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Hands Of The World's Largest Tower Clock Turn On DEVA Bearings From Federal-Mogul

Four clock movements have been constructed, one for each side of the tower. The central elements are two shafts that support the hour and minute hands, driven by servomotors. The motor for the minute hand switches on 15 seconds before the top of the minute, moving the 22-metre (approx. 72 feet) minute hand forward 60 times an hour, 1,440 times a day, 525,600 times a year.

"The very low shaft speeds and extremely high loads mean classic bronze bearing solutions with grease or oil lubrication would soon reach their limits under these conditions," explains Stadlmayr. "These heavily loaded bearings are expected to operate maintenance-free over decades in spite of extremely difficult conditions."

Following successful year-long trials at Perrot that included lightning strike tests, the first of the four movements was installed in late summer 2010. At that time only one of the four sides of the fibre-reinforced concrete tower had been completed. All construction work has now been completed. All four movements of the world's largest tower clock are now ticking in sync.

Clock Tower Facts

  • At 601 metres (approx. 1,969 feet), the clock tower is six times higher than Big Ben's clock tower in London
  • The dials on the four sides of the tower have a diameter of 43 metres (approx. 141 feet)
  • The minute hands are 22 metres (approx. 72 feet) long and weigh around 7.5 tonnes each
  • The hour hands are 17 metres (approx. 55 feet) long and weigh around 7.5 tonnes each

DEVA Bearings

Because DEVA sliding contact bearings work so well in demanding conditions such as extreme heat or icy temperatures, or conditions with heavy loads, dirt and dust, they have been used in the toughest of applications. Federal-Mogul's experience includes heavy duty, wind turbines, hydro-electric plants, construction, the marine and offshore industry and the iron and steel making industry.

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