U.K.-based Bowman International said it has launched to market a split roller bearing with substantially higher radial and axial load capacities. Suited for applications such as propulsion shafts and electric motors, the new Bowman Advanced Split Roller Bearing offers up to 75% higher radial load capacity and up to a 1000% increase in axial load capacity in both directions, the manufacturer said.

“For the first time, shipbuilders and vessel maintenance engineers can specify a split roller bearing that does not rely on race lips alone to accommodate axial force in high-load applications,” said Ian Breeze, Technical Director for Bowman. “The new Bowman Advanced Split Roller Bearing comprises two independent 3D-printed axial bearings designed to accommodate greater loads, improving system performance with less maintenance and reduced unplanned machine failure.

“In fact, compared to other market-leading split bearings, the Bowman Advanced Split Roller Bearing increases bearing L10 life by up to 500%.”

A patented triple labyrinth extended seal which offers a tighter seal and also reduces the need for removal, machining or replacement of worn shafts. Engineers can fit an extended seal onto an undamaged part of the shaft without compromising performance and without the need for extended downtime.

High thrust capacity and increased radial load capacity means the bearing can be specified to replace solid spherical roller bearings in rotating machinery. Delivering up to 10 times faster bearing change times than previously possible for these applications. “When space is limited, 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,” Breeze said.

“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. 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.”

Alongside the increase in radial and axial load capacity, this new bearing design offers larger 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.

As part of the Advanced Split Roller Bearing portfolio, Bowman offers a range of dimensionally interchangeable retrofit products that fit directly into the existing bearing housings – even if it is from a competing bearing brand, to quickly and cost-effectively improve radial and axial load capacities. There is a choice of additional IoT specific functionalities available and bespoke adaptations can be accommodated within fast lead times.

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

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