There are a number of areas in which conventional ball bearing performance is limited by parameters such as temperature, chemical or moisture exposure. Special solutions are difficult to come by or only available at excessively high prices.
The iglidur® ball bearings, first presented at the Hanover show, represent the first, small step towards a range of technically optimised polymer ball bearings available ex-stock with a predictable service life.
The inner and outer races and cage of the new polymer ball 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 material iglidur A500.
The deep-groove ball bearings are available for shaft diameters of 3, 6, 8 and 10 mm and are temperature-resistant up to 150 °C. Application sectors for these easily cleanable bearings include medical engineering, chemical, food, pharmaceutical, biotechnology and plant engineering.
However, according to igus, 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 this is not an important factor; instead, low friction values and minimum driving forces are usually 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.
This range will ultimately be expanded in keeping with the company’s ongoing pursuit towards customer-specific solutions using high performance polymers.