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6 Little-known Facts about Plastic Bearing Linkages

Bearing linkages, also known as double-jointed bearings or “dog bones” (the latter due to their close resemblance to the tasty treats for our four-legged friends) are basically a combination of structural elements and joints that enable movement in various types of mechanical systems.

While there a number of options to choose from, plastic bearing linkages have some unique features and benefits that other solutions do not offer.
Whatever type of material, bearing linkages play a key role in the successful operation of devices in industries such as automotive, agriculture, material handling, packaging and medical. However, bearing linkages made of high-performance plastic blends are an especially cost-effective, easy-to-install option for almost any application.

Below are 6 little-known facts about plastic bearing linkages.

bearing linkages 1.1 igubal® plastic bearing linkages do not require maintenance or external lubrication.

1. No maintenance

Plastic bearing linkages, like those found in igus’ line of igubal® spherical bearings, do not require maintenance or external lubrication. Instead, they use solid lubricants embedded inside millions of tiny chambers for optimal performance, which eliminates bearing upkeep.

2. Easy to install with no assembly required

igubal® bearing linkages from igus® are manufactured as one piece, unlike steel linkages, which are typically five separate pieces.

Since they do not have to be assembled, igubal® bearing linkages are not only an out-of-the-box, easy-to-install solution, but also cost-effective.

bearing linkage 1.2 Unlike steel linkages, which are typically five pieces (shown left), igubal® bearing linkages are manufactured as one piece (shown right).

3. Lightweight

Plastic bearing linkages weigh as much as 80 percent less than traditional metallic bearings. A heavier bearing, no matter what material it is comprised of, requires more energy for operation. This can be troublesome and costly, especially in automotive and bicycle applications.

4. Different materials available for every application

igubal® bearing linkages are available in up to 15 different plastic material blends*.

Each blend is specially formulated to fit the specific needs of an application. Whether high temperatures, heavy loads or other harsh elements are present, igus offers a plastic material that is ideal for the given environment.

igus® also offers a standard line of bearing linkages in five different ball materials, from stock.

igubal spherical balls 1.3 igubal® bearing linkages are available in up to 15 different plastic material blends*.

5. Quick-tooling option for cost-effective custom lengths available

For applications that require a plastic bearing linkage in a customized length, igus® has developed a new quick-tooling system, which is capable of making various lengths of its signature one-piece design. The quick-tooling system makes custom jobs even easier, faster and more cost-effective*.

6. Corrosion-resistant

Unlike metal or steel types, plastic bearing linkages are completely resistant to corrosion.

This makes them ideal for applications with excessive amounts of moisture, chemicals or sea water.

igus pressfit bearing 1.4 igubal® bearing linkages are corrosion-resistant.

*Depending on order quantity.

Application Assistance

For further questions or product information, please contact:

Tom Miller

Vice President


Customer Service:

Monday to Friday from 8 am - 8 pm