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Vibration Challenge Solved by Kaman Industrial Technologies and Dow Corning


Concrete

When Strescon Industries of Odenton, Maryland, needed a grease that could hold on, plant superintendent, George D. Butler called the Baltimore branch of Kaman Industrial Technologies for a solution. Sales representatives from both Kaman and Dow Corning Corporation visited the facility to survey the problem.

Strescon Industries makes a pre-cast hollow-core concrete roofing/flooring plank system with the trade name Flexicore™. The system is used in hotels, motels, schools, prisons and other commercial construction. The planks are manufactured by pouring concrete into forms 54 feet long, 2 feet wide and 8 inches thick. Each form sits on four pedestal vibrators about 2 feet tall. Once a form is filled, the vibrators, powered by 15 HP motors, start up and shake the form for 4 minutes until all the air is removed and the concrete is consolidated. The problem was that every time the vibrators started up, they threw off grease which was needed to lubricate the bearings. This caused excessive wear and premature bearing failures, resulting in hours of down-time while the bearings were being replaced.

Kaman and Dow Corning sales reps recommended Dow Corning® BR2-Plus Multi-Purpose E.P. Grease. BR2-Plus is a lithium-soap grease containing an optimum percentage of solid lubricants, including molybdenum disulfide (MoS2), in combination with other highly effective extreme-pressure additives. It performs equally well under high loads at high speeds or low speeds and with reciprocating motion. This suits it particularly well for the vibrating motion of the Strescon machinery.

The Strescon application also imposes heavy loads on the gear box and bearings. Dow Corning® BR2-Plus is formulated to perform under heavy loads, reducing the coefficient of friction and metal-to-metal contact, minimizing wear and improving running-in conditions. Under load, a boundary lubricating film containing MoS2 is deposited from the grease to the sliding surfaces so that emergency lubrication is available. Unlike the previous material used by Strescon, Dow Corning® BR2-Plus holds on, which results in bearings that last longer.

The vibrators at Strescon run for 4 out of every 8 minutes and are greased every day. The company uses a 120-lb keg of the material every month. Strescon enjoys significant cost savings since switching to the Dow Corning® brand grease. Why? Butler estimates that bearing life is extended an astonishing 600%. Dow Corning® BR2-Plus truly adds value and generates savings by reducing bearing costs and downtime required for bearing replacement.