igus expands igubal range to include food-grade spherical bearings

With the free igubal FC sample box, interested parties can see for themselves the advantages of the lubrication-free spherical bearing system for the food industry (Image: igus GmbH)

In the food industry, machine components have to meet high hygiene requirements in order to not pose a safety risk. Since 2019, igus has offered the igubal Food Contact (FC), a special spherical bearing system made from FDA and EU 10/2011-compliant polymers for direct contact with food. The company has now expanded its product range with a new double joint. Interested parties who would like to see the advantages and quality of the igubal FC series for themselves in advance can also order a new free sample box.

Food manufacturers are faced with the challenge of constantly improving the reliability of their systems. Detecting the smallest impurities is a particularly decisive safety factor for guaranteeing the purity of the products. By integrating detectable and at the same time food-compliant additives into its high-performance plastics, igus has managed to develop a spherical plain bearing series especially for direct food contact: igubal Food Contact (FC). By using FC, it is possible to minimise the risk of a costly recall as detectors recognise even the smallest parts of the components, which makes the work for quality assurance easier. Furthermore, the materials are also coloured blue to improve optical detectability.

More design freedom with the new double joint

“To give users even more design freedom in such a hygiene-sensitive area, we are now adding another component to our proven igubal FC series. In addition to pillow block and fixed flange bearings, rod ends and clevis joints, the product range now also includes a double joint,” explained Dennis Steffen, product manager for igubal spherical bearings at igus.

Like all igubal FC products, it contains an optically and magnetically detectable housing made of the FDA-compliant igumid FC material. The new spherical bearing is also lubrication-free and maintenance-free, vibration-dampening, corrosion-free and, in combination with a spherical ball, suitable for compensating for misalignments.

“When selecting the right spherical ball, customers can choose between several materials, depending on their needs,” said Steffen. “The insert made of the material iglidur A181 can be used to comply with the strict FDA guidelines. The material iglidur FC180 guarantees 100% detectability. Both also meet the EU 10/2011 standard for direct food contact. If a higher tightening torque is required due to the spherical ball, customers can also choose a stainless-steel version.”

As with all igus products, the double joint works without external lubricants, which rules out contamination. In addition, cleaning processes can be carried out regardless of the bearings.

Try it yourself: new Food Contact sample box

For customers that wish to hold the igubal FC spherical bearings in their hands before making a purchase, they can order a free sample box. The new box contains samples from all product areas: pillow block bearings, fixed flange bearings, rod ends, clevis joints and double joints. The entire spherical bearing system is characterised by a long service life and chemical resistance. This was proven by numerous tests in igus’ test laboratory, the largest in the industry for tribopolymers. The igubal FC also beats the conventional spherical plain bearings made of stainless steel in terms of costs. A cost advantage of up to 85% can be achieved compared to stainless-steel solutions. The igus product also requires less maintenance due to the self-lubricating specifications of the bearing material.