Bearings distributor BMG tells Engineering News that its Garlock Klozure and Guardian Bearing Isolators have fared notably well subsequent to being introduction to the BMG range of isolators.
A bearing isolator is an advanced sealing solution that is used to protect bearings on rotating equipment in harsh environments, such as pumps, gearboxes, electric motors, split pillow blocks, and even steam turbines.
“These isolators can be used in cement mills, coal conveyors, sugar refineries, slurry processing, and spiral conveyors where ingress of moisture, dust and dirt into the bearings housing causes permanent failure and unplanned downtime,” says BMG bearings, seals and gaskets division business unit manager Wayne Holton.
He explains that the Garlock Klozure bearing isolators, with an engineered labyrinth design, have been developed to retain bearing lubrication to International Protection 66 ratings. However, it excludes contaminants such as moisture, dust and dirt from penetrating the primary seal or bearing houses.
Traditional radial lip seals – which are unidirectional seals that require professional installation – simply cannot offer the necessary bearing protection performance required in harsh conditions and do not ensure extended service life provided by bearing isolators.
Holton adds that notable features of the bearing isolators include advanced labyrinth technology, encompassing non-contact seals with no wear components that ensure long service life and reduced drag on the shaft for lower power consumption.
Additionally, common industry challenges include premature bearing damage, which shortens the mean time between failure (MTBF) and the ingress of moisture, dust and dirt into the bearing housing, which results in contamination that causes seal degradation and thus leakage.
This poses a safety hazard and could also be harmful to the environment. Shaft grooving from conventional lip seals are not only costly to repair, but this damage also decreases MTBF.
“Bearing isolators, which offer consistent sealing performance, play an important role in protecting bearings to prevent downtime and extend service life, even in arduous operating conditions,” he states.
BMG’s Garlock Guardian metallic bearing isolators provide bidirectional sealing, offering both ingress and egress protection, and are suitable for electric motors, pumps, gearboxes and plummer-blocks used in dirty, dusty and wet environments.
“These robust bearing isolators have a patented cam-lock system, with good bore retention, compared with standard bearing isolator designs,” enthuses Holton.
Guardian bearing isolators with a bronze rotor and stator, are available for shaft sizes of between about 1.6 cm and 56.5 cm.
This system has been designed for easy installation by hand, without the need for an arbor press or special tools which generate bronze shavings that cause bore scoring.
A patented polytetrafluoroethylene unitising ring – which is a machined component with tight tolerance to maintain a labyrinth – eliminates metal-to-metal contact between the rotor and stator.
In conventional systems, simple O-ring designs lack axial reinforcement which means that rotation and misalignment between the rotor and stator during normal operation causes the O-ring to shred and metal shavings damage expensive bearings.
Unlike radial lip seals, Garlock bearing isolators require no repairs for shaft grooving or for seal housings. Bearing isolators are also compliant with global safety and industry manufacturing standards.
BMG’s comprehensive range of Garlock seals and sealing products, with a user-friendly design and advanced materials, ensure dependable sealing in all sectors.
These industries include chemicals and petrochemicals, pulp and paper, power generation, electronics, food and pharmaceuticals, as well as steel mills, mining and original-equipment manufacturers.
All Garlock products undergo stringent field and in-house testing to ensure safe and reliable use, as well as extended service life in all industries.
Holton concludes that the BMG team assists industry with the correct selection of seals and gaskets, to ensure optimum safety, reliable fluid sealing solutions and optimum care for the environment.