GRAPHALLOY Bushings and Bearings

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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

GRAPHALLOY® Bushings For Clean Geothermal Energy

GRAPHALLOY® Bushings Keep Geothermal Brine Pumps Pumping

GRAPHALLOY bushings were made to conquer harsh environments. And what test could be tougher than a brine pump at a geothermal power plant?

Geothermal power is an important source of renewable energy because it is cost effective, reliable, sustainable and environmentally friendly. One U.S. power plant - a large commercial producer of geothermal energy - was experiencing major problems with its geothermal brine pumps. Geothermal brine is highly corrosive and was causing the 416SS Boron coated bearings to fail and, as a result, service life was severely reduced.

The pumps are Johnston Pump Model 24.5 x 8 x 10 Type JTCF (Discharge Head and nine stages of Type 12ES Bowls) with the following service conditions:

Flow: 1300 GPM
Total Developed Head: 485 feet
Temperature: 350° F - 400° F/180° C - 200° C
Specific Gravity: 0.89 SG

The maintenance staff at the plant tried several other bearing materials, including bronze and a type of PEEK plastic. Neither provided acceptable performance.

In 2008, the staff converted one of the brine pumps to Nickel GRAPHALLOY because they knew of its resistance to corrosion and its non-galling properties.

Results have exceeded expectations. In fact, the Maintenance Staff recently converted two additional brine pumps to Nickel GRAPHALLOY.

GRAPHALLOY bearings have been improving the operation of pumps in difficult applications for almost a century. Graphite Metallizing, makers of GRAPHALLOY, has been supplying products to companies involved in the production of clean, renewable energy for many years. Because of the extreme nature of the environments required to generate geothermal power, the use of traditional bearings often proves difficult. Yet GRAPHALLOY is tough enough for these applications.

Is GRAPHALLOY a good fit for your pump application? Our engineers can walk you through the key advantages of these bearings and discuss the right GRAPHALLOY solution for you.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

New GRAPHALLOY® Model 163 Pillow Blocks are Long-Wearing

GRAPHALLOY® Pillow Blocks are Versatile and Eliminate the Need for Lubrication

Graphite Metallizing Corp., the manufacturer of self-lubricating GRAPHALLOY bushing materials, has developed Pillow Block Assemblies that can handle high temperature and submerged environments that do not permit the use of grease and oil.

GRAPHALLOY Pillow Block Model 163 is a rugged, easy-to-install design for moderate speed applications that will operate successfully under high or low load conditions. This heavy-duty unit is available in cast iron or stainless steel. A cast iron split-angle housing is also available.

Pillow Block Model 163 is suitable for high temperature applications such as ovens, drag-line conveyors and dampers. This pillow block also performs well in wet applications such as wash downs and submerged applications like plating tanks and industrial washers.

All GRAPHALLOY pillow blocks have a low coefficient of friction, can withstand submerged conditions and are chemically resistant and non-galling. Since the self lubricating properties of GRAPHALLOY are constant throughout the material, these pillow block assemblies will provide long life and reliable operation.

Graphite Metallizing has other pillow block models that meet a variety of speed and load conditions. They are available in a wide range of sizes and housing types, in two and four bolt arrangements as well as in solid, split and self-aligning configurations. Flange and custom models are also offered.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

You Need GRAPHALLOY® In Your Freezer

A seafood processing plant in the Southeast was running a conveyor in their freezer area to "flash-freeze" fresh seafood. The environment is a difficult one: the temperature is cold (28° F/-2° C) and wet and the system requires frequent wash down. The conveyor bearings were being replaced every other month.

The plant maintenance superintendent contacted GRAPHALLOY about the problem. It was determined that the current bearings were not holding lubrication because of the cold, wet conditions and, as a result, breakdowns were occurring frequently.

GRAPHALLOY 4-bolt flange block assemblies were installed and have been running successfully for more than six years. The plant has since placed orders for additional flange assemblies for their freezer conveyor and fish wash down lines. GRAPHALLOY continues to work with the plant maintenance superintendent to identify other opportunities on their fish processing conveyors.

The self-lubricating qualities of GRAPHALLOY bushings are well-suited to cold, wet applications. Once again, GRAPHALLOY bearings work when others fail.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

GRAPHALLOY® Solves a Biodiesel Fuel Development Problem

A machinery design company in Alabama was using steam, high temperature (up to 1000° F/535° C) and an inert atmosphere to convert wood chips and used cooking oils into biodiesel fuel. Because standard bearings were not an option in this environment, GRAPHALLOY® provided a solution.

