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Revolvo’s special bearing service came to the rescue recently, helping to safeguard nearly five generations of brewing excellence at Bathams, a renowned Black Country brewer in the West Midlands. At extremely short notice between brewing cycles, Revolvo manufactured a special assembly for a Sparger arm, which is critical to the brewing process. The assembly comprises of a stainless steel threaded pipe with a special thrust bearing at one end. The bearing is a hybrid solution and utilises silicon nitride balls, of the type used on Formula 1 cars, to handle hot water contamination without suffering from corrosion.
The Sparger arm is used in the Mashing process, which is the most important of the brewing processes, as it is largely in the mash-tun that the character of the beer is determined. The mash-tun is a large metal vessel fitted with a false bottom composed of plates perforated with numerous small holes or slits. This arrangement is necessary in order to obtain a proper separation of the " wort "  (as the liquid portion of the finished mash is called) from the spent grains. The mash-tun is also provided with a stirring apparatus, so that the grist and liquor may be intimately mixed, and an automatic sprinkler, the Sparger arm.
The function of the Sparger arm is to remove sugar from the malt through washing. The arm is essentially an inverted “T” with a bearing assembly at its junction, which enables the arms to rotate through 3600 under the driving action of extremely hot water (at 1800F), which is then distributed evenly across the malt.
At Bathams brewery, the Sparger arm is made of bronze and dates back 60-years. As a result, when its central bearing failed due to contamination from hot water, it was not obvious who could offer the facilities to repair it. Luckily for Bathams, one of their operatives had heard of Revolvo; even more fortunate was that Revolvo was situated just three miles down the road.                                                   
The Sparger arm was removed and taken to Revolvo’s manufacturing base in Dudley. There it was dismantled, and consideration was given to the best method of repair. Given the difficult conditions under which the arm operates, Revolvo’s engineers were keen to provide a solution that was inherently reliable and would provide longer life. Both of these objectives have been achieved with a unique device comprising a stainless steel threaded pipe with a ceramic-balled thrust bearing.
“The special bearing assembly for the Sparger arm illustrates very effectively the versatility that Revolvo deploys to provide innovative solutions to specific bearing problems,” said Adrian Menzies, Sales & Marketing Director for Revolvo. “The solution we have provided mixes the old with the new in the best possible way; enlisting the aid of technology used in the latest generation F1 cars to help maintain a brewing tradition that goes back 130 years.”
About Revolvo Ltd
Revolvo Ltd has been producing high quality, rolling element bearings since 1968. Over nearly four decades, the company has developed a detailed understanding of the requirements of a diverse range of industries, including Aerospace, Motorsport, Power Generation, Petrochemical, Railways and Steel
Revolvo serves these industries with a flexible, high quality manufacturing facility, focusing on the production of ball, roller, and split roller bearings. This is backed up with a full technical support service to provide assistance in bearing selection, and also a custom design service to meet the needs of specific applications. Revolvo bearings are produced to DIN PO/ABEC 1 standards, with up to P4/ABEC 7 available on request
For reader enquiries contact: Adrian Menzies, Sales and Marketing Director, Revolvo Ltd, Queens Cross, Dudley, West Midlands. DY1 1QW. Tel: 01384 844000 Fax: 01384 – 844255. Web.
For editorial enquiries contact:  Brett Davies, DMA Europa. 2nd Floor, Snuff Mill Warehouse, Park Lane, Bewdley, Worcestershire, DY12 2EL. Tel: 01299 405454.  Fax:  01299 403092.  Email:

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