Ship Composite Bearings

Outstanding performance in stern tube and rudder applications ACM’s composite bearings have been formulated from a high load composite bearing material constructed from a synthetic fibre reinforced thermoset resin and incorporates lubricating additives. This provides excellent mechanical strength, together with a low coefficient of friction, delivering excellent performance in marine environments.

Composite Bearings

Marine Composite Bearings

ACM Composite Bearings is a world leading manufacturer of self-lubricating resin bonded composite materials and non-metallic bearings to many industries.

For almost thirty years, they have developed, manufactured, supplied and supported the application of composite materials into multiple worldwide markets.

L2 Marine is a high load composite bearing material that has been specifically formulated for marine environment applications.

L2 Marine in rudder applications

With virtually zero swell in water and very low thermal expansion coefficients, L2 Marine is ideally suited to the operating conditions and working environment of rudder and pintle bearings which can be either water, oil or grease lubricated and even applicable to dry conditions. L2 Marine was developed to give improved performance, longer life, non-lubricated operation and a maintenance free bearing solution.

Key features 
  • High load capability and very low swell 
  • Low wear characteristics ensure long life 
  • Dry, grease, oil or water lubricated
  • EAL compatible 
  • Resistant to particle embedding and excellent shock resistance 
  • Shaft friendly
  • Can be freeze fitted 
  • Short delivery time – less than one week.

L2 Marine is the only composite material approved to operate as a rudder bearing in wet and dry conditions at bearing pressures up to 10 MPa. Class approvals are held from many of the world’s foremost classification societies.

L2 Marine in sterntube applications

ACM L2 Marine has been tested and approved for stern tube bearing applications and is proven to offer superior performance in terms of wear, extended life and low shaft wear over other water lubricated bearing materials.

Being the same specification as that used for rudder bearings, all the key features described above, apply. L2 Marine is a maintenance free solution that is available as finish machined bearings or in billet form for final machining in the shipyard. The excellent bearing performance of L2 Marine coupled with its superior physical characteristics offers shipyards and ship owners many advantages.

Advantages in using L2 Marine for propeller shafts
  • High load capability
  • Approved for wet and dry operation
  • Very low stick – slip
  • Short delivery time (repair 48 hours)
  • Good elasticity
  • Can be freeze fitted
  • Classification approval
  • Dynamic coefficient of friction (dry): 0.13
  • Very low swell – Swell in water (volume): < 0.15%
  • Low wear characteristics – long life
  • Maintenance free
  • Good dimensional stability
  • Competitive price
  • Environmentally friendly

Experience – more than just Rudders and Sterntubes

ACM  has  extensive  experience  supplying  L2  Marine  bearings  for  the  marine  and  offshore industry  in  a  wide  range  of  applications  including  rudder  bearings  and water lubricated but L2 Marine is equally applicable to steering  gear, bearings for anchor handling systems, crane bearings, life boat systems, winches, stern roller bearings, offshore moorings and so on. 

ACM L2 Marine is successfully installed and operated on over 7,000 vessels worldwide.


My current water lubricated stern tube bearings are failing, can L2 Marine be fitted in their place?

Yes, we can retrofit virtually any length, diameter or design of water lubricated bearing. All we need is the inside diameter of the sterntube, the shaft diameter and the length of the existing bearings. With a copy of the drawing of the existing arrangement its even easier to provide you with a retrofit option.

Does L2 Marine need forced seawater lubrication?

Yes, most water lubricated bearings require this, to keep bearing temperatures within limits but also to flush any unwanted debris and particulates from the bearing/shaft interface. Remember that this seawater flush should also be filtered to promote bearing life.

I don’t have cryogenic freezing available to me, can I fit L2 Marine in any other way?

The reason we recommend freezing L2 Marine before fitting is that it is designed as an interference fit in its housing. But yes, L2 Marine can fitted without freezing. We design the bearings with features to enable press fitting of the bearings, as an alternative.

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Our team of technical experts offer industry-leading consultation services, equipment sales and support and with a wealth of project management and technical experience, we plan and deliver. We work with you to ensure a smooth project from design specification to onsite installation. Our impartial guidance and multi-supplier approach mean we are focused on finding you the best solution meaning you can be confident in both our services and products.

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