Self-lubricating bearing were first introduced in the Hydromachanical sector approximately 50 years ago, when plugged bronze bearings (Lubrote or equivalent) replaced the tredotional greased bronze arrangement and to this day are still regarded as a standard component throughout the industry.Since it's introduction plugged bronze bearings have been used extensively, many projects to this day are still specified with this type of bearing technology.

TENMET has over 30years of Experience in providing self-lubricating bearing solutions for Hydromechanical equipment. TENMET material have been fitted in a broad array of general water control applications including valves, gates, chains ,rollers, locks, bridges etc.

As well as offering FEROLUBE (a plugged bronze material equivalent to Lubrite or Oiless 500) TENMET have also supplied FIBERDLIDE ,FEROGLIDE and FEROFORM bearings for Hydromechanical applications.

In high pressure valce applications the metal backed FIBERGLIDE, FEROGLIDE and FEROLUBE materials are usedin the trunnion assembly for Main Intel Valves etc. In the next section you will find the relevant reference lists.

Following a number of high profile radial gate failures (e.g. Folsom Dam tainter gate on the American River in California) the suitability of plugged bronze bearings for mordern gate designs has been questionned. A survey of radial gate condition in Norway, carried out by Norconsult and reported by Henning Fosker showed that the actual friction measured in many bearing assemblies was significantly higher than the designed level. The deterioration of the bearings can potentially lead to failure of the gate due to increased bending moments produced by bearing friction.

In order to counter these effects alternative materials were investigated and pure composite bearings installed in the assembly. This signficantly reduced the friction in he assemly as well as eliminating the risk of bearing corrosion ( shaft corrosion will depend on material selection)

TENMET has been actively promoting FEROFORM T814, a pure composite bearing material in Hydromechanical applications since it's introduction to the Hydropower industry in 1996. Depending on the specific application and loading requirements, TENMAT can substitute the plugged bronze bearing with FEROFORM T814.