of extreme bearing applications
Extreme Bearings were first used in the mussel industry in 2013. Every year new niches for Extreme Bearing applications are being discovered in other industries. Like the recent example featured here from a waste incineration facility in Germany. If you don’t see your particular application given in the examples featured, ask us about the challenges you are facing. And we will give you personalized advice.
Read on this page some a grab of the many cases where Extreme Bearing was able to bring a perfect solution !
The story of the Extreme Bearing
This is how it started In 2010, Jaap Meeuwsen was running his own company offering technical service to the mussel industry in the Dutch seaside town of Yerseke, famous for its mussels. He heard constant complaints about wear on the bearings. So he began to search for better bearings at trade shows and found some good products to try. “I would go to the customers and say, now I have a better bearing for you,” recalls Jaap. “They tried it but were still not satisfied.”
Jaap didn’t give up and came back a year later saying “Now I have an even better bearing for you.”
Tough conditions found in mussel processing
In the end, nothing on the market matched the tough conditions found in mussel processing. That’s when Jaap decided to invent his own bearing. “There were some bearings where the ball bearings themselves were made of stainless steel but the housing was not. I decided to make a bearing with double roller bearings and a stainless steel housing,” he says. “I also invented a special type of seal which I call the centrifugal seal. It is designed to keep the dirt out.”
What makes Jaap’s bearing unit unique is the stainless steel housing, the use of an adapter sleeve and a special centrifugal seal. This combination handles high radial and thrust loads with low friction, which makes it up to five times stronger. No one else offers a bearing like this. The bearing housing is made to his specifications and is not available from other bearing companies.
Extremely good bearing
He knew he had invented something special for the mussel companies in the town of Yerseke. “Now I have a bearing that is extremely good for you,” he told his customers back in 2012. Jaap called it the ‘Extreme Bearing’. It lived up to its name. Instead of lasting three months, the bearing lasted for years.
“I was with a customer in the mussel processing industry recently and we inspected all the Extreme Bearings in his factory by opening up the end covers,” says
Jaap. “There was absolutely nothing wrong with the bearings after one year so we closed them up again and they can go on working for another year
before the next inspection is due.”
“The mussel processing industry has the worst conditions you can find for a bearing: cracked shells, sand and the presence of saltwater,” comments Jaap. “If the bearing works here, I believe it will work anywhere.”
The Extreme Bearing was invented for the mussel industry but is now finding a niche in many other applications around the world with extreme conditions.
The shaft in the picture operates a slow conveyor. And turns at 1.5 to 2 rpm creating a huge amount of torque. The Extreme Bearing can take the huge load.
High payload plus high temperatures
Interestingly, the shaft in this application is rotating at a slow speed of 1.5 to 2 rpm. So a huge amount of torque is generated in the shaft and bearing. Giving a high payload that can destroy a normal bearing. The Extreme Bearing is built to withstand this huge payload. Plus the high temperatures.
The seals and silicone grease keep both water and dirt away from the spherical roller bearings. So they go on operating. “If water or debris were to get inside, the game would be over,” says Martin Metterhausen.
Submerged in boiling water with hot ashes
You won’t see much more extreme conditions than this. The bearing is submerged in boiling hot water. While hot ash and embers are floating around. All it would take to ruin a normal bearing is for some of the water to get inside. Or for hot ash to come into contact with the seal on the outside. And destroy it. We know this because all normal bearings that the company Stamag in Landsberg, Germany, had tried for this application had failed. Sooner or later. Stamag supplies bearings and other parts for large incinerators burning waste.
A common design feature of these German incinerators is to let the glowing embers and ashes fall into a tank of water below. And be extinguished underwater. The ash is then transported up and out of the water on a conveyor belt. Into a skip for disposal. Part of this conveyor belt can be seen in the right of the picture. And the large links of the chain operating the conveyor are shown as well.
Stamag approached Martin Metterhausen of Wälz- und Gelenklager Lüneburg in Germany, who is an agent and distributor for Extreme Bearing. “We don’t sell bearings, we sell solutions,” says Martin Metterhausen, managing director. With the help of the inventor of the Extreme Bearing, Jaap Meeuwsen, they came up with a customized bearing for Stamag. For this extreme application.
The solution they designed is called by its full name: EXT 80 CL C3 20. Where 80 stands for the diameter of the shaft in centimetres. The CL seal with PTFE lips is pressed into the adapter sleeve. And leaves a tiny gap of only 0.02 mm so no debris can penetrate through. And reach the bearing, which becomes completely enclosed. A silicone grease was chosen as the most durable lubricant. For the extreme temperatures of this application.
Maintenance-free for at least 10 years
Martin Metterhausen believes this specially designed Extreme Bearing will be working and completely maintenance-free. For at least 10 years if not more. Normal bearings usually failed within weeks or months. And there was usually no warning sound of any malfunction because they were underwater. When they failed, the tank needed to be drained, the shaft was usually damaged. And needed replacement. This requires many hours of unplanned downtime. Which stop the normal operations of the incinerator.
“We have designed various barges that all have a considerable amount of bearings. These barges are all for work in harsh environments. Therefore we use Extreme Bearings in all our long-term designs.
For example, the Asco Viking Harvester barge has 68 bearings. All of which play an important role. The seaweed harvester has two conveyor belts. One of which is constantly submerged. There is also a special machine that needs to hold a sack weighing up to 2 tonnes when full. A total of 8 bearings are used to ensure that this machine runs smoothly.
Bearings on such machines and conveyors need to withstand a great deal of stress, impact, seawater, sunlight, frost and heat. We use organic grease to lubricate the bearings about once a week. They retain grease well and we find this amount of lubrication is sufficient.
We started using Extreme Bearings in 2016. We had previously installed bearings with plastic housings from another manufacturer but replaced them all in 2017.
Our experience is very good with all the Extreme Bearings we have used. We have not had to replace any of them. And we do not see the need to do this for the next few years. In our designs, we think the main advantages of Extreme Bearings are strength, durability, good design, many types to choose from and easy ordering.
We have been working on the design of new equipment for the last two years and have just built the Sigri 9057. Which is a barge specially built for seaweed harvesting. Great interest in our harvesting machines has come from many countries. Such as Norway, Mexico, Canada and the US.”
Ómar Arndal Kristjánsson
Manager at Asco Harvester since 2016