New felt seals have been designed and manufactured by igus to protect iglidur plain bearings from the adverse effects when running in excessive amounts of sand, dirt, and abrasive dust.
The global manufacturer of energy chain systems and polymer plain bearings, which has its UK headquarters in Northampton, has developed this additional method of protection specifically for plain bearings and shafts used in agricultural equipment and construction machinery.
Robert Dumayne, director of igus UK's dry-tech department, explained: “Plain bearings used in agricultural equipment and construction machinery do not have an easy life. They are exposed to harsh weather conditions which in turn results in a significant build-up of dirt. This presents real challenges to bearings, especially to those made of metal which must be greased regularly, as they can easily break, fail, or corrode.
“Our new seals, made of felt, are simple but effective. Placed on the rim of the bearing, when dirt does try to enter it is compressed into the felt structure.”
This prevents sand and dirt from getting to the bearing and the shaft and in turn means the user saves on maintenance, lubricants, and general costs. At the same time the new seal ensures no polluting lubricating grease is released into the environment.
The new igus felt seal has been rigorously tested in the company’s laboratory. Tests have revealed that this new seal gives an iglidur plain bearing a service life of around 50 times more than bearing without a seal when running in excessive conditions. Tests also revealed the shaft had considerably fewer signs of wear when a felt seal was used.