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Maintenance free igubal plastic bearings from Igus UK

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® (UK) comprises of 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."

Replacing metallic bearings
The profile system manufacturer Pro-Best GmbH in Rödelsee, Bavaria, can report similar success having replaced metallic roller bearings and ball bearings with plastic bearings, although they were 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 5 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."

Lubricant-free and insensitive
A further example for the long service life of the self-aligning bearings can be seen on the premises of Gröneweg Maschinenbau GmbH, Edewecht. In a line used to handle bulk goods for packaging processes, igubal® pivoting bearings tolerate aggressive cleaning agents, because the machine is used in the food industry as well. Stefan Gröneweg, responsible for purchasing and development: "The pivoting bearings are free from contamination, greases and cleaning agents. They are also extremely hard-wearing, which means no further costs are incurred."

igubal® clevis joints have been fitted in fertiliser spreaders made by Rauch Landmaschinen GmbH in Sinzheim for more than ten years’. The plastic clevis joints are combined with a KMF hydraulic cylinder in this system. During the two dynamic tests over 100 hours at -20 °C and a peak load of 4,000 N, the service life was precisely calculated by Rauch GmbH. The plastic components proved to dampen vibration and were extremely resilient, the agricultural machine manufacturer reported.

800 self-adjusting types ex stock
The self-adjusting igubal® bearings from igus® 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. The especially good damping characteristics are due to the fact that the plastic material of the two-part or two-part combined bearings can absorb vibrations – in contrast to steel.

70 applications on the internet
The igubal® delivery range comprises of more than 800 types ex stock from batch size one. According to the manufacturer, costs can be reduced by up to 50% when these bearings are used. igus® has examples of around 70 applications from across the field available on the internet under www.igus.co.uk/references. A new keyword search according to sector and application case makes it easy to find suitable practical examples quickly. The user can enter directly which factors are important (e.g. "corrosion-free", "low-noise", "easy to clean" and others).

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