Gladding-Hearn, LQMoffitt Develop Bearing Flange Design Solution
—Literature Available It has been more than four years since the specially designed waterlubricated bearing was first installed in Gladding-Hearn boats and its other custom vessels. To date, Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding, The Duclos Corporation, reports not a single problem with the bearing's performance or availability.
The solution resulted from the search for lower-cost, readily available bearings for Gladding-Hearn's aluminum-hull vessels. Gladding- Hearn's engineering staff contacted Marine Marketing Co. in Somerset, Mass., which led them to BFGoodrich Cutless® Commander® engineered composite-shell bearings, marketed by LQMoffitt. LQMoffitt designers and Gladding-Hearn devised the concept of adding an aluminum flange to the existing sleeve design of the Commander bearing. This not only solved the electrolytic c o r r o s i o n problem, it added strength with reduced weight and extended service life.
Since installation, none of the bearings have needed to be replaced, according to Gladding- Hearn. Engineering spokesmen also noted that with sufficient lubrication, the Commander bearing can be expected to last as long as 10 years, and in some cases to last the life of the vessel.
Standard installation methods are used. The Commander bearing is installed in Gladding-Hearn vessels by bolting through the flange. Set screws or epoxy caulkings are optional methods.
Specially designed Commander bearings and custom-engineering assistance are available from LQMoffitt, Inc., a subsidiary of BFGoodrich and the exclusive marketing arm for BFG marine industry products.
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