Steve Richards

News: Mercury propeller hubs resistant to oil

July 7, 2010 by Steve Richards
Mercury propeller hubs resistant to oil

Mercury Marine has good news for boaters working in the oil-slicked waters of the Gulf.

Mercury Marine and Quicksilver propellers for engines 40 hp and higher feature the Flo-Torq hub system with a Delrin® sleeve. Delrin® – unlike conventional rubber – is resistant to the effects of oil. Running engines with Delrin hubs in oil-polluted waters has not been demonstrated to shorten the life of the propeller. While Mercury engines 40 hp and higher are equipped with Delrin hubs, most non-Mercury Marine engines are factory-equipped with rubber hubs throughout the model range.

Experts agree that boating in oil contaminated-water will decrease the service life of rubber hub propellers. Because rubber is not resistant to the effects of fuel or solvent, exposing rubber-hub propellers to oil can soften and weaken the rubber, eventually causing the hub to “spin” or fail.

Mercury recently received and filled an order for 90 engines of 90 hp destined for boats in the Gulf cleanup operation.

Delrin® is a high-performance resin from DuPont™ that provides a unique combination of strength and toughness, combined with resistance to solvents and fuel. Delrin’s® fuel-resistant properties allow boats to operate in oil-tainted waters, while engines with rubber hubs must sit on the sidelines or suffer the consequences.

Therefore, boaters concerned with the service life of their propellers (particularly those with non-Mercury engines that utilize rubber hubs) should consider running a Mercury or Quicksilver propeller with a Flo-Torq hub. Quicksilver hub kits are available for boaters with non-Mercury engines who want to benefit from the advantages of a Mercury or Quicksilver propeller with a Flo-Torq hub system.

The Flo-Torq hubs were developed for boaters who weren’t satisfied with the performance and service life of traditional rubber-hubbed propellers on high-horsepower engines. In commercial and racing applications, rubber hubs can fail or spin prematurely due to high stress or the high exhaust heat generated by today’s large four-stroke engines.

In addition to longer service life and fuel and oil resistance, the Delrin® sleeve in the Flo-Torq hub is designed to protect key engine and drive components by sacrificing itself in the event of underwater impact. The Flo-Torq system allows boaters to idle home safely after an impact. At the dock, boaters can simply remove the prop and insert a new sleeve. This means getting back on the water quickly, rather than dealing with the costly and time-consuming repairs of a rubber-hub propeller.

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