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Bearing isolators for safe operation in harsh conditions

Home Manufacturing & Processing Chemicals Bearing isolators for safe operation in harsh conditions

BMG’s range of Garlock Klozure bearing isolators offers dependable protection for pumps, electric motors, gear boxes, fans and other bearing-supported industrial equipment used in harsh applications.

That’s according to Wayne Holton, BMG’s Business Unit Manager, Bearings, Seals and Gaskets division, who said these bearing isolators were recommended as an efficient alternative to conventional radial lip seals which are used for bearing protection.

Featuring an engineered labyrinth design, the isolators have been developed to retain bearing lubrication to IP 66 ratings, but exclude contaminants, like 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 said.

“Notable features of BMG’s Garlock Klozure 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.”

He said 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.”

Holton said 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 excellent bore retention, compared with standard bearing isolator designs.

Guardian bearing isolators with a bronze rotor and stator, are available for shaft sizes of between .625” and 22.250”.

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 PTFE 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 Garlock range of seals and sealing products are used in a variety of industries including chemical and petrochemical, pulp and paper, power generation, electronics, food and pharmaceuticals, as well as steel mills, mining and OEMs.

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