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Lubrication-free bearings for heavy industry

18 August 2022

IGLIDUR M210 and M260 from igus enable heavy machinery, such as construction equipment, to switch from thick-walled metal bearings to plastic bearings with no structural modifications.

The bearing points no longer require lubrication and are almost maintenance-free. The plastic bearings offer a significant time and cost advantage, especially in harsh environments in the daily operation of construction, agricultural and municipal machines.

The new iglidur M210 and M260 plain bearings have wall thicknesses of up to 5mm and inner diameters of 20, 25, 30, 40, 50 and 60mm. They are particularly suitable for applications with pivoting movements in the medium load range from 20N/mm2, where the quick replacement of thick-walled metal bushings is required without structural modifications; for example in construction and agricultural machines and municipal vehicles that must withstand harsh environmental conditions each day.

The two materials differ slightly and have different advantages when interacting with various shafts, for example, the M260 variant achieves excellent wear results in combination with shafts made of St37 steel.

Switching from metal to polymer bearings means significant cost and time savings, especially for machines and vehicles with many bearing points as lubrication is no longer required. The tribological plain bearings in M210 and M260 are self-lubricating. Solid lubricants ensure low friction and dry operation and significantly reduces cleaning, as dirt and dust cannot stick to any greasy lubricant. Another advantage is environmental protection as no lubricants are released. The power consumption of machines and systems that use these bearings is also reduced because plastic bearings are lighter than metal bearings.

To guarantee sufficient strength and robustness of the iglidur M210 and M260 plain bearings, material experts at igus strengthen the polymer materials with fibres and fillers to so that they can withstand high surface pressures of up to 40MPa – and even at temperatures between -100°C and +140°C. Tests in igus’s laboratory prove that the polymer bearings show limited visible wear in pivoting movements at medium loads, even after several thousand cycles.

“For this application, the front loader test stand in the outdoor premises is used,” says Stefan Loockmann-Rittich, head of the business unit iglidur plain bearings at igus. “In addition to standard tests, application tests are vital in material development. All test results then flow into iglidur online experts, an online selection tool where the service life of M210 and M260 can be calculated using precise specifications.”