The production of biodiesel fuel is important because it is biodegradable, non-toxic, clean-burning and renewable. Additionally, it burns much cleaner than than petroleum-based diesel, creating about 60% less net carbon dioxide emissions. These factors make it an ideal fuel for buses, trucks and farm equipment.

This company's design uses several standard bushings as well as custom-sized bushings for their prototype machines. GRAPHALLOY's diverse mountings and extensive experience proved valuable in developing a solution for this difficult environment.

Alternative fuel manufacturing is a growing field due, in part, to efforts to decrease dependence on petroleum-based fuels. GRAPHALLOY will continue to be a valuable resource for these high-temperature applications.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

GRAPHALLOY® Introduces NSF® Certified Grades For Pumps

Used in Pump Bushings and Bearings for Vertical and Horizontal Pumps

Graphite Metallizing Corporation, the manufacturer of self-lubricating GRAPHALLOY® bushing materials, is pleased to announce that NSF® International, has just certified two grades of GRAPHALLOY material for use in municipal well pumps and water treatment plant applications.

The two newly certified GRAPHALLOY Grades are certified to NSF/ANSI Standard 61 - “Drinking Water System Components/Health Effects” - and approved in the category for Multiple Water Contact Materials (MLTPL) up to 180˚F.

NSF certification is the result of Graphite Metallizing’s rigorous product testing to ensure the highest quality GRAPHALLOY products for the market. These newly certified grades are used in the manufacture of pump bushings and bearings for both vertical and horizontal pumps.

GRAPHALLOY is currently the product of choice for many deep well water pump applications in the western U.S., Hawaii and around the world.

NSF International is the independent, not-for-profit/non-governmental organization that provides materials evaluation, standards testing and product certification services involving public health and safety issues.

Graphite Metallizing Corporation, a global leader in the manufacture of self-lubricating bushings and bearings for almost a century, produces GRAPHALLOY, a graphite/metal alloy bearing material used in the manufacture of self-lubricating bearings and components for pumps, machinery, and process systems.

Monday, October 4, 2010

GRAPHALLOY® Bearings FDA Accepted for Food Processing Applications

Graphite Metallizing Corporation, the manufacturer of GRAPHALLOY® bearings and bushings, announces that FDA accepted grades are available for food processing and commercial baking applications.

GRAPHALLOY, a graphite/metal alloy, is formed from molten metal, graphite and carbon. It is a uniform, solid, self-lubricating bushing and bearing material. GRAPHALLOY is widely used in bakery ovens, dryers, roasters, mixers, conveyors, freezers, sterilizers, grills, pumps, bottling plants and packaging equipment — anywhere grease/oil lubricated bearings or plastic bearings might fail.

Self-lubricating GRAPHALLOY bearings and bushings perform in temperature extremes of -450˚F to +750˚F and above (-240˚C to +400˚C and above) where conventional materials often fail. GRAPHALLOY bearings require minimal maintenance and can reduce downtime, resulting in uninterrupted production of food contact equipment. With a low coefficient of friction and high strength, GRAPHALLOY bearings deliver long life and are not subject to seizures, binding or sudden failure.

Equally important, GRAPHALLOY does not contain oil or grease and can be immersed in liquids without causing contamination of equipment or packaging. GRAPHALLOY bearings also withstand steam cleaning and pressure washing operations without any loss of lubrication or bearing performance.

GRAPHALLOY bushings are also used in municipal water systems, refineries, paper mills, waste-to-energy plants, glass plants, steel mills and power plants. Many grades are suitable for temperatures to 750˚F (400˚C) in air and special grades provide reliable service up to 1000˚F (538˚C) and higher in non-oxidizing atmospheres.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Submerged Pillow Blocks - 20 Years of Service in an Abrasive Environment

GRAPHALLOY® Pillow Blocks - Reliable in Wastewater Treatment

After two decades of reliable service, the GRAPHALLOY bushings in a wastewater treatment plant were replaced with new GRAPHALLOY bushings.

A large condominium complex in the Northeast maintains this wastewater treatment facility on its premises. Wastewater treatment is a chemical and biological process that removes contaminants from household sewage. This process produces wastewater and solid waste suitable for discharge back into the environment.

The condominium complex used a Rotating Biological Contactor (RBC), a type of mechanical aeration treatment system, to treat the wastewater. The RBC is a secondary treatment process that allows the wastewater to come into contact with a biological medium. This process removes pollutants from the wastewater before releasing it into a nearby body of water.

An RBC unit consists of a large disc with radial and concentric passages slowly rotating in a concrete tank so that the surface of the wastewater passing through the tank almost reaches the shaft. As a result, nearly 40% of the total surface area of the disks is always submerged in the ambient wastewater. The rotation and exposure to oxygen allows organisms to multiply and cause the biological degradation of organic pollutants.

