Machine Design

Wheels for Tracked Motion-Control Systems Resist Water and Contamination

Equipment that uses wheeled carriages and fixtures traveling on steel tracks can be problematic in the food and beverage industries. Frequent wash downs with stringent chemicals can harm bearings and other components, and areas not easily cleaned can become contaminated and spread disease. To reduce the risk of these problems, engineers at Bishop-Wisecarver Corp., Pittsburg, Calif. (, developed the DualVee wash-down wheel, which works with the company’s DualVee AISI Type 420 stainless-steel track.

The wheels have an overmolded metal shield that prevents water sprayed at the wheel from reaching the bearings. The spray’s velocity deflects the shield and its soft outer layer pushes against the metal surface of the wheel, forming a momentary seal. An inner seal provides a second line of defense, keeping fluids out while retaining holding lubrication. Once the spray stops, the shield returns to its normal position, letting any fluid between the shield and seal drain out or be spun out by centrifugal force as the wheel turns.

The wheels come in 1.21 in. and 1.803-in. diameters. The smaller wheel can carry a radial load of 544 lbf (2,420 N), axial loads of about 90 lbf (400 N), and weighs 37.8 gm. The larger wheel handles radial loads up to 1,169 lbf (5,200 N), axial loads to 130.4 lbf (580 N), and weighs 128.3 gm.

Edited by Stephen J. Mraz

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