Steel Manufacturing Blog: Keeping it Steel

Thermal Break, Teflon® Slide Bearings, Dielectric, Vibration Isolation...

Posted on Thu, Feb 22, 2024 @ 01:07 PM

Taking a look at a recent steel project shows an example of how bearings are becoming more prevalent in the steel fabricating and general construction world.

This project, Evergreen Charter School in Hempstead, NY, is an ambitious design from the start. Set in an economically dis-advantaged community on Long Island, its objective to provide an environment not only conducive to learning but social and community engagement as well. The gymnasium photo below is an example of the finished space. Note the running track elevated at approximately 14 feet around the perimeter of the gym.

Fig. 1


The track is resting on cantilever I-Beams which are covered in Cross Laminated Timber. The timber finish is esthetic. The track is resting on the steel beams.

What the image doesn’t show is that right on the other side of the wall are classrooms. Left without something to minimize the energy being transferred when students are running on the track, the noise generated would travel directly into the adjoining classroom.

To interrupt the transfer of energy Sylodyn High Resilient Bearings were placed at the joint between the track and supporting I-Beams. Based on the load and anticipated activity the engineers determined Sylodyn HRB 6000 would provide the best combination of support and vibration isolation. As shown in Fig. 2, the Vibration Isolation Bearing sits on top of the I Beam. The bearing runs the full length of the beam.

Fig. 2


The red and green rectangles show the location of the bearings.

In this case the erector required the bearings be delivered to the jobsite cut to size with all the holes required for the connecting bolts.

                                                                                                                                 Fig. 3


To assure the maximum vibration isolation was achieved the job also employed Sylodyn® Elastic Washers (Fig. 3) to eliminate any direct contact between the structural members and fasteners.


In the past situations like this might have been addressed with generic neoprene pads. As architects and engineers confront the demand for greater use and more confined spaces bearing materials are being developed to deal with the challenges. Not only are they required to deliver more effective solutions like noise and vibration reduction, they also must account for environmental advances, cost, ongoing maintenance, etc. Sylodyn® is a good example of technology advancing an effective solution, and with an estimated 100 year lifespan can actually lower the project cost when ongoing maintenance is included.