A breakthrough in tribological plastics has resulted in a new sliding material that has a friction coefficient that is up to 40 percent better than standard materials with a coefficient expanded from the classic 2:1 rule to 3:1. Developed by igus, iglidur E3 assists in maximising the service life of linear guides while keeping the required drive energy low.

“Our drylin T miniature linear slide offers extremely smooth running and new design freedom thanks to this newly-developed material. Depending on the operating point, it has a friction coefficient of around 0.16 and thus achieves up to 40 percent less friction compared with the igus standard materials, measured on hard-anodised aluminium, and even less compared with commercially-available sliding materials,” says Stefan Niermann, head of igus’ Linear and Drive Technology business unit. 

50 percent further away

“This also means that manual adjustment requires 40 percent lower displacement forces providing a lot more leeway in design for the first time.”  The traditional 2:1 rule, which generally applies to linear plain bearings, states that the distance between the driving force and the fixed bearing should not be more than twice the bearing clearance. Otherwise, an uneven movement sequence could jam the system. 

“The greater the distance between the drive and the guide bearing, the higher the wear and required drive force. igus has now extended this design rule to 3:1, so that the drive can be 50 percent further away without impairing linear guide movement. At the same time, the required drive forces are reduced by 40 percent, which means 40 percent energy savings in electrically driven applications, Stefan explains. 

Eliminating lubrication

The drylin T miniature guide is available in three sizes (09, 12, and 15) and can be used in applications such as laboratory and medical technology and tool building. The solid lubricants incorporated into the material of the high-performance plastics ensure low-noise operation, high resistance to dirt and no need for maintenance.

“Eliminating lubrication is good for cost saving but also the environment. With new material mixing and processing as well as countless tests in the igus test laboratory, we have further pushed the application limits of motion plastics and created new design freedom in linear technology,” Stefan concludes. 


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