Motion Control & Drives


Sealed split spherical roller bearings

June 2024 Motion Control & Drives

In the event of bearing failure, a full day is typically required to remove and replace traditional bearings in the trapped positions on the shaft and to realign the driveline. This also means a whole day of plant downtime plus all the costs associated with lost production, replacement parts, and resources having to be pulled off other tasks to attend to the repair.

SKF has the solution, the SKF Cooper sealed split spherical roller bearing (SRB). “The innovative design of this robust bearing allows for safe, time-saving replacement of bearings in the trapped position,” says sales engineer, Duncan Mngomezulu. “As there is no need to dismount the drive coupling or the cantilevered drive during replacement, there is little disturbance to the shaft alignment or driveline, subsequently avoiding time-consuming realignment.”

Mngomezulu unpacks the many advantages delivered by in-situ bearing replacement. “Let’s begin with mean time to repair (MTTR), which can be reduced by as much as 70%. Putting this into perspective, this means that a repair time of 12 hours can be shortened to just 3,5 hours. Leading on from this, taking into account that on average, 43% of accidents in the mining and cement industry occur while workers perform maintenance or checks on conveyors, shorter periods of exposure to the repair site greatly reduce safety risks. In a nutshell, simplifying maintenance enhances safety.”

SKF Cooper sealed split spherical roller bearings are designed to meet the high demands of industries running heavy-duty operations such as mining, mineral processing, cement, pulp and paper, metals, power generation, and food and beverage. They can then harness the benefits of improved bearing reliability, increased machine performance and enhanced safety for optimised operations and sustainable production. This bearing solution serves a range of equipment, including conveyor pulleys, bucket elevators, escalators, mixers, agitators and horizontal grinding mill pinions.

SKF Cooper split spherical roller bearings are manufactured to ISO Normal precision and running accuracy. The split bearing outer ring has the same external dimension as a standard ISO spherical bearing outer ring. SKF Cooper sealed split SRB is compatible with SKF metric and inch split block housings such as SNLD, SMS and SAF/SDAF.

The wire-cut inner and outer ring-manufacturing technique and sealing of the SKF Cooper split bearings ensure longer service life (MTBF) compared to other split bearings. The steel inner ring clamping rings permit the SKF Cooper split bearings to sustain higher axial loading than other forms of split bearing, and ensure better clamping against axial movement. As the maximum permissible axial loading is not generally as high as a non-split spherical roller bearing mounted on an adaptor sleeve, SKF advises that it should be checked against application requirements. The design of the SKF Cooper bearing reduces the risk of shaft fretting.

The SKF Cooper bearing uses ISO 281:2007 to calculate the L10m modified rating life of the split spherical roller bearing. Incorporation of bearing sealing as standard typically increases the rating life by at least two times, compared to the rating life of open unsealed bearings because of the improved exclusion of contamination. The sealed solutions on the SKF Cooper sealed split SRBs, which are available as standard, increase protection against contamination and reduce the need for maintenance. The seals have a limit of -40 to 90°C ambient temperatures.

“We recommend that the bearing is checked for adequate lubrication for normal operating conditions,” advises Mngomezulu. “SKF Cooper bearing components are heat stable up to 120°C at continuous operation, with recommended use of ISO VG 220 oil or ISO VG 320 oil as required.”

Wrapping up, Mngomezulu affirms that countless customers around the globe report tremendous time and monetary savings after replacing their tradition bearings with an SKF Cooper sealed split bearing. “A noteworthy success story is a coal mine in the USA. By replacing traditional bearings with SKF Cooper bearings on the conveyor head pulleys that operate around 18 hours per day, the mine saved over 10 hours of downtime, and avoided over a hundred thousand dollars in lost production.”


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