Igus is launching a range of lubrication-free polymer ball bearings. There are a number of areas in which conventional ball bearing performance is limited by parameters such as temperature, chemical or moisture exposure. Special bearings are difficult to source and very expensive. However, Igus says its iglidur ball bearings are its first step towards offering a range of technically optimised polymer ball bearings with a predictable service life - and available ex-stock.
The inner and outer races and cage of the new bearings are made from a high-performance iglidur material. The corrosion-free balls are made from stainless steel, although glass balls are available for maximum corrosion resistance. Ceramic is another potential option for the future, but, for now, the ball bearings have races made from the high-temperature iglidur A500.
Deep-groove ball bearings are available for shaft diameters of 3, 6, 8 and 10mm and can operate at temperatures up to 150degC. Application sectors for these easily cleanable bearings include medical engineering, chemical, food, pharmaceutical, biotechnology and plant engineering.
Igus cautions that the dry-running polymer ball bearings do not compare with permanently lubricated metal roller bearings when it comes to service life, speed and permissible loads. Nevertheless, in many applications these are not important factors; instead, low friction values and minimum driving torques are often the basic requirement.
Moreover, the igus polymer ball bearings are available ex-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.