FŁT & Metals has developed new oil-lubricated wheel hub units to improve commercial vehicles’ performance, to reduce maintenance interventions and to allow monitoring the real lubricant consumption in time. A detailed description of this unit is given by Albertino Calanca General Manager of FŁT & Metals.
In the past, the good operation in time of commercial means was influenced, besides various aspects, also by the wheel hub technology, with the result that some components of these solutions wore out easily. Consequently, this vehicle typology needed maintenance every 20,000-30,000 kilometres, in addition to the replacement of lubricating grease for wheel hubs on axles. «Our manufacturing technical team has focused on this criticality to find some efficacious solutions – Albertino Calanca started telling – In detail, the main problems of conventional wheel hub units concern: the maintenance time and the short mileage; the grease replacement process; moreover, the hub backlash regulation depends on skilled workers’ competence and it is not controllable; finally, the driver cannot visually observe bearing and grease conditions». According to analysed defects, the technical team has started the development of a new product: «We have introduced a lubricating oil instead of grease, optimized bearings’ and hub parts’ size design, added a spacer between two bearings, adopted the visualization of terminal covers and changed the common oil seal with a cassette one» listed the manager.
Characteristics and benefits
Compared to conventional systems, the solution developed by FŁT & Metals offers some benefits: «First of all, the oil-lubricated wheel hub does not need the regular replacement of the gearbox lubricant, unless it deteriorates – Calanca specified – Secondly, in this series of wheel hubs the bearings’ lubrication is suitable for the real requirements of use conditions and it is possible to keep always the oil quantity contained in the component under control. Moreover, to meet customers’ frequent concern about possible oil leaks, we have implemented and adopted a single design of the cassette oil seal, that is a labyrinth-design of the seal lip, to assure the maximum extension of seal performances of the oil seal quality». Wheel hub units manufactured by FŁT & Metals have been already mounted on numerous commercial vehicles and have allowed distancing the number of maintenance interventions: «In short, the optimized design of the wheel hub unit features manifold benefits – Albertino Calanca ended – It is light, simple, quickly installed and resistant to wear. The combined rotation oil seal is equipped with anti-pollution structure and a terminal cover of visual ventilation».