Lignum Vitae Releases Facts Brochure

Over the life of a Lignum Vitae bearing set, a customer could avoid approximately 360 days of power generating loss  (Click Here for Facts Brochure)

Replaces all brands of bearings including:

Kaplan, Pelton, Leffel, Francis, GE, S. Morgan Smith, Westinghouse, Allis Chalmers, and International

Excellent for older plants with worn or grooved shafts due to the ability of lignum vitae to wear into the shape of the groove eliminating the need to prematurely re-machine.

No other material can match this capability.

Your Source for Genuine Lignum Vitae


The first record of lignum vitae came when Christopher Columbus returned to Spain with lignum vitae for use in mills and equipment. Thomas Edison first specified lignum vitae bearings in the AppletonWisconsin hydro plant in 1882,which are still in service today. In 1900, approximately 70% of the world’s power was hydro power, 100% of which ran on lignumvitae bearings. WWII placed a huge demand on the supply of lignum vitae for stern tubes of every destroyer, submarine and carrier for the US Navy.


The company’s perpetual supply of 2.0 million pounds per year, at a 65% conversion ratio, is sufficient to supply about 3,250 bearing sets per year @ 400 lbs. each. Bearings can typically be shipped in one to two days.

The Environment:

• The only renewable, natural, industrial underwater bearing.

• Self lubricating from a natural substance, impervious to water, that is bound in the

homogeneous fiber of the wood that releases and coats the surface of the bearing as the

shaft warms the bearing.

• Requires no grease, oil or other lubricants, which typically spill in surrounding water.

• No threat to air, water, or soil, with nothing going into landfill.

• No manufacturing pollution, toxic metals, PCB’s, Plastic, VOC’s, or exotic chemicals.

• The forest is actively managed to preserve the supply of lignum vitae into perpetuity

through an internationally recognized agency.

Shaft Sizes and Bearing Useful Life:

• Lignum vitae bearings currently support shafts from 6” to over 50” in diameter, with a

bearing useful life in excess of 60 years.

Services Available: On-Site Inspection and Training

Operating Characteristics:

• Only hydro bearing with over 130 years of successful continuous operation in hundreds of


• Needs inside housing space of approximately 25mm, which is similar to composites.

• Contains guaiac gum that acts as the lubricant. This water impervious gum glazes the

bearing surface, which stays intact for decades, even in dirty or “silty” water. Unlike other

lubricants that are free to flow away from the bearing, guaiac gum is bound in a

homogeneous fiber that cannot drain away.

• Contains no abrasives or composites requiring shaft treatments or special coatings.

• No moving parts – Nothing to rust or corrode, Non-fouling.

• Known as the most “steel friendly” material in use.

• Nature’s perfect combination of hardness and lubricity for running against steel.

• “ZERO” wiping or smearing of material onto the shaft, thereby eliminating residual

buildup and “thumping.”

• Excellent startup ability.

• Can be adjusted to zero clearance (especially for older turbines with some wear

or “wobble”), unlike composite bearings that require inordinate clearance for fear of

touching and smearing the shaft.

• Excellent performance in dirty and “silty” water, with documented cases of 67 years of

service on original bearing sets in Army Corps of Engineers’ plants.

• Requires no “costly” additional shaft treatments or coatings to keep the bearing from

cutting the shaft.

• No need to filter the water or add lubricants required by some composites.

• Easy to install, even when replacing old bearings in remote or crude conditions.