Application examples

Suspended roof

SKF steel/steel radial spherical plain bearings are in service in an unusual and world-renowned application, the roof of the Olympic Stadium in Munich, Germany (fig. 1, fig. 2). The roof is constructed of a number of pre-stressed steel cables in a network. The nodal points of the network must be torque-free. That is where 225 standard SKF steel/steel radial spherical plain bearings with bore diameters ranging from 160 to 300 mm are located. The nodes are statically loaded but must enable occasional swinging movements of the roof construction.
Although SKF steel/steel radial spherical plain bearings are typically not maintenance-free, these particular bearings have not been relubricated since the construction of the building in 1972.
What better proof could there be for lasting quality and reliability?

Road roller articulation joint

SKF spherical plain bearings in the articulation joint between the front and rear rollers (fig. 3, fig. 4) enable a road roller to manoeuvre. This joint must be able to withstand very heavy radial loads and high vibration levels. Due to their location, the bearings should be protected as they are exposed to a variety of contaminants including dust, dirt, water and hot tarmac, which promote premature wear and corrosion.
SKF maintenance-free spherical plain bearings help to eliminate the need for relubrication, and reduce the total cost of ownership.

Truck twin-axle supports

An SKF spherical plain bearing arrangement on the truck twin-axle support provides even load distribution between the two axles for trucks driving on rough roads or off-highway conditions (fig. 5, fig. 6). This bearing arrangement is subjected to heavy loads and, depending on the conditions, heavy shock loads, and frequent alignment movements.
These bearings are located behind the tires in an area that is very difficult to access, making it imperative that sudden bearing damage or failure, requiring immediate roadside repairs, be avoided at all cost. A pair of SKF angular contact spherical plain bearings mounted in a back-to-back arrangement can help prevent these emergencies. These bearings, which can withstand all the rigours of truck duty, are simple to install and easy to maintain.

Dam gates

Segment gates for dams and other barrages are home to large-size SKF maintenance-free spherical plain bearings (fig. 7, fig. 8). The reference list is very long – with over 3 000 applications to date.
As main bearings, they compensate for shaft misalignment, caused by thermal expansion and contraction, elastic deformation of the dam gates as well as changes caused by settling of the foundation. These bearings cope with the heavy radial loads caused by water pressure as well as axial loads that arise from the inclined position of the support arms.
In addition, SKF spherical plain bearings not only serve as heavily loaded bearings under static conditions, they also operate in the frequently used linkage attachments of the lifting and plunger cylinders as well as the flaps.

Hydraulic and pneumatic cylinders

SKF steel/steel and steel/bronze rod ends are frequently used on hydraulic and pneumatic cylinders (fig. 9, fig. 10). Acting as the link between the cylinder and its attachments, they are able to transmit heavy mechanical loads.
Hydraulic cylinders (e.g. to ISO 8132) are often fitted with steel/steel rod ends with a female thread that can be secured (compressible) on one end and a steel/steel rod end with a welding shank on the other.
These types of hydraulic cylinders can be found in all types of construction equipment, agricultural machinery, lifting equipment and shutters, recycling depot presses as well as other heavily loaded manoeuvring equipment.
In pneumatic cylinders where working pressures regularly reach 1 MPa, steel/bronze rod ends and maintenance-free rod ends are typically used at the end of the piston rod. At the opposite end, SKF rod ends with a welding shank are used.

Newspaper conveyor

Speed and flexibility are all-important when producing newspapers, not only in the printing process, but also in distribution. The conveyor system from the printing press to the loading dock is a very important component if the newspapers are to be delivered on time.
The endless conveyor chain is one such system. It consists of a multitude of links, which together provide the speed and flexibility required. Fig. 11 and fig. 12 show an application where more than 1 000 SKF maintenance-free spherical plain bearings with the sliding contact surface combination steel/PTFE sintered bronze are used. The bearings have been in daily service without maintenance for many years.
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