EU awards grant for development of eco-friendly  production of bearings

The Ukrainian company named “Symbol” launched the manufacture of plain bearings from scrap ferrous metals, replacing traditional bronze. Today’s metallurgy uses mostly bronze bearings, and the production of this nonferrous metal leaves a substantial energy and carbon trace. The manufacture from scrap metals is more economically beneficial and less harmful for public health and the environment. Symbol became a winner of Climate Innovation Vouchers, a grant program from EBRD and the EU implemented in Ukraine by Greencubator.

Symbol makes metallurgy “greener” by replacing bronze in manufacture of plain bearings with reused materials, in particular, scrap ferrous metals. The production of bronze for conventional plain bearings is accompanied by substantial CO2 emissions, and also, it contaminates the environment with other harmful substances. Plain bearings from Symbol not only reduce emissions but also cost 70-80% less than competitor products thanks to resource saving.

Symbol’s products are also distinguishable for their service life, which is four times longer than that of the similar products made from bronze. In some cases, the life cycle of scrap metal bearings may exceed the life cycle of their analogues even as much as 10 times, thanks to an individual approach to their development. Symbol’s engineers study the conditions in which a particular batch of bearings will operate, and design the product with optimal characteristics for every order. A bearing could be softer or harder, depending on the parameters of equipment in which it would be installed.

Symbol’s products receive additional durability thanks to graphite, which is formed from additives in steel under huge pressure while the rolling mill is in operation. Graphite acts as a natural lubricant and protects the bearing by reducing the coefficient of friction.

In 2019, the company launched a production facility in Chernihiv with the output capacity of 300-500 tons per year. Among the recent orders received by Symbol is an order for 150 bearings for Ferrexpo AG, a group of companies which includes several mining and beneficiation plants in the Poltava Oblast. Some of the company’s other partners are Pivdenne Design Bureau and ŽĎAS, a Czech mechanical engineering holding company.

Thanks to a Climate Innovation Voucher from EBRD and the EU, Symbol received patents of European standard and confirmed the quality of its products by the appropriate certificates.


By Vladyslav Khrystoforov