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Plastic bearings now offer over ten years' service life

Plastic bearings now offer over ten years' service life
The Igubal system provides design engineers with a complete range of self-aligning bearings that are made completely of tribo-optimised plastic. The type series from the bearings specialist Igus comprises rod end bearings, flange, pivoting and pedestal bearings, as well as ball and socket joints. In many cases, the maintenance-free bearings replace metallic components. Up to 80% of the weight can be saved and the parts give excellent vibration dampening.

In equipment used by Steag HamaTech (now Singulus AG) to manufacture CDs and DVDs, for example, Igubal rod end bearings are fitted in a coating module. "The components are particularly light and save design space," explains Günter Eisele, responsible for mechanical design. They can run lubricant-free and are extremely wear-resistant. The handling of the coating module was also simulated on a test bench. "It ran for more than two and a half years - around 95 million cycles - and the rod end bearings still looked like new."

Profile system manufacturer Pro-Best in Rödelsee, Bavaria, can report similar success having replaced metallic roller bearings and ball bearings with plastic bearings, although the company was sceptical to start with. A packaging line for profiles has Igubal flange and pedestal bearings installed for swivelling and rotating movements as well as plastic rod end bearings for absorbing tension and pressure. 

The system works in three-shift operation five days a week and produces 20 profiles a minute. "The maintenance-free plastic bearings have proved their worth under extremely rough conditions," says Managing Director Hans Bernreuther. "We produce lots of metal shavings. Thick layers of oil and dust are deposited."

The self-adjusting Igubal bearings are easy to fit, adapt to all angular misalignments and can replace metallic components in many cases. They are suitable for dry use, contamination-free, can run in liquids and even in chemicals and are absolutely corrosion-resistant. The application temperature range is from -30°C to +80°C. For pivoting bearings of the dimensional series E there is also a high-temperature version available for permanent use at temperatures of up to +200°C. These also absorb very high forces.
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