Units resist harsh conditions

17th March 2023

Units resist  harsh conditions

ROBUST RANGE The recently upgraded BTC bearing block unit and housing range from BMG is suitable for medium- to heavy-duty underground mining applications, like underground conveyor systems and crushers

Engineering solutions specialist BMG has completed the two-phase upgrade of its in-house BTC bearing block unit (BBU) and housing range of products, which is manufactured exclusively for BMG, to stringent quality and safety specifications.

“Although the BTC range was developed for light to medium rotating equipment applications, recent important upgrades enable BTC bearings and components to be used safely in heavy-duty underground applications in mining, including the head and tail pulleys of underground conveyor belts.

“These robust units are also suitable for medium- to heavy-duty underground mining applications, like underground conveyor systems and even crushers,” explains BMG Agricultural, Automotive and Lubrication divisions business development manager Carlo Beukes.

“The first phase of the BTC bearings project involved an upgrade of all aspects of the bearing block units (UCP pillow blocks, UCFL and UCF flange and UCT take-up) designs, while the second phase encompassed advancements of the bearing housings (the light-duty SN and heavy-duty SD series).”

Phase one upgrades include an improved quality housing to ensure a stronger component that does not crack in tough conditions and a higher grade of steel for greater load capacity and speed stability. Because bearings form part of rotational equipment that is potentially hazardous, it is critical that these moving components are highly visible, rather than dark in colour. For enhanced safety, these upgraded housings are painted a new bright red, in line with all other BTC products.

As part of BMG’s ‘Going Green’ initiative, the packaging has been changed from a strong plastic bag to recycled wax paper. This new ecofriendly packaging will ensure a reduction of about 300 000 plastic bags a year from this one line of products.

Upgraded BBUs benefit from an efficient amount of Shell Alvania EP2 grease (between 30% and 40% fill). For user convenience, these bearing blocks are supplied with an Allen key and the installation and maintenance schedule is printed in English and Zulu, which is another first for this market.

Phase two of the project involved the upgrade of all aspects of BTC bearing housings. Materials have been advanced from SD3134 to SD3164, in line with international premium brands. Grey Cast Iron HT200 grey, which replaces grey Cast Iron HT 150, can accommodate up to 200 MPa pressure ratings. In addition, SD3168 and larger sizes, are now manufactured from grey Cast Iron HT250 which can accommodate up to 250 MPa pressure ratings.

Special attention has been given to improving the dimensional control on the housing bore tolerance to ensure an optimal fit between the bearing and housing and to the sleeve tolerances to prevent any run-outs. Other advancements include improved sealing arrangements to prevent the ingress of contaminants into the bearing housing, thereby safeguarding the unit, as well as the upgrade of all bearing locking elements.

BMG specialists emphasise that these design improvements and quality enhancements require the selection of the correct lubricants to ensure optimum efficiency and extend the service life of the system. A top-quality lubricant will ensure that the equipment can reach its L-10 design lifetime.

A range of industrial-quality branded lubricants is available from BMG, including Habot, Liqui Moly and CRC, as well the company’s house-brand, which has been specifically formulated for the general applications.

BTC bearing block units are available from BMG’s extended branch network, as well as through the company’s online shopping platform.