24 Jul 2024


Split roller bearing handles bigger loads and lasts much longer

Bowman says that its split roller bearings will last up to five times longer than rival products

The UK bearings manufacturer, Bowman International, has developed a split roller bearing (SRB) that, it claims, offers substantially higher radial and axial load capacities than rival products, as well as increasing bearing lives by up to five times

Aimed at high-load applications, the SRBs – being sold under the John Handley Bearings brand, which Bowman acquired in 2017 – are said to offer radial load capacities that are up to 75% higher than other SRBs, as well as axial load capacities that are up to 1,000% higher in both directions.

The SRBs comprise two independent 3D-printed axial bearings designed to accommodate greater loads and improve system performance with less maintenance and fewer unplanned machine failures.

“For the first time,” says Bowman’s technical director, Ian Breeze, “plant builders and maintenance engineers can specify a split roller bearing that does not rely on race lips alone to accommodate axial force in high-load applications.”

He adds that, compared to other market-leading split bearings, the new bearings will boost axial L10 lives “by up to 500%”.

A patented triple-labyrinth extended seal is said not only to offer a tighter seal than other split bearings, but also to reduce the need for the costly removal, machining or replacement of worn shafts. Instead, users can simply fit an extended seal onto an undamaged part of the shaft, without compromising performance and without needing extended downtime.

The bearing’s high thrust and radial load capacities mean that it can replace solid spherical roller bearings in rotating machinery, and can be changed up to ten times faster than was previously possible for such applications.

“When space is limited,” Breeze explains, “engineers often need to disconnect the coupling and move other equipment – such as motors, gearboxes or pumps – out of the way before they can slide solid bearings off the shaft for replacement or maintenance.

“Split roller bearings can be assembled radially around the shaft, eliminating these additional logistical challenges and making maintenance and replacement a lot faster and more cost-effective,” he adds. “To further enhance time and cost savings, the Bowman Advanced Split Roller Bearing uses the rollers to lock the two cage halves together, eradicating the use of small and easy-to-lose clips and other locking components.”

The new bearing design is claimed to offer other benefits, including large-diameter screw sizes to accommodate increased capabilities for the clamp rings, cartridges and pedestals and roller pockets, with cavities to hold the grease against the rollers.

Bowman is offering a series of dimensionally interchangeable retrofit products that will fit into existing bearing housings – even those from competing suppliers – to improve radial and axial load capacities quickly and cost-effectively. IoT functions are available and bespoke adaptations can be accommodated with short lead times.

“We are the first manufacturer to create a split roller bearing capable of increasing the lifespan and performance of high-axial systems,” Breeze concludes, “and thanks to the production benefits of 3D printing, we have been able to deliver this product at a price point up to 20% lower than other leading split bearings.”

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John Handley Bearings:  Twitter