Examples of igus polymer bearings

In recent years, igus polymer bearings have emerged as a reliable alternative to traditional steel bearings, offering a wide range of benefits. These include the fact that polymer bearings are maintenance-free, self-lubricating, and corrosion-resistant, making them suitable for use in harsh environments. They are also lightweight, wear-resistant, and offer excellent shock absorption, making them a popular choice for use in various applications.

Steel bearings have been the norm for a long time but they are not without their limitations. Defects and overloading can cause fractures, prompting the need for innovative solutions such as polymer bearings. 

Prime solution

Juan-Eric Davidtz, product manager for igus says, “The proof is in the pudding; we can prove that after using polymer bearings, the customer’s your production line will run better, faster, cheaper and longer. Bearings are a part of almost every machine that transfers motion so it’s no wonder that customers are turning to maintenance and lubrication-free bearings that far outlast traditional alternatives. 

Here are benefits of using motion plastic bearings:

  1. Maintenance-free due to the low coefficient of friction between plastic and stainless
  2. Noise control: plastic has the inherent ability to dampen vibrations
  3. Self-lubricating: steel bearings require lubrication to reduce friction, dissipate heat and prevent corrosion. Due to the design of plastic ball bearings, there is no metal-to-metal contact, which results in less friction
  4. Cost saving: with product integration a plastic bearing can be mounted into other components or parts such as plastic wheels, pulleys or housings. This integration lowers assembly time and results in the use of fewer parts, increasing affordability
  5. Reduce material waste through custom designs that are readily and inexpensively made. This allows engineers the freedom to design the bearing around the device
  6. Corrosion-resistant: ball bearings can be utilised in environments destructive to conventional bearings. Plastic, by its nature, does not corrode. Igus bearings can operate in hostile environments such as seawater, silicon wafer processing, plating solutions and swimming pools
  7. Cleanliness: plastic bearings generally operate cleaner than their metal counterparts because they do not need lubrication, they are resistant to corrosion, and they can be washed down which makes them a viable option for cleanroom environments, and wash-down applications 
  8. Weight saving: plastic is five times lighter than steel, thereby reducing the weight and energy required to move them
  9. Wear-resistant non-magnetic: plastic ball bearings become completely non-magnetic when fitted with polymer, glass or non-magnetic 316 stainless balls. They are ideal for use in MRI X-ray equipment or sensors where there cannot be magnetic distortion
  10. Shock Absorption: plastic absorbs shock loads better than metal due to its elastic nature. Many conventional ball bearings fail due to the brinelling of the raceway, ie, balls denting the raceway


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