Blokland Non Ferro BV designs and supplies modern water lubricated propulsion systems as well. These systems use high quality water lubricated rubber bearings. Under the influence of increasingly strict environmental demands, this type of lubrication is becoming more and more popular. Water lubrication is by far the most environmental friendly solution for lubricating propeller shaft bearings and technically equal or better compared to other ways of lubrication.
Another big advantage is that frequently greasing the stern tube is no longer needed; the supply of water to the stern tube is fully automatic and grease supply is no longer required. And last but not least; the applied lubricant (water) is free of charge!
When water lubrication is applied, the propeller shaft is completely surrounded by (sea)water. Therefore the propeller shaft is always made of stainless steel. In most cases the applied lubrication system is the so called ‘open system’. In this system the rear side (propeller side) of the stern tube is not sealed. To prevent water from leaking into the boat, the front side of the stern tube is executed with a reliable shaft sealing device.
The stern tube is lubricated with the water in which the vessel floats. The water supply is connected to the connection at the front side of the stern tube. The water lubricates the rubber bearings and at the same time it flows through the flutes of the rubber bearings. Possible present dirt- and mud particles are being removed by the water and eventually these will leave the stern tube at the rear side. A soft and elastic rubber compound is being used for manufacturing the rubber bearings. Any present dirt and mud particles will deflect the rubber instead of the shaft surface. While the shaft is rotating, the particles are feed to the flutes of the bearing and will leave the bearing/stern tube at the rear side without causing any damage.
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