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Hybrid power: Polymer plain bearings make metal pillow blocks more economical

07 September 2021

Many plant operators shy away from switching from classic metal bearings to polymer plain bearings, despite the obvious advantages. The conversion appears to be too cumbersome. igus responds with low-cost spherical balls, made of high-performance polymers, that can be inserted into metallic pillow blocks in seconds to create a cost-effective and high-performance hybrid.

Metallic pillow blocks are an indispensable part of mechanical and plant engineering, but the problem comes to the forefront in environments with heavy contamination. Additional dust combines with a high load, so that maintenance staff must lubricate the bearings regularly just to keep them moving. That costs a lot of time and money. Yet, a change is often due after just one year. 

Is there an alternative? Yes, bearings made of high-performance polymers that allow dry operation without lubricating oil. "Such polymer plain bearings have been available on the market for a long time. However, many users shy away from changing over because they assume they would have to integrate new housings with different dimensions into the machines, which would be time consuming and costly. In most cases, this is unnecessary," explains Dean Aylott, Product Manager for igubal spherical bearings.

"Our JEM-SP spherical balls, made of high-performance polymer, can be fitted into metallic pillow blocks in just a few seconds. This creates a powerful hybrid that totally dispenses with lubricating oil." 

Read the full article in DPA's September issue

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