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Crosshead bearing

Crosshead with Connecting Rod Purpose
The purpose of the crosshead is to translate reciprocating motion of the piston into the semi rotary motion of the con rod and therefore bearings are required for this purpose. It is also necessary to

Side thrust

Trunk piston engine

Crosshead piston engine

provide guides in crosshead piston engine to ensure that the side thrust due to angularity of the connecting rod is not transmitted to the piston but to the Crosshead guides. Crosshead also ensures that the piston remains central in the cylinder thus limiting wear in the liner.

Effect of gas load from piston on cross head bearing
In large slow-speed engines the gas pressure acting on the piston and through the piston rod puts a load of approximately 75 tons on the crosshead pins with maximum combustion pressure.

RB 18/10/04


The "ul#er solution is to mount the bearings on flexible supports. &ost modern engines tend to have single continuous bearings. In order to minimise the ris! of bearing failure the actual force on the oil within the bearing should be !ept within reasonable limits this can be achieved by having as large a bearing area as possible. Cross heads do not have complete rotary motion and so a complete oil wedge does not form. This arrangement is li!e a simply supported beam and the pin will bend when under load. RB 18/10/04 2/14 . "ome engine builders provide booster pumps which increase the oil pressure to the crosshead during the critical firing period. %in bending is further prevented by means of a continuous bearing. This also avoids the loss of oil which can ta!e place with short bearings. Increasing the diameter of the pin and hence the bearing will minimise the problems as this not only allows for a large bearing area but it also avoids the problem of pin bending. 'il loss from the ends of bearings is prevented by means of restrictor plates. $hen the pin bends the supports flex allowing normal bearing contact to be maintained. This gives rise to edge pressures which brea! through the oil film resulting in bearing failure.Crosshead bearing Crosshead pins are supported in bearings and the traditional way has been to mount the piston rod at the centre of the pin with a large nut and having two bearings alongside. The use of means for preventing oil loss are therefore useful in maintaining an oil film between pin and bearings.

Crosshead bearing Description The crosshead is provided with two guide shoes fitted on the crosshead ends. )urther* the lower shell has an overlay coating. The thic!ness of the shim is calculated for each engine in order to match the different engine layouts RB 18/10/04 3/14 . + shim is inserted between the piston rod and the crosshead. The crosshead bearing cap is provided with a cut-out enabling the piston rod to be assembled with the crosshead (ournal. The piston rod foot rests on the crosshead* and is guided by a pipe in the crosshead. The piston rod is fastened to the crosshead by means of studs and nuts. The centre part of the crosshead is designed as a bearing (ournal which is housed in the crosshead bearing. The crosshead bearing is equipped with bearing shells lined with white metal.

-oth the crosshead bearing shells and the cran!pin bearing shells are retained in position by means of screws fitted in the bearing housings. MA !"#$ uses the same pump to suppl% oil to main bearings as &ell as crosshead at a much reduced pressure 'around ( to ) bar*. for lubricating the cran!pin bearing. The sliding faces of the guide shoes are lined with cast-on white metal. The cran!pin bearing is fitted with bearing shells lined with white metal and assembled in the same manner as the crosshead bearing. The outlet pipe for piston cooling oil is mounted on top of the other guide shoe. If %ou stud% anti. The crosshead bearing is tightened together by means of four studs and nuts. The guide shoe is also fitted with a counterweight in order to balance the weight of the telescopic pipe.Crosshead bearing + telescopic pipe* which supplies lubricating and cooling oil to the crosshead* cran!pin and piston* is mounted on top of one of the guide shoes. The outlet pipe slides within a slotted pipe inside the engine frame* and from there the oil is led through a control device for each cylinder for the purpose of chec!ing the temperature and flow before the oil is passed on to the lube oil tan!. %ou &ill see that RB 18/10/04 4/14 . The crosshead is provided with bores for distributing the oil supplied through the telescopic pipe* partly as cooling oil for the piston* partly as lubricating oil for the crosshead bearing and guide shoes and through a bore in the connecting rod. Question: In Sulzer engines. there is a separate crosshead lubricating oil pump delivering oil at 12 to 16 bar for crosshead lubrication. +he . The nuts are tightened by means of hydraulic tools. The guide shoes are guided by crosshead guides in the engine frame box and properly secured against displacement by guide strips fastened to the guide shoes.ue machines &ith open cran-cases.uestion is &hat is the difference from design aspect of the crosshead lubrication arrangements in the t&o engines that ma-e it necessar% to have a separate high pressure pump in one ma-e of engine. &hile the other one does not need such pump. "oth engines run satisfactoril% &ithout an% crosshead problems and certainl% MA !"#$ arrangement is more simple. Answer: /More than 012 of the circulated oil has the sole purpose of cooling the bearings.

+he in4ection &ill ta-e place at around 21 degrees cran. In MA "#$ engines. +here is a short interval. &e have machined a set of channels in the lo&er crosshead bearing. Modern engines have closed cran-caes and a much higher bearing load 3 hence the need for oil cooling. ever% engine c%cle. +he cooling oil must be in4ected bet&een shaft 'crosshead pin* and lo&er bearing. the shaft &ill cool the loaded bearing half as &ell. in &hich the bearing pressure is lo&er than the oil pressure/ Sul er MAN B&W RB 18/10/04 5/14 . the Sulzer croshead has a plain lo&er bearing &ithout channels. A crosshead bearing is onl% oscillating and the lo&er shell is al&a%s loaded. in &hich the cooling oil can pass. In a main bearing. the oil is pumped into the upper shell and it &ill cool the upper part of the 4ournal. +his is enough for maintaining the oil film in the bearing and &ith an open cran-case the friction heat is removed b% air3cooling. Since the shaft is rotating.angle before +56. &here the c%linder pressure is still lo& and up&ard inertia forces on piston is still high. In order to in4ect oil bet&een pin and bearing. In contrast. the% have to suppl% oil at a much higher pressure.Crosshead bearing the amount of oil for lubrication is a fe& drops per minute. it is cooled on all sides and because the oil film thic-ness is ver% small in the loaded part. +he geometr% is designed in such a &a% that all the loaded s.uare centimeters of the pin are flushed &ith cooling oil t&ice.

the shell is composed of a steel back with cast-on white metal and an overlayer coating. This makes the demands for pin surface roughness and oil wedge geometry very important parameters for the assembly to function. The pin surface is superfinished. which enables the pin sliding geometry to conform with the bearing surface. The oil film generated in this manner can be rather thin. i. as it does not have the overlayer coating. ! further re"uirement is effective cooling which is ensured by the transverse oil grooves. Guide Shoes & guide strips The guide shoes.Crosshead bearing Cross head Thin Shell Bearing The type of bearing used in the crosshead assembly is a thin shell (insert) bearing The lower shell is a trimetal shell. both the upper and lower shells are protected against corrosion with tin flash. which are mounted on the fore and aft ends of the crosshead pins.e. The lower shell is coated with an overlayer. and ensures a uniform load distribution on the bearing surface in contact with the pin. RB 18/10/04 !/14 .The lower shell is e ecuted with a special surface geometry (embedded arc) which e tends over a #$% degree arc. the hydrodynamic oil film is generated through special oil wedges on either side of the a ial oil supply grooves situated in the loaded area of the bearing. Bearing Function and Configuration Because of the oscillating movement and low sliding speed of the crosshead bearing. The upper shell is a bimetal shell. slide between guides and transform the reciprocating movement of the piston&piston rod via the connecting rod into a rotational movement of the crankshaft.

This alignment and the clearance between the guide strips and guide is made with shims between the strips and the guide shoe. A more accurate idea can be gained by chocking the piston centrally in its bore than measuring the clearance at each face. the end of the positioning pin protrudes into a hole in the crosshead pin and restricts the rotational movement of the crosshead pin when the engine is turned with the piston rod disconnected. The edges of the guide shoes are also white metal faced and these run against rubbing strips. The sliding surfaces of the guide shoes and guide strips are provided with cast-on white metal and furnished with transverse oil supply grooves and wedges Guide Clearance The usual way of checking guide clearance is by means of a feeler gauge with the piston forced hard against one face and the total clearance taken at the other face. Bolts are slackened off allowing RB 18/10/04 "/14 . This will also give the athwartships alignment. This gives a reasonable estimation as wear should be approximately the same in the ahead and astern faces. The guide strips are bolted on to the inner side of the guide shoes and ensure the correct position of the piston rod in the fore-and-aft direction. Clearance at these faces can be checked with feelers and this gives the fore and aft alignment. $%d/A&' Clearan(e )or'/S'bd Clearan(e #uide bar #uide Shoe Guide clearances are usually adjusted by means of shims between the hardened steel guide bars and the mounting points.Crosshead bearing The guide shoe is positioned relatively to the crosshead pin with a positioning pin screwed into the guide shoe.

