EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. – igus® now offers lubrication-free polymer ball bearings due to increasing customer demand for maintenance-free solutions in this area. The company’s Xiros ball bearings are technically optimized, available from stock and have a predictable service life.
They are designed to fill the gap where conventional ball bearing performance is limited by parameters such as temperature, chemical or moisture exposure. Special solutions are generally difficult to come by or only available at great cost, so igus decided to apply its years of experience working with tribologically optimized polymers to replace ineffective standard materials.
The races and cage of the new ball bearings are made from igus’ high-temperature material iglide® A500, which has an exceptionally good chemical resistance. The corrosion-free balls are made from stainless steel, although glass balls are available for maximum corrosion resistance. The deep-groove ball bearings are available for varying shaft diameters and are temperature-resistant up to 302 degrees Fahrenheit. Application areas for these bearings include medical engineering, chemical, food, pharmaceutical, biotechnology and plant engineering.
According to igus, the dry running polymer ball bearings do not compare with permanently-lubricated metal roller bearings when it comes to service life, speed or permissible loads. However, in many applications this is not an important factor; instead, low friction values and minimal driving forces are usually the basic requirement.
The igus polymer ball bearings are unique because they are available from stock and can be used in combination with potentially corrosive elements, such as chemicals. They do not require any lubrication, making them compliant with food industry standards.
igus intends to expand this range in keeping with its ongoing pursuit towards customer-specific solutions using high-performance polymers.