Dust busters

Long live the linear bearing, despite contaminants.

Dust and contamination has always been a problem for Di- Coat Corp., a manufacturer of tooling and machinery for grinding brick pavers and landscape stone.

Di-Coat makes a range of planing and grinding machines that grind or smooth the surface of brick pavers to expose a more attractive aggregate surface and make for simpler installations. The company has used traditional linear ball bearing technology from various suppliers in these applications, but contamination and dust have caused premature bearing and shafting failure. In the words of Chris Zernick, Di-Coat had been forced to simply “deal with the contamination problems” inflicted on their bearings. The root of the problem, according to Joe Chops, who works for BDI, Roseville, Mich., is the rolling elements. He arranged a visit to the manufacturer’s plant with Pacific Bearing Territory Manager Jeff Mowers to take a closer look. Together with Chris Zernick, they specified Pacific Bearing’s Simplicity self-lubricating, plain linear bearings instead of rolling-element bearings and then helped Di-Coat retrofit and test specific machines.

Shaft, rail, and bearing assemblies are just a few of the linear bearing products successfully applied to date on machines such as end grinders, bull nose grinders, and planers. Di-Coat reports that these grinding machines are running smoother, downtime has been decreased significantly, and machine life has been greatly extended.

In addition to contamination tolerance, other key features, including self-lubrication; high load-carrying capability; vibration dampening; tolerance for temperature extremes; and the fact that the linear bearings will not fail catastrophically, are icing on the cake.