• en

An ace up the sleeve

Where, when, and why to use a wear sleeve

If a rotating shaft becomes worn or damaged, or if seal is not interacting with the counterface as it should, a technician has to quickly decide an appropriate course of action. In this article, Industrial Seals Expert explains why wear sleeves provide a cost- and time-effective alternative to surface repairs and improvements.

Abrasive slurries found in chemical processing applications and other high-contamination sealing environments are a challenge – even for the toughest, most robust solutions. Shaft-to-bore misalignment may occur, or wayward particles that slip beneath the sealing lip could penetrate the surface and abrade a circular score around the shaft. If this is the case, normal procedure is to repair or replace the shaft entirely. Both options are lengthy, often costly endeavors.

Up and running in as little as
45 minutes

In rare cases, it might also be possible to reposition the seal. This would involve sliding the seal to an unaffected area further into the bore, free from any damage. A quick fix, yes, but this is only an option for machines with a through bore and can normally only be performed once.

From scored to restored in minutes

SKF has developed solutions which support maximum productivity and reliability of your rotating equipment. A cost-effective alternative to replacing, resizing, or taking on the tough task of metalizing a worn shaft, the SKF Speedi-Sleeve and a range of wear sleeves for heavy industrial applications (LDSLV4) are quite simply the fastest way to achieve an optimal sealing surface. What’s more, significant cost savings can be obtained when installing a wear sleeve from the outset. Since its shaft surface requirements are then less stringent, the life of the seal counterface can be extended and the need for any new equipment is eradicated

The benefits of these ultra-thin, wear-resistant solutions can be boiled down to seven key points.

Your benefits at a glance

• Downtime for repairs is minimized
• Sealing performance is improved
• Productivity and reliability are improved
• The need to grind, metalize, or machine the shaft is eradicated
• Costs saved through eradication of need for new equipment
• Surface lifecycle is extended
• Sleeves are compatible with original seal

Mission: impeccable

Installation of SKF wear sleeves is a simple task, but as is the case with any critical machinery, it should be carried out with care to achieve the best results. A clean workstation, free from any contaminants is a good place to start. Another pre-installation task involves filing down the shaft to ensure no burrs or rough spots. Once this is achieved, a wear sleeve is ready for insertion.

While many bearing mounting tools, like the LDSLV4, need to be uniformly heated prior to installation, the SKF Speedi-Sleeve is simply tapped into place using the tools provided (see below).

The outside edge of the sleeve should sit on the full shaft diameter, rather than resting on the chamber. If the sleeve isn’t flush, its sharp edges could tear through the sealing lip during installation. If necessary, the flange can be removed simply with a pair of standard pliers.

If you wish to fortify a larger shaft used in heavier industrial applications, particularly in rolling mills, metal plants, or chemical and mineral plants, an LDSLV4 – as opposed to the SKF Speed-Sleeve – could be a better option. Refer to the SKF website, or contact your local support team for a full range of sizes.

Video evidence

This video compares the time is takes to perform a SKF Speedi-Sleeve installation against a shaft replacement: