New methods bearing the load

Thomas Wojtkowski ...

... took an innovative approach to advancing the MORGOIL bearing and created a half-­scale testing device that allowed his team to gain invaluable real-world insights.

NEW METHODS BEARING THE LOAD

In 1932, the Morgan oil-film bearing, branded MORG-OIL, offered rolling mills a radical alternative design—a thin film of oil with immense load capacity. The new MORGOIL bearings reduced friction, increased speeds, and lowered power demands, all while achieving better product tolerances with increased reliability. To date, the tapered-neck MORGOIL bearing has seen three generations of hydrodynamic technology. The latest innovation, the MORGOIL KLX, has maintained the position as the industry standard, while offering more than 25% increased capacity in the same space.

Thomas Wojtkowski, a former aerospace engineer, led the team behind the MORGOIL KLX. "The challenge was to redesign the bearing technology without overloading other components that mate with the bearing," he says. For the first time ever, the new technology was tested on a custom-built half-scale device that runs at realistic speeds and loads. "We measured what was actually happening inside, rather than relying on theoretical work," he says. That knowledge allowed the MORGOIL R&D team to refine the design with a thinner bearing still robust enough for real-world applications. "The proportions looked so different that many people were skeptical," says Wojtkowski. But 100-plus mills later, the technology has more than proven its value. "It’s great to see how widely KLX has been adapted to so many types of mills worldwide. Our team is very proud of the success of the product."