This facility had two RBC systems - one of which was running at all times. Each system had GRAPHALLOY pillow blocks at either end and each pillow block contained GRAPHALLOY bushings that had been installed in 1988.

Using the imprint code from the outside of the casting, Graphite Metallizing was able to identify the pillow blocks used in the unit. The maintenance manager at the condominium complex removed two of the pillow blocks and drove the insert assemblies to the Graphite Metallizing manufacturing facility in Yonkers. Once the units were disassembled, the original bushings proved to still be functional after 20+ years of operation in the abrasive conditions. The old bushings were removed and new GRAPHALLOY bushings were manufactured and installed in the housing.

GRAPHALLOY provided reliable, long-lasting service in this difficult wastewater treatment application. The original bushings provided service 20+ years after installation.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Chemical Plant Experiences Bushing Failure in Gear Pumps

The Competition Said "No" but GRAPHALLOY® Said "Yes"

A chemical plant in Tennessee was experiencing rapid bushing failure in their gear pumps. These bushings were failing after only a few weeks of operation.

When plant representatives contacted this carbon bushing manufacturer about the problem, they were told that there was "no solution". The bushing manufacturer - our competitor - claimed that the viscosity of the polymer being pumped was simply too thick.

Unhappy with this response, the chemical plant engineers contacted Graphite Metallizing for assistance. After studying the problem, our engineers promptly responded by saying "yes, we can help" and that GRAPHALLOY bushings were the solution.

The pump that was failing was a positive displacement, herringbone-type gear pump with internal bushings lubricated by the pumped liquid. The pumpage is a polymer with heavy viscosity (150 -10,000 CPS) similar to a thick latex paint. The temperature can range from 80 degrees to 140 degrees F with a speed of 520 -1,750 RPMs and a load of 155 - 1,980 pounds. This pump has very high bushing loads because of the meshing gear forces. The calculated PV values were up to 500,000 - over four times the maximum recommended level for GRAPHALLOY in submerged services.

The GRAPHALLOY engineers provided a solution designed for applications involving the transfer of viscous liquids. Grade GM 119.3 bushings were recommended because of their load-bearing and corrosion-resistant capabilities. GRAPHALLOY engineers also recommended slight design changes to improve reliability.

The initial order was shipped to the customer and immediately installed.

The pumps fitted with GRAPHALLOY bushings have been operating for over one year without failure...six times the life of the competitor's bushings.

The success of these GRAPHALLOY bearings demonstrates the potential for GRAPHALLOY upgrades in chemical plants. If you have a pump that may benefit from GRAPHALLOY, please contact us with details about your application.

Monday, August 16, 2010

High Heat May Cause Problems for Traditional Bearings

Steel and metals production creates problems for tradtional bearings because of the high heat and heavy loads. GRAPHALLOY® bearings provide a solution to these problems. Here is a really tough application:

The annealing furnace at a Pennsylvania metal manufacturer had an interior temperature in the range of 1200°F (650°C). Bearings supporting the pinch rolls were located outside the furnace walls and reached temperatures up to 750°F (400°C) due to heat transmitted through the furnace wall by the shaft.

The heat transmitted by the shaft through the oven wall to the bearing was causing lubrication failure. In addition, the movement (linear expansion) of the shaft caused problems well beyond the capability of any standard ball or roller bearing arrangement.

GRAPHALLOY high temperature bearings were installed in a metal adapter designed to fit the original bearing housings and solved the problem without a major redesign. With minimal investment, bearings failures and associated maintenance costs were reduced.

Even if your application isn't this tough, GRAPHALLOY bearings can solve your high temperature bearing problems.

Monday, July 19, 2010

New GRAPHALLOY® Stainless Steel Flange Block Suitable for Wet or Submersible Applications

A new series of GRAPHALLOY® self-lubricating bushings mounted in stainless steel flange blocks is now available from Graphite Metallizing Corporation. The new series combines the corrosion resistant and self-lubricating properties of GRAPHALLOY with the application and installation versatility of a flange block.
GRAPHALLOY Stainless Steel Flange Blocks are available in 2-bolt and 4-bolt configurations,come in a wide range of base dimensions, and can accommodate shaft diameters from .5" (12.7 mm) to 3.75" (95.2 mm).

GRAPHALLOY is suitable for temperatures of 750°F/399°C and above in non-oxidizing environments or with oxidation -resistant grades.

GRAPHALLOY Stainless Steel Flange Blocks provide increased reliability and years of trouble-free operation. These flange blocks deliver lifetime cost and operating advantages in high temperature ovens, low speed and stationary applications such as dampers, and other hard to lubricate environments - all places where other bushings will not operate.