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Linear guides – considerations on whether to roll or slide

03 August 2018

There are two common linear guide concepts – the first is based on plain linear bearings, the second on ball bearings. But when to choose one over the other? In this article, Robert Dumayne, dry-tech director at igus, surveys some of the points to consider when deciding on which type of bearing to use.

Every linear technology has characteristic properties that are suitable for specific bearing applications. For this reason, the criteria that are relevant for the respective application have to be determined in advance. The selection depends on a number of factors, the most important one being how the linear guide operates and close behind are the ambient conditions in which it operates. 

Linear guide systems can be divided into open and closed guides according to the shape of the guidance and direction of the transferable loads and again into the plain bearing or rolling bearing guide according to the type of friction. In principle, a linear guide consists of two components, a leading and a guided part. The leading element is a profile rail or round shaft. Guide carriages and round bushings are guided. The difference is in the type of bearing, rolling or sliding translation. 

Read the full article in the August issue of DPA

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