Ruland has announced its new lineup of smooth bore shaft collars, available in a variety of sizes from 1/8 inch and 3 mm to 2 inch and 50 mm. The collars are available in 316 stainless steel, also known as marine-grade stainless steel. 316 is ideal for underwater applications as well as food processing, medical and pharmaceutical applications or any setting that requires heavy wash-downs.
Bob Ruland, president of Ruland Mfg., says the company is releasing these new collars in part because of new sensitivities resulting from recent contaminated food incidents, including the spinach E. coli outbreak. “We see that there’s a need for these products in certain applications,” he says. “More so, maybe they should have been used in the past, but people are just more sensitive to it now.”
The second most common form of stainless steel, 316 is highly resistant to corrosion, even more so than the closely related 302, 303 and 304 grades. “It is especially beneficial for people who have tough applications,” says Bill Hewitson, director of manufacturing and engineering for Ruland Mfg., “where they have a high degree of corrosion resistance required.” According to Hewitson, “from a straight performance perspective, stainless steel is going to have lower holding power than you’d find in a steel collar, and also what you’d find in an aluminum collar.” However, he says for the most part, people who are using the stainless steel are using it more for the corrosion factor than for ultimate performance.”
Ruland says the quality of the collars is most important. “We are using 316 stainless-steel screws in the parts, and that’s important because we do see products in the market that do not have these screws, and it defeats the purpose of having a collar made of this anticorrosive material if the screw is made out of a more corrosive material.”
When compared to the 303 stainless steel, Ruland says these collars are “probably 2.5 to 3 times the cost and some of it’s the cost of the material itself – the market for stainless steel is crazy right now.” This, along with its lower holding power, will limit the distribution to consumers and businesses in need of supreme corrosion resistance.