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PTFE Bearings

Our development of PTFE bearings began in the mid 1990s.  Investigative test work established that the material could operate without undue wear and at specific loads, significantly higher than that of white metal bearings, without high pressure oil injection.

The ability of the PTFE material to operate safely at minimal oil film thicknesses, allows approximately twice the specific load capacity normally associated with white metal. Our initial PTFE project work concentrated on large thrust pad sizes used in hydro-generator applications, whereby advantages of PTFE could improve the reliability of problematic machines. Today PTFE is often specified as first choice for hydro-applications and has been shown to have clear advantages for small pad applications in more standardised reversing pump applications.

Our PTFE bearings are similar in construction and operation to white metal pads, except that the white metal layer is replaced by a composite layer of compressed copper wire and PTFE. Using similar proven manufacturing techniques to those used for thrust pads, we are able to bond the PTFE/copper composite to a curved journal bearing surface. This ensures that the required bond strengths are maintained and the PTFE’s properties are not affected.

PTFE lined journal pads can be manufactured across a range of sizes and are suitable for high speed gear box applications, in addition to the more usual large diameter hydro-generator bearings.

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PEEK and PTFE bearing research released

Our Engineering Director, Paul Bruce, delivered a technical session at the EDF/Pprime conference in Paris this month.

Michell Bearings CEO presents PTFE research

Our Chief Executive Officer, Steve Dixon, recently presented at the The Society of Tribologists and Lubrication Engineers (STLE) Annual Meeting and Exhibition in Nashville.