Self-lubricating bearing were first introduced in the Hydromechanical sector approximately
50 years ago, when plugged bronze bearings (Lubrite or equivalent) replaced the traditional
greased bronze arrangement and to this day are still regarded as a standard component throughout
the industry. Since it's introduction plugged bronze bearings have been used extensively, many
projects to this day are still specified with this type of bearing technology.
TENMAT has over 30years of Experience in providing self-lubricating bearing solutions for Hydromechanical
equipment. TENMAT material have been fitted in a broad array of general water control applications
including valves, gates, chains ,rollers, locks, bridges etc.
As well as offering FEROLUBE (a plugged bronze material equivalent to Lubrite or Oiless 500)
TENMAT have also supplied FIBERGLIDE, FEROGLIDE and FEROFORM bearings for Hydromechanical applications.
In high pressure valVe applications the metal backed FIBERGLIDE, FEROGLIDE and FEROLUBE materials are used in the
trunnion assembly for Main Intel Valves etc. In the next section you will find the relevant reference lists.
Following a number of high profile radial gate failures (e.g. Folsom Dam tainter gate on the American River
in California) the suitability of plugged bronze bearings for mordern gate designs has been questionned. A
survey of radial gate condition in Norway, carried out by Norconsult and reported by Henning Fosker showed that
the actual friction measured in many bearing assemblies was significantly higher than the designed level. The
deterioration of the bearings can potentially lead to failure of the gate due to increased bending moments produced by bearing friction.
In order to counter these effects alternative materials were investigated and pure composite bearings installed in the assembly.
This signficantly reduced the friction in he assemly as well as eliminating the risk of bearing corrosion ( shaft corrosion will depend on material selection)
TENMAT has been actively promoting FEROFORM T814, a pure composite bearing material in Hydromechanical applications since it's introduction to the Hydropower industry
in 1996. Depending on the specific application and loading requirements, TENMAT can substitute the plugged bronze bearing with FEROFORM T814.