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Plastic versus metal in endurance tests

Plastic versus metal in endurance tests

In its own test laboratory, Igus has commissioned a system for testing especially high loads in machine applications found in the agricultural or construction industries. The front loader, which moves 24/7, is located outdoors and therefore exposed to all the elements. This enables Igus to compare different bearing combinations in order to find the best products for the respective heavy-duty application.

The test rig completes four cycles per minute, whereby the resulting speed depends on the pivoting angle of the respective bearing point. Each test lasts for around two weeks. Daily visual inspections ensure that the front loader remains undamaged should a bearing point fail.

“These tests enable us to calculate the service life of the products precisely,” explains Robert Dumayne dry-tech director at Igus. “However, it is not just on our test rig where our products are in use. They have been in use in the lifting arms of F.X.S. Sauerburger’s wheeled loader for more than ten years.”

You can watch the test rig camera live at

In the current set-up, the surface pressure is between 22 and 29.5 MPa, depending on the bearing point (29.5 MPa approximately corresponds to a load of 1.2 metric tons on a bearing with a diameter of 20 mm and a length of 20 mm). In order to find the optimum bearing and shaft combination or the most suitable iglidur tribopolymer material, the load varies from 250 to up to 500 kg.


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