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Slide easier without lubrication – using linear technology made of plastic

31 August 2022

In order to move loads reliably, the choice of linear guide is crucial in several respects. In addition to the application conditions, other criteria must also be considered to ensure smooth operation and a long service life.

Whether building technology, mechanical engineering or handling systems, linear guides are used for all types of movement. As an interface between fixed and moving machine parts, they significantly influence the machine properties. 

First and foremost, the search for the optimal linear guide depends on the individual requirements of the application: from parameters such as load, speed and acceleration, to environmental conditions, such as temperature and hygiene requirements.

To move the machine elements, there are two principles: sliding and rolling. For a long time, roller guides, in which balls or other rolling elements are used, were considered the ultimate – they score with their guiding accuracy and low friction. However, the development of high-performance plastics has set a new standard in terms of maintenance and has reshuffled the cards on the old question of "slide or roll?"

In recent years, plastic linear guides have not only benefited from major advances in precision and friction coefficient, but are also more cost effective, due to the manufacturing processes used. Their most important trump card, however, is the longer service life.

Read the full article in DPA's September issue

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