On 17-21 July, more than 100 teams from around the world will gather at Silverstone for the Formula Student 2019 competition. Run by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) in partnership with various industrial sponsor companies, the competition promotes careers and excellence in engineering by challenging university students to design, build, develop, market and compete as a team with a small, single seater, racing car. This year, Schaeffler is once again supplying

bearings (and technical support) to ten Formula Student teams, including Sheffield University, Sheffield Hallam University, Bath University (Team Bath Racing and Team Bath Racing Electric), University of Birmingham (UBR and UBR Electric), Southampton University, University of Strathclyde, University of Portsmouth, and University of Loughborough. The company’s bearings are predominantly

used in the wheel hubs and suspension systems of the racing cars, as well as, in some cases, the steering controls. Team Bath Racing Electric’s (University of Bath) business manager, Afkar Ansar commented: “As an electric team striving to optimise our mechanical package, Schaeffler sponsorship shows a mechanical pedigree


Sealing rings are now available for igus’s maintenance-free plain bearings. The seals are simply slipped onto the flange to protect against the ingress of dirt and media into the plain bearing and components behind it. For applications that require additional lubrication, the sealing ring ensures that the lubricants do not press out of the bearing. The sealing rings are suitable for

all iglidur flanged bearings – from the iglidur G all-rounder to FDA-compliant materials. When used in combination with bearings made of FDA-compliant materials such as iglidur A160, A180 and A350, the latter protects bearing points and components from aggressive cleaning agents and optimise hygiene. Applications are in the construction

machinery industry, as well as general mechanical engineering for slow- running pumps and conveyor belts and actuators in the automotive industry.


within the vehicle’s design that is backed up by quality of parts which have been designed and manufactured with all bearing data to hand, making for a more integrated overall package. “Knowing we have the backing of Schaeffler as a sponsor who supports via in-kind parts and advice, gives us the confidence to design within boundaries that aren’t limited by quality or uncertainty of bearing parts.” Meanwhile Balraj Basra and Thomas Gilles, heads of suspension at Southampton University Formula Student Racing Team, said: “The suspension department requires the use of around 100 bearings across the car. Given the demanding conditions in which the car is run, through multiple competitions over the summer, we require high quality, durable products. Schaeffler seemed an obvious partner given their reputation for reliability and the wide range of products they could provide to help the team. “Having Schaeffler as sponsor removes the

financial burden associated with high quality components. The security of being able to select from a wide variety of products allows the team to design bespoke components for these products.” Andrew Evans, team leader of UBRacing

(University of Birmingham), added: “As a sponsor, Schaeffler allows us to build the car to a higher

standard, giving us confidence in designing components around the bearings it provides.” Patrick Nicholson of Team Bath Racing (Bath

University) replied: “Previous team members had advised us that Schaeffler’s products were extremely reliable and that we could obtain help and advice from the company when required. Bearings are used across the car in assemblies such as those for our hubs, rockers and steering, so it is crucial to find a reliable source with reasonable lead times.” The teams are free to choose products from the Schaeffler catalogue when designing their cars.


CERAMIC SOLUTIONS FOR LOW TEMPERATURES Bearings used in pharmaceutical manufacturing

Within pharmaceutical manufacturing, temperatures of approximately -80˚C are sufficiently cold for most cGMP requirements. However, only certain types of bearing material are suitable for use at the low temperatures and high speeds endured. Another challenge is the harsh solvents and chemicals used, so it is often recommended that pharmaceutical machine builders invest in full ceramic bearings. Severely low temperatures can increase the

viscosity of lubrication, which can make the bearing difficult to rotate. Ceramic is non-porous and is practically frictionless. Full ceramic bearings do not suffer heat build-up within the bearing and therefore do not need lubrication to help dissipate the heat.

should also meet aseptic standards. When used in pharmaceutical manufacturing equipment, unlubricated full ceramic bearings do not run the risk of contaminating the product due to lubricant leakage. Full ceramic bearings are also fitted with non-contact seals which do not generate the higher levels of frictional torque associated with rubber contact seals. This, and the lack of lubricant, avoids the high torque commonly associated with bearings operating in low temperatures.


In the North Sea oil fields, accommodation vessels are co-located with drilling rigs to provide living and recreation facilities for the crew. Designed to house up to 450 personnel, these use a dynamic positioning system, DP3 in this case, as well as a 12-point mooring arrangement to hold position at sea. Marine thrusters are a vital part of the positioning system and need to be maintained in perfect operational condition. A primary maintenance contractor contacted Sulzer

reporting high vibrations in one of the main thruster motors, which are located in the pontoons. The project required the bearings to be inspected and replaced as necessary before recommissioning the thruster motor. The engineering team put together a detailed plan

for completing the project, with the first task being to disconnect and remove the drive coupling, which was accomplished using the latest technology in induction heating. Due to the vertical orientation of the motor, the Sulzer engineers could only repair one end at a time to ensure the rotor was supported during the work. The non-drive end (NDE) bearing was replaced


and all the surfaces were inspected and found to be in good condition. The drive end (DE) bearing was inspected and found to be pitted, and the outer race had been rotating in the housing causing it to also be damaged. The affected parts were removed for repair. The damaged housing was immediately shipped

to Sulzer’s Falkirk Service Center, where the machine shop applied metal spray to build up the damaged areas before machining it to the original OEM specifications – all within 24 hours. Once the repaired housing was back on board,

the Sulzer engineers rebuilt the motor and reconnected the driveshaft, before recommissioning the thruster and taking vibration measurements to confirm the effectiveness of the repair.

Sulzer 

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