SKF launches the axial excluder seal, especially designed for the wind market,that addresses the harsh conditions that wind turbine main shafts face. The axial excluder seal can deliver significantly extended service life and contaminant protection for increased wind turbine reliability and reduced maintenance costs. Ultimately, the seal can help wind farm operators reduce the risks of contaminant-related bearing failures and the high unplanned downtime, repair and lost productivity costs that follow.
“With this exceptional service life extension, the seal can meet standard wind farm maintenance inspection schedules – a tremendous advantage in terms of more cost-effective maintenance scheduling”, says María Concepción Martín, Product Manager SKF Sealing Solutions.
Up to now, the wind industry had to rely on standard rubber excluder seals available in the market for general industry that didn’t consider, let alone meet, the challenges found in wind turbine main shafts. These rubber excluder seals can wear quickly, because they are not capable of handling the rough counterface surfaces and limited lubrication conditions.
The HRC1 axial excluder seal from SKF overcomes these challenges. This seal is manufactured from a special H-ECOPUR, an SKF-developed polyurethane with excellent abrasion resistance and tear strength. Available in solid and split executions, this seal also features a steel band clamp with a fast-lock mechanism for easy up-tower installations.
Working closely with a prominent wind turbine manufacturer, SKF subjected the HRC1 axial excluder seal to an extended field trial. Following installation on 40 separate 2.5 MW turbines, the seal operated continuously under real-world conditions. After three months, an initial inspection revealed some normal running-in wear of the seals. Six months later, only minimal additional wear could be detected.
“This field trial helped confirm that the HRC1 axial excluder seal from SKF can provide drastically extended service life compared to conventional rubber excluder seals,” says María Concepción Martín. All SKF products for the Wind industry are part of the SKF BeyondZero portfolio.
Filed Under: News, O&M, Seals & slip rings