The Aqualube range of rubber sleeved bearings are designed for marine and industrial applications. The bearings feature a specially formulated rubber and are moulded into various shell materials. The rubber is an extremely tough, chemical and oil resistant nitrile which offers outstanding resistance to abrasion and wear, even in the most adverse conditions.
Aqualube bearings can be offered in either brass or non-metallic (phenolic) shells and are available to suit imperial diameter shafts from ¾” up to 10” and metric 20mm up to 260mm. Whilst we manufacture a comprehensive range of standard bearings, bespoke sizes can be quoted for and manufactured upon request.
PRINCIPLE OF OPERATION
Rubber and water make the perfect combination for a bearing material and a lubricant. The natural resilience of rubber gives the bearing its shock, vibration and nose absorption properties. The shape of the Aqualube bearing is the main reason for its success. Unlike many other bearings in the market the Aqualube bearing strips are shaped in such a way that a hydrodynamic water wedge is formed between shaft and bearing, even at very low shaft speed. Water is the perfect lubrication medium, particularly for marine craft, because of its natural abundance, noncompressibility, cooling properties, and low coefficient of friction when between bearing strip and shaft. The water enters the bearing through the longitudinal grooves and moves radially between the propeller shaft and the bearing face in a thin film. Once this film, or wedge, has developed the shaft does not actually come into contact with the bearing.
Aqualube bearings are moulded from a specially compounded oil and chemical resistant nitrile rubber. The nitrile rubber displays an excellent resistance to wear and abrasion and is also tough and durable. Bonding techniques developed by Michigan Wheel ensure that the strength of the bond to the shell is at least equal to the strength of the rubber itself. Standard range bearings shells are manufactured in either phenolic (non-metallic) or marine bronze and can be supplied with integral cast flanges.
WEAR AND DURABILITY:
All types of water lubricated rubber bearings eventually experience wear in service. For bearings operating in clean water the wear down effect will be less rapid than when operating in shallow, heavily contaminated water. In any event it is recommended that bearings should be inspected for wear whenever the vessel is hauled out. In cases where the bearing is operating in shallow water an annual inspection is recommended. Bearings fitted to struts and completely immersed bearings have adequate lubrication. When bearings are installed in a position where the water flow is not good they should be lubricated by a forced water flow system. This also applies to bearings which have to cope with low shaft speed and high loads.
WHY CHOOSE THE MICHIGAN AQUALUBE?
Consistent high quality
High resistance to abrasion
High grade materials
Hydrodynamic wedge formation
Engineering excellence w Large warehouse inventory
100% inspection procedure