Delivering Fluid Sealing Solutions Since 1972

Biofuels Ethanol Producer

"2 years with no leakage thanks to bearing isolators"

the challenge

Manufacturers of ethanol experienced issues with lubricant loss due to failing lip seals in several screw conveyors driven by gearboxes. The gearboxes required a total rebuild every six months due to a standard Nitrile (NBR) lip seals degrading due to temperature of +82°C to +121°C, and contamination. As a result of the manufacturer not having spare gearboxes in stock, they had to be sent out for rebuild. This method is very costly in the context of labour, downtime and material.

the solution

Although there were only 3 sizes of gearboxes at the plant, there was no consistency among them. Measurements of groove and shaft step position also varied before and after rebuild, which led to a challenge in establishing the right design. Consequently, the end-user was tasked with a challenge to find another solution, terminate the pattern of using lip seals to end the necessity of dealing with reduced equipment life and expensive rebuilds.

the result

To develop a solution and end customers' struggle trying to find a dependable alternative solution, we gathered all the necessary and accurate information about the application. This enabled us to propose FLOOD-GARD® Bearing Isolator as a solution. FLOOD-GARD® has been in service for around 2 years now without any failure or leakage. The customer transitioned to FLOOD-GARD® on all the other screw conveyor gearboxes and is planning to do the same in other locations. Our solution saves the customer approximately $5,000 per gearbox annually.