GBC Tensioner/Pulley Mud Bath Test Machine

Successfully completing a Ball Bearing Product Validation Program using the worst case contamination conditions at the vehicle application loads and speeds is critical to achieving satisfactory product reliability. To enhance GBC’s ongoing commitment to meet or exceed our customer’s quality and performance expectations, General Bearing Engineering has recently added Mud Bath Contamination Testing capability at General Bearing Headquarters in West Nyack, New York.

GBC’s Mud Bath Test Machine duplicates the basic design prin ciples of GBC’s pre viously existing Pulley Bearing Durability Test Machine. Both ma chines use a dead weight plate system to create the Serpentine Belt tension which compensates for both belt break-in wear and belt stretch over extended test durations. If the rubber belt stretches too far or breaks, the weight stack drops supported by an air cylinder simultaneously tripping a test shutdown switch.

An Allen Bradley Micrologix 1500 PLC based control system handles all the automation and integration to solenoid valves, temperature probes, motor starters, etc.

In addition, an Allen Bradley Panel View Operator Interface is used for the input and acquisition of machine parameters and data. The Primary Driving Pulley Shaft is controlled by an AC Frequency Drive Motor that allows for a pre-programmed variation in test speed conditions.

A PLC based Control System automatically runs and controls bearing testing by varying the speed requirements, spraying the Mud solution thru pre-programmed ON/OFF Mud Cycles and monitoring all INPUT/OUTPUT data through the duration of the test. The test bearing inner ring temperatures are continuously monitored with a preset test shut down temperature limit.

The machine is capable of testing eight (8) pulley bearings during one test with the ball bearing mounted into its pulley housing (steel or plastic material). Each test bearing has a dedicated spray nozzle applying the Mud solution directly to the front seal of the test bearing. The standard Mud Solution consists of water, 0.3% salt (NaCl) with 5% powdered clay. The Mud Solution flow is set at 15 Liters/ minute with a pressure of 7 to 10 psi with the spray nozzle located no farther than 250mm from the test bearing. The Stainless Steel Cabinet operates at room temperature compared to its counterpart Durability Test machine that runs at 145°C air temperature for pulley bearing durability testing.

GBC Engineering also plans to use the Mud Bath Machine for seal life testing for Salt Solution exposure and Arizona Dust exposure. The Mud Exposure Test is the highest severity seal contamination type test and normally guarantees success in passing both Salt and Dust exposure tests. The machine is capable of performing seal testing on Deep Groove Ball Bearings up to 100mm OD and GBC engineers are ready to work on your most difficult sealing applications.