Qualities of Kemel Water-Lubricated Stern Tube BearingsBlog | May 29th, 2018
A propeller protrudes from a ship stern. The vital drive component then rotates on a drive shaft and thrusts the vessel forward. Clearly, design excellence shapes propeller geometry and provides shaft durability. Kemel water-lubricated stern tube bearings reflect this level of engineering mastery. But just how does this drive supporting bearing achieve that laudable design goal? Well, in the final analysis, the following qualities can make or break a propeller shaft.
An Eco-Friendly Parts Lubricator
Oil lubricated bearings are all very well, with their slippery fluid bases providing friction-cancelling potency, but they’re not exactly pollution free. Granted, there are biodegradable marine lubricants on the market, but why take this path when there’s an entirely Green fluid all around the ship? Kemel stern tube bearings use a water lubricating feature, not a potentially toxic reservoir full of hydrocarbons.
The Simpler is Better Solution
Provide a durable polymer bearing or a comparable metal tube. Next, add rubber vibration mounts and a handful of seals. Finally, add a water channelling mechanism. Even with these parts, a Kemel water-lubricated stern bearing is a relatively simple construct, although its parts are obviously made from the finest materials. Compare this architecture to an oil lubricating system. Sure, the screw shaft moves smoothly, but there are so many additional parts that could go wrong. And Murphy’s Law is rarely forgiving. If a part can go wrong, it invariably will fail. Avoid maintenance chores and parts failures by opting for a water-lubricated system.
A Mention for Kemel-Specific Benefits
Manufactured from advanced plastics and slippery glass fibres, the sliding interior faces easily accommodate the rotating action of a vibrating shaft. The tubular shell also covers a large surface area, so the existing elasticity contained inside the reinforced plastic is further enhanced because the propeller load has more areal material to disperse the strong propulsion loads. Finally, the water entering the fluid circuit is always cool. Used as a shaft/propeller lubricant, that cool flow continually carries away heat. On the whole, Kemel water-lubricated stern tubes are highly capable thermal regulators, plus they feature a gift for handling propulsion vibration.
With environmental regulations tightening all the time, boat owners can’t help worrying about the one oil/water interface that could cause trouble. The propeller lubrication system is most definitely a seagoing hazard as long as complicated oil feeds and oil pumps are employed. Opt for a water-lubricated solution instead of a hydrocarbon-soaked stern tube mechanism. Opt for a Kemel bearing type that cools, reduces corrosion, and reduces the threat of oil pollution.
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