The Mexican Navy has opted for Thordon Bearings’ polymer solutions to enhance the performance and durability of its interceptor patrol vessels. 

Thordon’s SXL material, replacing traditional anti-corrosion coatings, is set to improve waterjet propulsion systems, reducing maintenance costs and improving operational efficiency. This is a potentially new market for the Thordon material, which is typically used in seals and bearings in a number of different onboard application.

Jason Perry, Thordon Bearings’ regional manager for North America, shed light on the selection process, citing successful trials as the driving force behind the Mexican Navy’s decision. 

Perry emphasised the performance of Thordon’s SXL material compared to traditional coatings, highlighting its resilience against corrosion and cavitation-induced damage. “The success of previous tests with Thordon’s SXL material prompted renewed interest from the Mexican Navy,” Perry explained.

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Thordon’s grease-free and water-lubricated polymer materials technology, coupled with the inherent benefits of the SXL material, has enhanced waterjet efficiency while reducing maintenance expenditures. Perry elaborated on the properties of SXL, emphasising its self-lubricating nature and resistance to wear and tear.

“Reliability is huge when it comes to navy vessels. The use of the SXL material in water jets instead of an anti corrosion coating is a novel application for Thordon’s proprietary material,” said Perry, explaining how its performance in seals and bearing application is proven across the industry.

“In bearing applications, longevity of the self-lubricating SXL is so much more than greased metal types, as well. Because once you have the grease in there, you introduce other kinds of contaminants that basically create a lapping compound. Without having grease, you eliminate a possible slip hazard.”

Thordon has a presence in naval fleets worldwide, with over 50 navies and coast guards leveraging Thordon’s solutions.

Perry highlighted the cost-efficiency and longevity of Thordon Bearings’ SXL wear rings, “If there is no grease, there is no oil that’s required. It saves money in maintenance.” Perry continued. “When you ask about being able to eliminate the grease or what the advantages are, the longevity is so much more than a greased metal bearing as well.”

As Thordon Bearings continues to expand its footprint in the naval sector, the Canada-headquartered company remains dedicated to advancing marine propulsion technology and addressing evolving operational challenges. With the Mexican Navy contract serving as a testament, the company looks forward to further collaborations in the maritime industry.

According to GlobalData’s intelligence on the Mexican defence market, the Mexican Navy has 20 Azteca-class light combat vessels. The vessels were acquired between 1974 and 1977. The Mexican Navy recently received the delivery of the Long Range Ocean Patrol (POLA) Class vessel ARM Reformador (POLA-101) from Damen in 2020. Mexico is also awaiting the delivery of the Mexican Navy’s Sigma 10514 long-range patrol vessel.

Thordon Bearings’ partnership with the Mexican Navy represents a milestone in Thordon Bearing’s marine propulsion technology. With its waterjet propulsion system solutions, Thordon Bearings continues to push towards a more efficient, sustainable maritime future.