Powder Metallurgy bearings from Federal-Mogul keep the world’s largest clock tower turning

February 14, 2012

Federal-Mogul Corporation has supplied high-performance self lubricating Powder Metallurgy bearings, from its DEVA bearings division, to ensure reliable operation of the world’s largest tower clock, the Makkah Clock Royal Tower at the Fairmont Hotel in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

Makkah_ClockTower

Federal-Mogul produced 16 self lubricating bearings

for use in the Makkah Clock Royal Tower in Mecca

The bearings were designed in close cooperation with German tower clock manufacturer Perrot to handle the combination of extreme loads, low rotational speed, intermittent motion and harsh operating environment. The exceptional demands created by the shafts carrying hour and minute hands each weighing around 7.5 tonnes, ruled out any conventional solutions, such as roller or bronze plain bearings, stated Federal-Mogul.

The new clock tower, standing 601 metres (approx. 1,969 feet), is six times the height of Big Ben’s clock tower in London and features four clock faces, each 43 metres (approx.141 feet) in diameter, legible from up to 10 kilometres (approx. 6 miles) away. The hour and minute hands move only once per minute, leading to huge static and inertia loads for the bearings to carry. Sand storms, winter storms, extreme daily temperature fluctuations and the high risk of lightning strikes combine to create a uniquely harsh and abrasive operating environment.

deva.bm
Federal-Mogul designed its sintered bearings in close

cooperation with German tower clock manufacturer

Perrot

“Federal-Mogul DEVA has refined a proven solution to suit an especially demanding application,” stated Gerard Chochoy, Senior Vice President, Powertrain Sealing and Bearings. “Our application engineers have again demonstrated our technology leadership in the field of self-lubricating bearings.”

Federal-Mogul’s deva.bm is a self-lubricating composite material, produced using a special sintering method. It is maintenance free and features extremely high static and dynamic load carrying capacity and a low friction coefficient, due to homogeneous solid lubricant inclusions such as graphite and PTFE, within the bronze matrix. Bearings featuring this material are ideally suited to sliding contact and greatly outperform conventional roller bearings in applications characterised by heavy loads, low rotational speeds and lack of lubrication.

Federal-Mogul designed the bearings in close cooperation with Perrot to be maintenance-free for several decades. Arranged in quarter segments for easy mounting, each of the 16 bearings required for the four movements carries a self-lubricating contact layer just 1.5mm thick on a 5mm backing. Such minimal thicknesses are sufficient to reliably carry each of the 700mm (approx. 28-inch) diameter hour-hand shafts and the 300mm (approx. 12-inch) diameter minute-hand shafts.

Four clock movements have been constructed, one for each side of the tower. The central elements are two shafts that support the hour and minute hands, driven by servomotors. The motor for the minute hand switches on 15 seconds before the top of the minute, moving the 22-metre (approx. 72 feet) minute hand forward 60 times an hour, 1,440 times a day, 525,600 times a year.

www.federalmogul.com 

Edited by: Paul Whittaker, Editor ipmd.net, [email protected]   

News | Articles | Market reviews | Search directory | Subscribe to e-newsletter

 

www.ipmd.net

In the latest issue of PM Review…

Download PDF

Extensive Powder Metallurgy industry news coverage, and the following exclusive deep-dive articles and reports:

  • Burgess-Norton and Amsted Automotive: How a legacy automotive supplier is growing with, not despite, electrification
  • Meeting sustainability demands in PM: High-temperature sintering of nickel- and copper-free powder mixtures for low alloyed PM parts
  • World PM2022: An overview of the status and trends in the global PM industry
  • A novel approach for the production of metal powders with tailored chemical compositions: Amazemet’s rePowder
  • Productivity, flexibility, reliability: SACMI’s new press technologies for the changing PM industry
  • Understanding the thermal properties of metal powders: Characterisation of powders using the Hot Disk technique
  • World PM2022: Views on the potential of Field Assisted Sintering for advanced materials

The latest news from the world of metal powders, delivered to your inbox

Don't miss any new issue of PM Review, and get the latest industry news. Sign up to our weekly newsletter.

Sign up

From the industry…

Discover our magazine archive…

The free-to-access PM Review magazine archive offers unparalleled insight into the world of Powder Metallurgy from a commercial and technological perspective through:

  • Reports on visits to leading PM part manufacturers, metal powder manufacturers and industry suppliers
  • Articles on technology and application trends
  • Information on materials developments
  • Reviews of key technical presentations from the international conference circuit
  • International industry news

All past issues are available to download as free PDFs or view in your browser.

 

Browse the archive

 

Looking for PM production equipment, metal powders, R&D support and more?

Discover suppliers of these and more in our
advertisers’ index and buyer’s guide, available in the back of PM Review magazine.

  • Powders & materials
  • Powder process, classification & analysis
  • PM products
  • Atomisers & powder production technology
  • Compaction presses, tooling & ancillaries
  • Sintering equipment & ancillaries
  • Post-processing
  • Consulting & toll sintering
Download PDF
Share via
Copy link