Tech Talk Blog

Slide Bearings for Pipelines and Bridges

Posted by Dave Biering

May 29, 2018

Slide Bearings for Pipelines and Bridges

Slide plate bearings provide support and a low coefficient of friction while allowing an object to move (or slide) freely along a supporting surface. They consist of an upper and lower component and can be used in both guided and free-moving applications.

Applications for Slide Bearings

Slide bearings are engineered to fit anywhere there is the potential or threat of movement, such as bridges, building footplates, tank farms and petrochemical applications. For example, an oil pipeline — at roughly 800 miles long — could be subjected to a mile of liquid flow movement (hysteresis) within the structure. Such an application requires a bearing designed to resist corrosion, temperature extremes and rugged terrain.

TriStar is your Best Source for Slide Bearings

Here are several materials that we often recommend for slide bearings.

  • Ultracomp, one of our tier one products, is an ideal material for slide bearings. A composite wound bearing, Ultracomp is engineered especially for low speed, high load applications and has a very high corrosion resistance. One interesting application is for the slide bearings used to deploy a retractable swimming pool in an ultra-luxury yacht (cost: $100 million). Ultracomp also excels in railroad and agricultural applications.
  • Rulon materials are ideal for slide bearings and various variants can be chosen based on the specifics of your application. For example, FDA compliant Rulon 1337 has been specified for use in the slide bearings used inside food processing vacuum chambers. Rulon 1337 is ideal for this application due to it’s high load capacity and durability. It’s low abrasion characteristics make it safe to use against softer mating surfaces and high chemical resistance means it can withstand the chemical washdown procedures required for food industry applications.
  • Fluorogold slide bearings easily tolerate thermal expansion and liquid flow movement and hold up well in cold temperatures. They also absorb vibration and impact, making them a preferred bearing material for use in earthquake zones. They also offer outstanding chemical and electrical properties and have proven resistant to radiation, where neither the bearing strength nor the epoxy bond were impacted by doses as high as 10^6 rads.

…And There’s More!

There are many additional materials available for slide bearings and our engineering team has years of experience matching the material to the application. Why not share the details of your application and let us provide our recommendations?

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