Shipping Container For Radioactive Material Uses Slewing Ring Bearing Technology

 

Students from the University of Tennessee used PRT slewing ring bearings donated by igus® in the design and construction of a barrel-shaped shipping container designated for radioactive material. The project, known as "ES-4100", was commissioned by the Y-12 National Security Complex, a manufacturing facility dedicated to making the nation and world a safer place by playing a vital role in the Department of Energy’s Nuclear Security Enterprise. The company helps retrieve and store nuclear materials, fuels the nation’s naval reactors, and performs complementary work for other government and private-sector entities.

The ES-4100 container is the largest available of its kind. It measures 71 inches tall, weighs almost 2,000 pounds and houses a total of four smaller fuel-containment vessels. Due to their large size, the fuel-containment vessels are typically extracted from the container using an overhead crane. However, the company also needed an option for loading and unloading the ES-4100 in harsh environments where a crane cannot be operated. To that end, the Y-12 National Security Complex commissioned the group of mechanical engineering students to design and build a toolset that enables two workers to load and unload the fuel vessels without the assistance of a crane or other machinery.

The students faced a number of challenges, including a 10-foot ceiling restriction and finding a mechanical component that could withstand both the toxic environment and heavy load of the container. PRT slewing ring bearings were an ideal solution since they use self-lubricating, low-friction sliding elements in place of traditional ball bearings. The sliding elements are made from a low-cost, high-performance plastic called iglide® J, which is self-lubricating and corrosion-resistant.

Shipping Container For Radioactive Material Uses Slewing Ring Bearing Technology
iglide® PRT slewing rings use self-lubricating, low-friction sliding elements in place of ball bearings. They represent a step forward in slewing ring bearing technology.

The students faced a number of challenges, including a 10-foot ceiling restriction and finding a mechanical component that could withstand both the toxic environment and heavy load of the container. PRT slewing ring bearings were an ideal solution since they use self-lubricating, low-friction sli...

+ Read more

The students faced a number of challenges, including a 10-foot ceiling restriction and finding a mechanical component that could withstand both the toxic environment and heavy load of the container. PRT slewing ring bearings were an ideal solution since they use self-lubricating, low-friction sliding elements in place of traditional ball bearings. The sliding elements are made from a low-cost, high-performance plastic called iglide® J, which is self-lubricating and corrosion-resistant.

The PRT slewing ring bearings are used in a mechanism that tilts the ES-4100 to 60 degrees so the four fuel-containment vessels can be accessed from above. Once tilted, the bearings enable the barrel to rotate into four different positions while at the same time handling a load of nearly 2,000 pounds.

"The PRT slewing ring is a vital part of our design," said Andrew Capdevila, one of the mechanical engineering students working on the ES-4100 container. "We were excited to find that igus made a bearing system for our exact needs and the design team at the Y-12 National Security Complex agreed that it is a perfect fit for our project."

In conjunction with the company's Y.E.S. (Young Engineers Support) Program, igus donated the PRT slewing ring bearings at no cost to the University of Tennessee students. The Y.E.S. Program aims to foster the mechanical design ideas of students with a passion for engineering, while at the same time educating them on the merits and benefits of plastic components.

- Read less

 

Published by igus® Inc. on Sep 16, 2013

More information

For more information send an inquiry directly to igus® Inc.






 

igus® Inc.

www.igus.com
E: sales@igus.com
     mhardy@igus.com
T 800-521-5747
   401-438-2200
F: 401-438-7270

Address
PO Box 14349
East Providence, RI
02914
United States
View map

Follow  
Facebook   Twitter   LinkedIn   YouTube   Google+
 
 

igus® Inc.

www.igus.com
E: sales@igus.com
     mhardy@igus.com
T 800-521-5747
   401-438-2200
F: 401-438-7270

Address
PO Box 14349
East Providence, RI
02914
United States
View map

Follow  
Facebook   Twitter   LinkedIn   YouTube   Google+
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Close
CONTACT IGUS® INC.
* sorry this is a required field