Superlube vanes address concrete vibrator wear

an image depicting Vesconite Superlube

VESCONITE SUPERLUBE Vesconite Superlube vanes have shown negligible wear in in-house testing and in-field trials on concrete vibrators

10th November 2023


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Wear parts and bushings manufacturer Vesconite Bearings supplied test vanes to a concrete vibrator manufacturer having difficulties with the vanes installed in its vibrators.

The manufacturer originally had a pneumatic vibrator design that was attached to moulds. The proprietary design used vanes to turn an eccentric rotor to create vibration.

However, in-field trials with different vane materials yielded unsatisfactory results whereby vane swelling, delamination and excessive wear occurred.

As a result, Vesconite Bearings provided the manufacturer with samples of its Vesconite Superlube – a bearing material with a coefficient of friction lower than polytetrafluoroethylene that also provides a higher load capacity with ultralow wear rates.

Vesconite Bearings supplied test vanes to the concrete vibrator manufacturer’s specifications in 2021; the vanes were required to have recesses machined out at specific spacing intervals on the flat side of the vane face.

Long-term in-house testing was completed in July 2023. Upon stripping the concrete vibrator and measuring the Vesconite Superlube vanes, negligible to no wear was detected.

Vesconite Bearings senior technical consultant Phillip de Villiers attributed the success of Vesconite Superlube to various factors.

“Vesconite Superlube’s low coefficient of friction and high load capacity were vital as these characteristics ensured the smooth rotation of the vanes and limited the likelihood of the vanes breaking. “Vesconite Superlube’s dimensional stability was also important,” said De Villiers.

The compressed air inside the concrete vibrator is lubricated with oil but, as water and moisture may be present, owing to the absence of compressed air dryers at some users, the oil may be washed out and the vanes need to be swellproof, he commented, noting that having no-swell Vesconite Superlube vanes ensures that the vanes do not get stuck inside the rotor slot.

The concrete vibrator manufacturer was pleased with the results of the in-house trial and in-field trials carried out concurrently at multiple construction sites.

The vanes that were installed in the vibrators operated well at 5 000 rpm to 15 000 rpm, producing high-quality precast concrete blocks that are also widely used in Europe for the construction of industrial and commercial buildings.

Edited by Nadine James
Features Deputy Editor



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