Locks & Gates

With excellent coefficients of friction, tested by Power Tech labs, CIP Composite material is ideal for locks and gates. The greaseless material is a 100% non-metallic bearing material (no fiberglass or metallic shell), allowing for high-edge loading and misalignment capabilities. Successful applications include spillway gates, roller gates, intake gates, stop gates, bulkhead gates, sluiceway gates, weir gates, and navigation locks.

We recommend using CIP Hydro™ for most hydro projects; however, our sales team will recommend the best material for your specific application. We are available to answer your questions, offering emergency support and fast delivery on all custom orders. 

Guide Pad on intake gate


Lock Gate wear pad



trunnion bearing


CIP bushing after one year of use, no wear or abnormal condition.

The sluice gate at Faraday Dam in Oregon operates fully submerged with approximately 40′ of head at the middle of the gate. The estimated operation pressure on each of the bushings is around 4,000psi (4ksi). The gate is used for water level control, therefore continuously makes small adjustments to its elevation.


The gate was removed in September 2014 to perform inspection of gate wheel assembly and bearings. It was determined that several of the wheels had either stopped working or fallen off due to corrosion and lack of lubrication. The remaining bearings were found to have excessive clearance due to wear. New stainless steel sleeves were fabricated by Portland Manufacturing and welded onto the gate wheel stub shafts. New composite greaseless bushings supplied by CIP were installed to replace the failed bearings.

Inspection 2015

Tunnel gate was removed to inspect condition of CIP Composite Bushings. Wheels were removed to inspect and document condition of new stainless steel sleeves and CIP bushings. Sleeves and bushings were found to be in excellent condition and did not warrant further disassembly. Wheels were checked to make sure they were not bound up on the stainless steel sleeves and continue to rotate. All components look great after one year of service.

Report by Rob Adams, Portland General Electric

CIP bushing after one year of use, no wear or abnormal condition.
Previous failed roller bearings
New stainless steel sleeve on stub shaft.



Featured in HydroWorld | June 2011

By Elizabeth A. Ingram

Bearings and seals have important jobs to fulfill on various pieces of equipment at hydroelectric facilities, including gates and turbines. Bearings can minimize friction and corrosion, keep the shaft aligned, and eliminate the need for grease. Seals can protect against the intrusion of water and dirt and minimize leakage.

The applications on the following pages showcase innovative materials and approaches designed to provide for reliable long-term operation while minimizing wear and leakage. As a result, the hydro project owners have gained confidence in the operation of their facilities and, in many cases, saved money and/or time.

Installing self-lubricating bearings on miter gates

The downstream navigation lock gates at the 1,780-MW The Dalles Dam project were showing signs of wear. These two miter gates, which began operating in 1957, allow for passage of marine traffic on the Columbia River in Oregon.

In September 2009, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers personnel noticed issues of wear, based on readings from the gate stress and strain monitors. Inspection of the gates revealed that two did not make any contact when closed and the overall load was being transferred to the pintle areas. This resulted in cracking through the skin plate and end post. Emergency repairs were performed to keep the gates operating while the Corps began design and engineering work to replace all the gates.

The self-lubricated bushings for the miter gates at the 1,780-MW The Dalles Dam project were specified with close running clearances and were installed using a glue-fit method.

The new gates are 52 feet wide by 106 feet high and weight about 750,000 pounds. For the rotating parts, the Corps specified self-lubricated bushings and thrust plates to eliminate grease and any concerns about corrosion. Columbia Industrial Products (CIP) manufactured CIP Hydro Bearings for the gudgeon pin upper bushing, operating arm bushings, eye bar bushings, flange bushings, and thrust washers. CIP Hydro is a laminated composite material, says Jessica Leamen with CIP. This material is a medium-weave polytetrafluoroethylene and polyester fabric blend. The addition of solid lubricants to the resin reduces friction, extends wear life, and improves performance in wet and dry applications, she says.

To address the Corps’ concern with corrosion in the application, the bearings were designed with a glue-fit installation method. The glue acts as a protection paint for the housing and eliminates the concern with water seeping into the surface between the housing and bearing, Leamen says. The glue-fit process also allows for tighter running clearances and overall dimensions that are similar to the original bearing design. Design with this method eliminates the tolerances of the house and the press/interference fit between the inner diameter of the housing and the outer diameter of the bearing. The internal diameter of the bearing remains unchanged and can more accurately operate based on the final machined tolerances of the composite, therefore accomplishing tighter running clearances.

CIP had previously used this installation method during replacement of the tainter gates at 40-MW Foster Dam.

Installation was completed in March 2011.