EU Shipyards Specify Grease-Free Bearing System

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

February 26, 2020

Image: Thordon Bearings

Image: Thordon Bearings

Canadian provider of polymer bearing solutions Thordon Bearings said that its ThorPlas-Blue has established itself as the bearing of choice for deck equipment, with European shipyards and owners frequently specifying the grease-free bearing system as standard for vessels’ winches, fairleads, davits, capstans and windlasses.

According to a press note from Thordon Bearings, Sweden’s Falkvarv AB, Oresund Dry Docks, and the Oskarshamnsvarvet shipyard have been particularly strong proponents of the grease-free bearing, with these yards maintaining an inventory of ThorPlas-Blue stock with which to replace worn and costly bronze bearings and bushings when vessels drydock for repairs.  

Tommy Holmgren, Sales Director, Duwel Group, Thordon’s authorized distributor in Sweden, said: “The ThorPlas-Blue inventories these yards keep could be indicative of the number of vessels dry-docking with bronze bearing problems since approximately 96% of the inventory is used to replace the greased bearings in mooring winches.

“Since Falkvarv first retrofitted ThorPlas-Blue bearings to the mooring winches aboard two coastal tankers the yard has always recommended that ship owners retrofit the non-metallic bearing to their vessels. It is the same with the Oresund and Oskarshamnsvarvet yards.”

Outside the Baltic area, Romania’s Constanta Shipyard has just completed the retrofit installation of ThorPlas-Blue bearings to deck winches and windlasses aboard a 105,042dwt Aframax tanker operated by a Greece-based ship manager, it said.

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