Dispensing with keys and keyways

Written by: Tom Shelley | Published:

Bushings made up of split sleeves and locknuts do away with keys and keyways and associated maintenance problems on a mine type ride for a European theme park

The locknut in the Dodge Grip Tight Bushing draws the sleeves with opposing tapers together, closing the inner sleeve around the shaft until the grip is tight. This provides a completely concentric 360 deg fit. As the nut is loosened, a spring makes the sleeves open slightly, allowing them to slide off.
The bushings are being applied to trains of four wooden wagons being made by Garmendale Engineering based in Ilkeston, Derbyshire. Previously, the company would have coupled the wheels to the shafts by machining keys and keyways and securing with set screws. The machining time and assembly time for each of the wheels would probably take one to two hours, adding in excess of 50 skilled labour man hours onto total project costs. In addition, keyway systems can often cause vibration in service, since the set screws usually force the shafts to slightly eccentric positions, shortening the lives of the bearings. However, the company became aware of the new bushing system during a visit by one of its suppliers, Bearing Transmission and Pneumatics based in Derby

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