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Composite bearings in agriculture

25 June 2024

The switch to igutex polymer bearings by long standing igus customer, Sumo UK, has allowed the agricultural equipment manufacturer to produce longer lasting, durable machinery and save on the cost of standard metal bearings that require lubrication.

Sumo UK produces equipment that often weighs upwards of ten tonnes and requires technical solutions that can take high loads frequently and with ease. This is where igus was able to provide the perfect solution. A long-standing customer, Sumo UK were first introduced to plain bearings in 2017 and they have been installed in some of the heaviest equipment with no complaints. However, Sumo UK wanted to go a step further and assess how igutex compares to other options in high load applications where greased metal bearings are usually fitted. No stone was left unturned as factors such as load, wear resistance, serviceability and cost were all incorporated into the final decision, which was to increase the number of igutex products used on Sumo UK products.

igutex bearings are a composite material engineered with fibres and resins which are treated with high temperatures and pressures to create an exceptionally hard-wearing material. Not only can this range accommodate exceptional loads, but it also has a very wide window of operating temperatures ranging from -60 up to +120 degrees. Combined, these qualities allow igutex bearings to be used in a variety of industrial environments at reasonable prices, reducing cost for customers as well as saving maintenance and lubrication requirements.
In the case of Sumo UK, the bearings are primarily used in the articulation geometry on folding hinge points, running on mild steel connection pins. The igutex TX1 and TX3 materials both have excellent running characteristics in oscillating motion, exactly what is needed in these applications.