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Bigger than ever: Schaeffler builds XXL spherical plain bearings

HERZOGENAURACH / SCHWEINFURT - Schaeffler has produced the largest spherical plain bearing in its history. The part will now be used in a special excavator.

A round thing with proper weight: the largest pivot bearing so far.

The special bearing has an outer diameter of 1900 millimeters, a bore diameter of 1500 millimeters and a height of 600 millimeters. The weight is just under 4.7 tons. It is used in a cutting head excavator built by Royal IHC. The Dutch company specializes in equipment, ships and services for the offshore, dredging and wet decay markets.

A cutter dredger is a work vessel that releases solid material from water bottoms. Vacuum absorbs the rock and promotes it, inter alia via floating lines, on land. Particularly stressed is the connection between the pipeline and the ship, which takes place via a mounted on the fuselage pivot bearing. The bearing absorbs the rotational movements that occur between the pipeline and the hull. Based on these requirements, a specific bearing designed for the application was designed.

Special system for longer life

The warehouse was manufactured in just three months according to customer requirements. Not only the design of the special bearing placed high demands on the Schaeffler experts, but also on the manufacture. The shock loads occurring in the application made a one-piece construction of the inner and outer ring necessary.

The bearing must eliminate the edge stresses and absorb large forces corresponding to the dimensions. To ensure long bearing life and low wear, Schaeffler has designed a special lubrication groove system. The operating conditions also require special corrosion protection.