With increasing market awareness and demand for its COMPAC seawater-lubricated propeller shaft bearing, the Canada-based manufacturer, Thordon Bearings will use Posidonia to highlight the environmental and cost-saving advantages of its ThorPlas-Blue range of grease-free polymer bearings in deck machinery.
ThorPlas-Blue can be applied to all lifeboat and tender davit systems; fairleads, which can have a huge impact on mooring ropes that wear quickly; tiller arms and jockey bars; cranes and hoists; pivot point bushings; winches, capstans, water-tight doors and hatches.
“Aside from the obvious safety and environmental benefits, use of the ThorPlas Blue product facilitates a smoother more reliable operation of deck machinery since seized bearings from inadequate greasing is no longer an issue,” said Scott Groves, Thordon Bearings’ Business Development Manager.
“This also reduces operational costs, given that a seized bearing would often result in the need to replace expensive rope or cables. Piston and cylinder damage and subsequent mechanical failure arising from increased levels of vibration is also avoided. Shipowners also save on the costs associated with the purchase, storage and disposal of grease,” he added.
Greek shipowner Minerva Marine, which replaced the greased bronze mooring winch bearing with ThorPlas-Blue aboard the 58,156gt crude oil tanker Minerva Hellen, is now planning to apply the grease-free alternative to other vessels in the fleet.
Superintendent engineer Dimitrios Mastorakis said: “Since replacing the bronze bearing more than two years ago we have eliminated the costs and maintenance associated with the constant application of grease. We are very pleased with the ThorPlas-Blue product and plan to use it on other vessels.”
Craig Carter, Head of Marketing and Customer Service, Thordon Bearings, said: “The Greek shipping industry remains one of the most influential maritime nations in global shipping, so it is important for us to have a presence at this important show. But while Greek shipowners are aware of the environmental and commercial benefits our award-winning COMPAC system, they may not be aware that our grease-free ThorPlas-Blue bearings can also help them save money while protecting the environment.
“One of main benefits of ThorPlas-Blue is the amount of time it saves ships’ crew,” said Carter. “Crews no longer need to grease the winch bearings and since they don’t wear out, maintenance is negligible, leaving the crew to get on with other jobs.”
ThorPlas-Blue bearings can be easily machined and installed quickly into a variety of applications where greased bronze bearings are traditionally installed. They can also be supplied as a split spherical bearing (SSB) for use in rudder and steering gear systems to counter the alignment problems typical of hydraulic steering systems.