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Thordon Marine Bearings

Thordon invented an elastomeric bearing system designed for marine based applications such as water lubricated propeller shaft bearings, rudder system bearings, sealed stern tube bearings, dredge applications, offshore oil applications and deck equipment.

Thordon bearing systems already have over 25 years of marine installations behind them and experience has shown that they are a reliable, pollution free solution for ship owners, managers and shipyards. Thordon systems will meet and exceed the technical requirements and can be applied to all repair, conversion and newly build projects.

At a Glance – The Benefits

  • Zero Pollution risk – eliminate grease or oil due to the grease free journal bearings
  • High abrasion resistance – operate in dirty abrasive environments with low-bearing abrasive wear rate
  • Elastomeric bearing – withstands shock loads and edge loading
  • Proven long wear life – lower life cycle costs
  • Survivability – non-catastrophic failure mode
  • Global availability – technical support and inventory

Whether it is above or below the water line, Thordon self-lubricating rudder bearings offer freedom from grease. Thordon SXL self lubricating bearings have set the standard in rudder bearing technology and are recognised internationally as the proven choice for value, performance and complete freedom from water pollution concerns for both new construction and conversions.

Since 1970 Thordon Bearings have been a world leader in elastomeric polymer rudder bearing technology. Used dry or water-lubricated, out rudder bearings offer long-life performance, proven through more than 4,000 installations over the last 25 years.

Thordon rudder bearings offer lifetime value for owners and yards who demand the best performance in environmentally friendly rudder bearing systems. Operating grease free, eliminates the maintenance and environmental concerns associated with grease lubricated systems.

Thordon SXL bearings made from an advanced polymer exhibit a lower coefficient of friction that other materials commonly used for rudder bearings resulting in smooth operation, reduced loading stress on all steering gear components and longer life, all without the hassles of grease.

In addition to SXL Thordon’s new thermoplastic product ThorPlas® is designed to withstand radial loads as high as bronze (working pressures up to 31 MPa or 4500 psi) in dry or wet applications. ThorPlas offers reduced wear and eliminates the need for grease, when specified in place of bronze bushings in steering linkage and hydraulic cylinder yoke applications.

Thordon SXL a Crucial solution for FPSO “Our selection of bearing material was crucial. Not only did it have to perform well under the sea, it also needed to be relatively low maintenance and have a design life of 15 years!” – Jon Dunston, Director, London Marine Consultants.

Thordon’s open seawater lubricated propeller shaft bearings are replacing oil-lubricated, metal bearings in new build and conversions. The COMPAC bearing system uses seawater as the lubrication medium in place of oil. Seawater is taken from the sea, pumped through non-metallic COMPAC propeller shaft bearings and returned to the sea.

Use of seawater lubricated bearings eliminates the aft seal, as well as the storage, sampling and disposal of oil. Thordon currently offers an industry leading 15-year bearing wear life guarantee on COMPAC. The COMPAC shaft bearing system is currently installed on 600 vessels worldwide.

To promote early formation of a hydrodynamic film between the shaft and bearing, the lower (loaded) portion of the bearing is smooth, while the upper half of the bearing incorporates grooves for flow of the water lubricant/coolant.

Please contact our sales team for further information on Thordon products for your propeller shaft such as Thordon Coatings, Water Quality Package, shaft liners, lubricants and shaft seals.

Thordon Bearings has over 25 years experience working with workboats, pushboats and tugs operating in dirty abrasive-laden water, especially in the Mississippi River system in the U.S.A. Long lasting Thordon RiverTough water lubricated tailshaft bearings operating in combination with hard coated shaft sleeves offer life cycle cost and performance benefits to keep your vessel operating longer, saving you money and down time.

Mating Surface:

Run in combination with hard-coated nickel-chrome-boron (NiCrB) shaft sleeves, Thordon RiverTough offers outstanding wear life in abrasive water lubricated applications. The up-front cost is quickly offset by longer wear life and reduced maintenance down time over the life of the vessel.


Thordon RiverTough bearings can be installed using an interference freeze fit or bonded in place using a Thordon-approved adhesive. Interference fit is often recommended for new build installations where the housing bore is consistent and concentric. Bonding is often the best option for repair installations where the housing bore may not be ideal.

Contact Us

20-22 Macquarie Drive
Thomastown, VIC 3074

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