Marine Industry


Recent EPA rulings for accidental oil spills are leading conversions back to water-lubricated solutions. Lignum Vitae is the only water-lubricated technology that can operate at a zero clearance to replace all oiled and composite bearing types. Converting to Lignum Vitae may eliminate all potential EPA or DEQ lawsuits and fines for accidental spills along with lower insurance rates from reduced liability. We can engineer existing oiled equipment back to a water lubricated system and potentially avoid future threat of oil spills.


Notable Lignum Vitae firsts:

• First successful stern tube bearing for rotating shafts patented in 1852.

• First bearing to make transatlantic voyage in 1856.

• First transatlantic cable laid 1856 by the SS. Great Eastern (Western)

• First used in largest non-nuclear Icebreakers Polar Star and Polar Sea.

• Fastest transatlantic voyage in 1952 by SS United States averaging 39.71 MPH
that stands today.

• First nuclear submarine USS Nautilus used lignum vitae in shaft strut bearings.


A Brief History from: United States Naval Institute proceedings, Volume 45 P. 1929

Lignum Vitae, The Vital Wood.—The propeller shaft of every battleship, every destroyer, every transport, in fact, every large steamship, revolves in a wooden bearing at the stern end. Of all the thousands of woods in the world, true lignum-vitae, is the only one that has been found equal to this exacting service. The peculiar properties which so well fit lignum-vitae for the purpose are due to the arrangement of the fibers and the resin content of the sap cells. The fibers never run straight up and down the log, but weave back and forth in a serpentine manner that cross and crisscross like the corded fabric of an automobile tire. The result is a material of extreme tenacity and toughness. When the sap cells cease to function, their every nook and cranny become filled with resin which is about a third heavier than water. The result is a material which weights about 80 pounds per cubic foot.

—Engineering World, Oct. 1, 1919.