By Charlie Simpson, Vesconite Bearings

When the team responsible for the maintenance of the irrigation system at one of South Africa’s premier golf courses was confronted with high levels of debris and pumps running dry for periods, it shifted to a high-temperature-resistant high-wear-resistant polymer, Hitemp 150, for replacement pump bowl bushings.


Kyle Pienaar, of Golf Turf Electronics, found that the OEM-supplied carbon pump bowl bushings lasted only two months at the Sabi River Sun course, while another polymer’s bushings lasted six months in the highly-abrasive, debris-filled water.

As a result, he turned to an even tougher polymer material, Hitemp 150, which is designed to give good resistance to abrasion and to be especially suited for dirty applications. Faced with highly abrasive conditions, the bushings lasted a year without a scratch, tells Pienaar.

Hitemp 150 is a low friction, long life plain bearing material designed for harsh applications where temperatures and abrasives are a problem.


Pienaar also found Hitemp 150’s temperature characteristics useful. With a temperature rating of 300 degrees Fahrenheit (150 degrees Celsius),  a short-term temperature limit of 340 degrees Fahrenheit (170 degrees Celsius) and a melting point of 509 degrees Fahrenheit (265 degrees Celsius), the material was also suitable for the harsh operating conditions that it would face, including having to run dry for limited periods.

Pienaar notes that unattended pumps on golf courses can run dry for lengthy periods. While this is not ideal for the pumps or the bushings, if the bushings are treated as sacrificial parts that protect the pump in a harsh environment, the Hitemp 150 polymer bushings do their job. The bushings, which can withstand one minute of dry running, will eventually be affected by an environment in which water cooling does not occur. 

In extreme cases, the bushings melt on to the shaft, describes Pienaar. This causes the motor to trip and the pump to cease to operate, he says, noting that this is preferable to damage that may be caused by a pump running dry for a lengthy period.

A canister pump—the type of pump that ensures that golf courses are green and lush. 


Golf Turf Electronics has golf-course pump maintenance contracts in South Africa. The company provides bowl bushings for the bottom of the pump shaft as well as intermediate support bushings. At the Sabi River Sun golf course, the company supplies bushings for two OEM canister pumps, each with a flow rate of 21,100 gallons per hour.


Vesconite Bearings is a world-leading manufacturer of low-friction, low-wear polymer bearing materials for a wide range of industries. Selling to over 100 countries, these include the pump, agriculture, railways, mining, heavy transport, hydro, renewable-energy, earthmoving, marine, and construction industries. For more information, visit

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