The surfaces of a ball-joint (diam. 10 m and weight 680 tons) used for the rotation of two retaining walls of a storm surge near Rotterdam are initially covered with a sliding spray of MoS2 and PTFE, but suffer wear. Lubricants in heavy-loaded constructions should most likely be avoided, implying a new design of the sliding surfaces by incorporation of polymer discs into holes (diam. 250 mm and depth 32 mm) tapped onto the back-scales of the joint. This study comprises theoretical and practical analysis of the contact situation, using FEM and full-scale test equipment for verification of the local static and dynamic behaviour of the polymer parts.

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