guide shoes and guide strips. The oil supply groove transition to the bearing sliding surface is similar to that of the main bearing geometry. b) )ngage the turning gear. similarity 8educed RB 18/10/04 8/14 . $. similarity 6neven /5. and has two or four tensioning studs. the tensioning may be e ecuted in two or three steps.n the following cases. f) ) amine the sides of the bearing shell. 3hite metal s"uee-ed out. also look for white metal fragments in the oil pan. these shims. The oil flow from the main and crankpin bearings must be compared from unit to unit. depending on the engine type. 7uide strips Observations /5.%1 mm. d* Turn the crank throw for the relevant cylinder unit to B. check that uniform oil +ets appear from all the oil outlet grooves in the crosshead bearing lower shell and the guide shoes. This procedure is recommended in order to avoid a twist (angular displacement) of the bearing cap to the mating face on the connecting rod. there should be a similarity in the flow patterns.Crosshead bearing slotted shims to be inserted or removed. (* *ust after stopping the engine. dislodged or missing at the bearing. 'rankpin bearing assemblies with four studs must be tensioned in parallel. while the oil is still circulating. guide shoe or guide strip ends. The change in clearances must be negligible when compared with the readings from the last inspection (overhaul). and check for s"uee-ed-out or loosened metal.ncrease of clearance since previous reading larger than %. Check without Opening up a) (top the engine and block the main starting valve and the starting air distributor. Checks /il 4low /il *ets 'rosshead. 0. . ote! care must be taken when handling Crank pin bearing This assembly is mounted with a thin shell. g) . Bearing running hot. the bearings must be dismantled for inspection. reduced or missing. for e ample first the two forward studs and then the two aft most studs. /il flow and oil +ets uneven. #. 2.' position and stop the lube oil circulating pump e* 'heck the top clearance with a feeler gauge.

8ecord the hydraulic pressure level when the nuts of the bearing cap go loose. clean 3hite metal fragments /5 .ark 3ater traces 'rosshead guides /il pan /il condition Open up Inspection and Overhaul Note. Checks hite!etal Observations • /5 • 3iping • <ard 'ontact • /il (tarvation • 'racks • 'rack 'luster • :oose • 9issing • (park )rosion • 'orrosion • • • • • • • /5 Tearing 3iping /5 8agged 8idges 3iping . !ssessment of the metal condition and +ournal surface is made in accordance with the directions given below.isappeared Overla" #Cross head onl"$ Transitions • Oil wedge • Bore relief • Tang% run out RB 18/10/04 +/14 . 6se a powerful lamp for inspection.Crosshead bearing 9issing Twisted 3hite metal /5 ("uee-ed 'racks :oose 9issing /5 (cratches 'orrosion (ilvery 3hite /5. 'arefully wipe the running surfaces of the pin&+ournal and the bearing shell with a clean rag. The results should be entered in the engine log book.

a step between the contact faces of the bearing shell. ! small cluster of hairline cracks develops into a network of cracks. !t an advanced stage. oil holes may be partially blocked. for e ample.Crosshead bearing &ournal'(in • • • • • • • • /5 (park )rosion 'orrosion (ilvery 3hite (cratches /5 4retting Trapped <ard =articles Back of Shell T"pes of failure >arious types of failure occur in crosshead bearing linings. 4ailure of the white-metal in some less severe forms usually progresses so that eventually the bearing must be remetalled. in other forms of failure the lining must be condemned and the bearing remetalled. #. RB 18/10/04 10/14 . if found early. Cause for Cracks a) . if. and thermal cracks are likely to develop at the normal dynamic stress level. the fatigue strength of the white metal&tin aluminum will decrease. Note* Bearings with cracks cannot be repaired.f it is present it is usually found at the time the lower half of the cross head bearing is e posed for e amination. The forms of failure are as follows.t does not usually manifest itself under normal operation. or wholly blocked in e treme cases. . increased notch effect and the influence of the hydrodynamic oil pressure will tear the white metal from the steel back and produce loose and dislodged metal fragments.g. a twist between the bearing cap and housing) or geometric irregularities (e. can be rectified so that the bearing can satisfactorily continue in service. (ome. the load is concentrated on a few local high spots of the white metal. . $.g. ("uee-ing of white-metal so that oil grooves are partially blocked or obliterated. c) <igh local loading. 'racking of white metal due to fatigue 4ailure of the white-metal by cracking or fatigue due to increased dynamic stress levels in local areas of the bearing metal.nsufficient strength of the bonding between the white metal and the steel back (tinning or casting error). b) 'rack development after a short working period may be due to a misalignment (e.n the event of e)cessive local heat input. . or incorrect oil wedge geometry). during running-in.

