Detectable Plastics from igus for Maximum Safety in Foods

Detectable and lubricant-free high-performance plastics from igus reduce costs and increase process reliability. (Source: igus GmbH)

Magnetic, lubricant-free motion plastics aid in preventing foreign substances from entering foodstuffs

In the food and packaging industry, the highest safety standards apply. To protect consumers, food must be free of contaminants of any kind. As part of its ball and spherical bearing series, igus offers plastic products that are lubricant-free and at the same time, detectable. This guarantees that no lubricants and no plastics enter the production chain during operation or in the event of a system failure.

In the plants of the food and packaging industry, metal detectors are now an industry standard. They detect any metallic conductive particles derived from the production environment. Subsequently, the products can be sorted out as soon as possible. But how can plastic particles be traced? That was the question that developers at Cologne-based motion plastics specialist igus asked themselves. The solution was finally the development of a special high-performance plastic, which can easily be traced with standard metal detection methods. The material is used today in selected products in the igubal series, which includes rod end bearings and clevis joints, flange bearings, spherical bearings and pillow block bearings. Both the housing and the spherical balls are made of the detectable plastic. This characteristic is sought after in other areas of bearing technology. For example, xiros M180 is a lightweight polymer ball bearing, whose material is also detectable.

Freedom from lubrication ensures additional safety

In addition, these high-performance polymers do not require external lubrication. “A central point in the production process of the food and packaging industry is the avoidance of contact of product and lubricants in the machine,” points out Lars Braun, Industry Manager for Food and Packaging Technology at igus. A major contribution towards this is made by the lubrication-free and maintenance-free plain bearing materials from igus. Because, they precisely meet these requirements: materials like iglidur A181 or iglidur A350 need not be actively lubricated. Moreover they are compliant with the EC Directive 10/2011 and also with FDA specifications for repeated contact with food