Metal out, plastic in: igus presents new tribological plain bearings for medium load range

iglidur M210 and M260: with the two high-performance plastics for the medium load range, users make bearing points on their vehicles for construction, agricultural or municipal purposes free of lubrication and maintenance (Image: igus GmbH)

igus has extended its range of iglidur tribological plain bearings for applications with special loads. The materials iglidur M210 and M260 are new to the range. They enable a quick changeover from thick-walled metal bearings to plastic bearings without any structural modifications. The advantage of the change will be that the bearing points no longer require lubrication and are almost maintenance-free. They offer a significant time and cost advantage, especially in harsh environments in the daily operation of construction, agricultural and municipal machines.

The new polymer plain bearings iglidur M210 and M260 offer 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 a quick replacement of thick-walled metal bushings is required without structural modifications, for example, in construction machines, agricultural machines and municipal vehicles that have to withstand harsh environmental conditions on a daily basis. The materials differ slightly but display their different strengths when in interaction with various shafts. For example, the M260 variant achieves excellent wear results in combination with shafts made of St37 steel.

Less maintenance and cleaning effort, more environmental protection

The switch 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 M210 and M260 are self-lubricating. Solid lubricants ensure a low friction and dry operation. This significantly reduces the cleaning effort. Because without lubricants, dirt and dust do not have a chance to stick.

Another advantage: as no lubricants are entering the environment, users can contribute to environmental protection. Additionally, the energy consumption of machines and systems is reduced because the plastic bearings are lighter than metal bearings.

Robust and lightweight at the same time

To guarantee sufficient robustness of the iglidur M210 and M260 plain bearings, the material experts at igus work with fibres and fillers. These components strengthen the materials so that they withstand high surface pressures of up to 40MPa and edge loads even under continuous loads, even at extreme temperatures between -100°C and +140°C. Tests in the in-house igus laboratory proved that the polymer bearings show limited visible wear in pivoting movements at medium loads, even after several thousand cycles.

“For this purpose, the front loader test stand on the outdoor premises is used. In addition to the standard tests, application tests are vital in material development,” said Stefan Loockmann-Rittich, head of the business unit iglidur plain bearings at igus. “All test results then flow into the iglidur online experts, with which the service life of M210 and M260 can be precisely calculated under specific specifications.”