the cause must be found and rectified. #. 2. Causes for iping a) +ard contact spots. (craped bearing or guide shoe surfaces. or crosshead guide surfaces. and is attributed to. Bearing da!age can be prevented b" correct !aintenance and operation which address the following bearing failures* !s there are many and widely varying causes of failure. if the wiping is e cessive. each case must be considered individually and the cause ascertained from the findings of careful e amination.efective pin&+ournal. resulting in plastic deformation (wiping). 4ailure by corrosion is usually found when e amination is carried out on the bearings. 2. The damage is not confined to specific areas of the bearing surface. <ard particle ingress may be due to the malfunction of filters and&or centrifuges or loosened rust and scales from the piping. Therefore. b) iping of overla"er manifests itself by parts of the overlay being of the overlayer being smeared out. #.Crosshead bearing 4ailure by s"uee-ing or overheating may become apparent during engine operation. always pay careful attention to oil cleanliness. 3iping of overlayer can take place when running-in a new bearing. <ard particle ingress. The white metal in the damaged area is seen clearly with a sharply defined overlayer border. bearing. a) Tearing of the overla"er is due to sub-standard bonding. $. when the bearing surface of the white-metal becomes plastic or even melts. corrosion of the white-metal usually being accompanied by corrosion of the crosshead pins. e. The form of the corrosion will depend on the nature of the contamination of the lubricating oil. This defect is regarded as a cosmetic defect. however.g. 4retting on the back of the shell and in the house boring b) . . if it is confined to small areas of bearing surface. it is often noticed when checking bearing clearances or during crankcase e amination 0. RB 18/10/04 11/14 .n most cases the increase in roughness will have occurred in service. c) hite !etal wiping is due to metal contact between the sliding surfaces which causes increased frictional heat. Bearings have been known to fail on new engines when the engine is being worked up to full power for the shop trials. 4ailure by overheating.ncreased pin&+ournal surface roughness* . 0. 'orrosion. originating from. <ard particles trapped between the shell. /ne of the ma+or causes of wiping is pin&+ournal surface roughness. or after many years of satisfactory service.

the wear limit is confined to about 1%? reduction of the oil wedge length &ournal . #. 4or crosshead bearings. 3hen during maneuvering such engine uses diesel oil . the bearing function can be regarded as normal. and result in formation of a very hard black tin-o ide encrustation ((n/) which may scratch and roughen the pin surface. The water will attack the white metal.oughness -i!its to surface roughness The surface roughness should always be within the specified limits.f the oil develops a week acid b) . causing oil starvation at this location. Therefore fuel "uality lever or >. RB 18/10/04 12/14 . . 4or main and crankpin +ournals. /il wedges should be rebuilt to the re"uired inclination (ma imum #&#%%) and length. Bearing ear .f the salt water content in the lube oil is higher than #?. crankpin and crosshead bearing in a given time interval represents the wear rate of the bearing. 'orrosive attack.nade"uate lube oil supply .%%% hrs. c) d) e) f) . !s long as the wear rate is in the region of this value.Crosshead bearing $.T needs to be ad+usted. which is faster burning. !verage bearing wear rate is %.epair of Oil Transitions (3edges. a) @ew +ournals %.%# mm&#%. /il transitions are reconditioned by carefully cleaning accumulated metal with a straight edge or another suitable tool.A 8a b) 8oughness approaching #. ) cessive combustion pressure will show up as by cylinder relief valve lifting. the rate of pressure rise increases and the ma imum combustion pressure may well e ceed that for which the engine was designed. a) .B 8a (+ournal to be reconditioned). tangential run out and bore relief) 4ormation of sharp ridges or incorrect inclination of the transition to the bearing surface will seriously disrupt the flow of oil to the bearing surface.ate The reduction of shell thickness in the loaded area of the main.mpure lubricant or water contamination 9isalignment of running gear ) cessive firing pressure (hips using heavy fuel are timed to in+ect fuel early to obtain good combustion.

as the fingertips are too fle ible.# Cm. .# 8a . 6se a steel ruler. although the best solution will often be to send the crosshead ashore. 4or crosshead pins. the rope must move slowly from one end of the pin to the other.%1-%.f there are also deep scratches. Braided hemp rope method This method is e ecuted with a braided hemp rope and +ewellerFs rouge. RB 18/10/04 13/14 .g.%1 8a.f the 8a value is higher than %. The following methods are recommended for repolishing on the spot. before the polishing process is started. these must be leveled out carefully with 09 polishing paper.Crosshead bearing $. or similar.epairs of &ournals'(ins a) 'rosshead pins =in surface roughness should be less than %.easure!ent of clearance for S. The surface roughness after polishing should be %. . which can be recommended as a fairly "uick and easy method. ! mi ture of polishing wa and gas oil (forming an abrasive paste of a suitably soft consistency) is to be applied to the rope at regular intervals. a) @ew or repolished %. #.' on the e haust side. . to support the polishing paper. $. or similar. .%1 8a b) !cceptable in service %. the pin can often be repolished on the spot. 09 aluminium o ide (0% micron and #1micron).# 8a .C /ngine a) Turn the crank throw concerned to G%H before B.# 8a c) 8epolishing if over %. =olishing with microfinishing film The polishing process is carried out with a DDmicrofinishing filmEE. e.uring the polishing operation.

ecords RB 18/10/04 14/14 .Crosshead bearing b) 9easure the clearance in the crosshead bearing by inserting a feeler gauge between the bearing cap and the crosshead +ournal. (* The wear limit for a crosshead bearing shell is confined to 1%? reduction of the oil wedge length (-$. e actly ne t to the landing surface for the piston rod foot. Inspection .