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36 Purvis Street #02-07

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Orange Delta Equipment Pte Ltd

36 Purvis Street #02-07

Singapore 188613

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Orange Delta Equipment Pte Ltd

36 Purvis Street #02-07

Singapore 188613

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36 Purvis Street #02-07

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DEVA Two employees at work

Bushing/sliding bearing installation with liquid nitrogen or dry ice

General Advice

The supercooling installation method is principally possible for polymer and metal bearings, but in the case of metal plain bearings only applicable for bearings with a bronze or nickel-copper matrix. With other metal alloys, the supercooling process could lead to undesirable structural changes.

Sliding bearings with a bronze or nickel-copper matrix, owing a thermal expansion coefficient of a » 18…20 x 10-6 1/K (bronze) and a » 13…16 x 10-6 1/K (nickel-copper), offer sufficient contraction for the supercooled parts to be inserted in the prepared bores without needing to apply any force. When working with polymer bearings (deva.tex®) it has to be considered, whether it has glass fiber backing layer or pure polymer fiber reinforcement. Deva.tex® with glass fiber backing layer has a coefficient of thermal expansion of
a » 13 x 10-6 1/K) while pure polymer reinforced materials have a » 60…100 x 10-6 1/K.

The process can be applied with operating temperatures of up to 120 °C. In such cases no additional securing of the bearing is necessary. If the a value of the bearing exceeds that of the housing, higher operating temperatures are also permissible.

In steel construction or hydraulic steelworks, where higher stress forces may occur and the support parts have inadequate wall thickness, the alternating deformation might cause the plain bearing to loosen, even despite good coverage. In such cases additional securing in line with DN 2.32 is recommended. This additional securing also needs to be provided when diagonally introduced forces could lead to shearing stress for the

Refrigerants and Refrigerant Handling

The media most frequently used for supercooling are dry ice (CO2) and liquid nitrogen (N2). Both substances need to be treated as hazardous materials. Corresponding personal protection equipment is mandatory when handling dry ice or liquid nitrogen. The applicable accident prevention regulations need to be complied with.

Suitable as an insulating tank would be a wooden box, for example, which is completely lined with approx. 30 mm thick styrofoam. A lid prevents rises in temperature and ensures that the bearings are cooled down faster.

The entire bearing needs to be covered by the refrigerant. Depending on the size, the application period amounts to approx. 30 to 60 minutes for liquid nitrogen and approx. two hours if dry ice is used. The dry ice needs to be crushed quite finely (approximately to walnut size).

General rule:

the larger the bearing diameter, the more beneficial the supercooling influence will be

the thicker the bearing wall, the less beneficial the supercooling influence will be

Calculation of shrinkage

s = n * ∝1 * ∆T * D 

valid for ∝= 18 x 10-6 1/K (bronze) and at room temperature (resp. housing temperature) 20°C
  • s ... shrink dimension [mm]
  • D ... outer diameter [mm]
  • T ... temperature difference [K] – difference between T1 and TCO2 or T1 and TN2
  • TCO2 ... temperature of dry ice  (-75°C)
  • TN2 ... temperature of liquid nitrogen  (-195°C)
  • T1 ... ambient temperature (assumed: 20°C)
  • n  ... safety factor (0,8 is an empirical value for the consideration of the heat transfer and the heating of the bearing during handling)
  •   ... coefficient of thermal expansion (1/K) according to material datasheet
  • 1 ... coefficient of thermal expansion [1/K] for low temperatures ... (1 =  0,83*  [for dry ice]; 1 =  0,77*  [for liquid nitrogen])

Product Specific Specialties

  • deva.bm®
    Bearings made from deva.bmâ can only be installed via supercooling if they have outer diameters of Ø 200 mm and above. With smaller diameters, installation is performed by pressing-in as described in our deva.bm® handbook.
    In order to improve the handling of the bearing when installing it via supercooling, the use of a leading-in sleeve is recommended. In an ideal case, this is centered and fixed at the housing. The housing bore is thinly lubricated with oil for better assembly. The bearing can then be easily pushed into the seat bore using an appropriate punch or lid. Please see the technical deva.bm® handbook at www.deva.de for detailed installation instructions.
  • deva.glide®
    For slide bearing diameters of up to 200 mm, supercooling with liquid nitrogen is recommended. Above 200 mm, dry ice can be used for supercooling. However, such a process bears the risk of losing solid lubricant plugs due the different coefficient of thermal expansion.
  • deva.metal®
    bronze or nickel-copper  … no restriction
    other metal alloys … the supercooling process could lead to undesirable structural changes
  • deva. tex®
    deva.tex® precision bearings with inside diameters > Ø150 mm and above can also be installed by supercooling in liquid nitrogen.

Installation description

  1. Selecting or manufacturing a thermal container. Due to the quality of the insulation (as good as possible insulated) and the selection of the container size (just so large that the bearing can be accommodated) that the loss of nitrogen can be minimized. The container height should be selected in such a way that the bearing can be completely immersed in nitrogen.
  2. Place the bearing in the container and then start pouring in the nitrogen. In the first moments, the nitrogen boils very strongly as soon as it contacts the surface.
  3. Due to the extreme temperature difference, the liquid nitrogen will continue to boil. During this time, it may be necessary to refill nitrogen to ensure that the bearing is completely covered with nitrogen.
  4. The length of stay in nitrogen is recommended for 30 to 60 minutes (depending on bearing size and wall thickness). The nitrogen must no longer be boiling. However, a slight bubble may still take place.
  5. When installing deva.bm® bearings, it is recommended to use a guide bush according to the instructions for press fit installation.
  6. After the parts have been fully submered in the cooling medium  for the traget time, the sliding parts need to be inserted into the support parts / housing without delay. Contraction via liquid nitrogen should be adequate for fitting the parts into the receiving bores without significant force. The support parts and the sliding parts to be supercooled need to be cleaned carefully.
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