SKF is promoting its Speedi-Sleeve for providing a smooth, abrasion-resistant surface against which radial seals can run reliably - similarly to the way in which screen protectors prevent damage to mobile phones. Speedi-Sleeves can also be used to repair seal-worn shafts at a far lower cost than alternative repair or replacement options.
In order to work efficiently, radial shaft seals must run against a smooth, round surface of the seal counterface. If the counterface becomes worn – such as by a contaminant working itself under the sealing lip – the sealing system will begin to leak. Simply replacing the seal will not be enough. First, the shaft will have to be repaired so that it is flush with the new seal – at a cost of around £600.
SKF Speedi-Sleeve combines a proprietary stainless steel material and manufacturing process into a protective sleeve that can be installed over the shaft to prevent damage – though it can also be fitted over a shaft that is slightly worn. The sleeves are thin-walled (at 0.28mm) and the contact surface has a finish of Ra 0.25 to 0.5 microns – a better counterface than can often be achieved on a shaft.
Installation takes a few minutes, as it is simply slipped into place. A removable flange on the SKF Speedi-Sleeve simplifies installation, and can be left in place as long as it does not interfere with other components or reduce lubricant supply to the seal. Tiny pockets on the sleeve's surface help to trap lubricant and prevent dry-running of the seal that creates excessive wear.
The average cost of an SKF Speedi-Sleeve is around £15 – just 2.5 per cent of the estimated £600 cost of repairing a worn shaft. A screen protector on a mobile phone works on the same principle: it is inexpensive, easy to replace and prevents costly damage to the screen itself.
Speedi-Sleeves can be used across a range of industries including off-highway, mining and cement production, and on equipment such as industrial pumps, gearboxes and motor shafts.
Also available is SKF Speedi-Sleeve Gold, which provides higher abrasion resistance thanks to a thin coating on the surface that increases durability – and imparts a gold colour to it. It is aimed at environments where there are abrasive contaminants, and is particularly effective when combined with SKF Duralife filled-PTFE seals.
SKF Speedi-Sleeves are available in shaft diameters from 12 to 203.2mm, though non-standard sizes can be made for diameters of 211 to 1,143mm.
Follow the link for further details about SKF Speedi-Sleeve.