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igus® inc.

PO BOX 14349

East Providence

RI 02914

+1 800 521 2747
+1 401 438 7270
US(EN)

iglide® plain bearings & plastic bushings

For more than 30 years, RoHS-compliant iglide® plastic plain bearings have offered a technical and economic advantage over all types of metal plain bearings. iglide® bearings are self-lubricating, maintenance-free, chemical resistant, universally applicable and reduce costs by up to 40%. They can withstand extreme temperatures and are suitable for special machine construction, underwater applications, and the food and tobacco industries. iglide® bearings are available in a wide range of standard catalog options, and customization is possible from quantities of one. Upgrade your current bearings and bushings by switching to igus®. In addition to these benefits, igus® products offer fast shipping times within 24hrs, online service-life calculators and tools for nearly all product lines, and tested reliability.
iglide® plain bearings are manufactured from innovative high-performance plastics for a wide range of applications.  In our test laboratory, all iglide® plastics are tested intensively for coefficients of wear and friction. 10,000 tests per year provide the database for the online service life calculator. 

In just four simple steps, the iglide® expert system registers your specific requirements and then provides you with a comprehensive suitability and service life analysis of all iglide® materials.  The predictable service life offers high planning reliability to help you save on cost.  Try the service life calculator here!

iglide® Plain Bearings in Various Industries


Browse our Most Popular Plain Bearings

Flange bearings

Flange bearings
  • Plain bearing within mountable housing unit
  • Always self-lubricating & grease free
  • Resistant to dust and dirt
  • Can handle medium to high loads
Learn more
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Sleeve bearings

Sleeve bearings
  • Facilitates linear motion between moving parts
  • Better wear rates with thinner walls
  • Always self-lubricating & grease-free
  • Resistant to dirt & dust
Learn more
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Thrust washers

Thrust washers
  • Keeps rotating components in place
  • Always self-lubricating & grease-free
  • Resistant to dirt & dust
  • Cost-effective
Learn more
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Browse our Services for Custom Bearings

Additive Manufacturing and 3D Printing Service
custom bearings 3d printing
  • FDM, SLS, DLP and print2mold® methods
  • 3D printing materials and printing services
  • Fast delivery and online CAD configuration
Learn more

Subtractive Manufacturing and Machining Services
custom bearings machining
  • Uses high-performance bar stock
  • Wear-resistant and maintenance-free
  • Resists dirt, dust, corrosion & humidity
Learn more

Injection Molding
custom bearings injection molding
  • Maintenance-free, longer service life
  • Up to 70% faster than comparable methods
  • 55 choices of material available
Learn more

White Paper: iglide® vs. Conventional Plastics

Plastic plain bearings made of polymer compounds are a staple across countless industries because they are durable, can endure heavy loads, and are resistant to many aspects of harsh environments, such as dirt, debris, chemicals, and more. Read the white paper to learn more about iglide® plastic and compare it with conventional plastics.

 
Access the white paper
iglide vs. conventional plastics white paper

Browse Additional Bearings

Two-bolt flange bearings

Two-bolt flange bearings
  • Secure with support for perpendicular shafts
  • Always self-lubricating & grease-free
  • Resistant to dust and dirt
  • Can handle medium to high loads
Learn more
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Clip bearings (no min order quantity)

Clip bearings
  • Designed for fitting shafts through sheet metal.
  • Bearings have flanges located on both ends.
  • The bearings are secured in the sheet metal plate on both sides after fitting
Learn more
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Piston rings

piston rings
  • Easy to install
  • Cost-effective
  • More wear-resistant than PTFE-strips
  • Higher load capacity
Learn more
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Gears and Gear Racks

Gears
  • Bevel, spur and gear racks
  • Various shaft hubs- round, d cut, feather key
  • Various custom options- injection molded, 3D SLS printed & mechanically manufactured from barstock
Learn more
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Conveyor Rollers

conveyor rollers
  • Tight deflection radii
  • Maintenance-free, self-lubricating
  • No risk of lubricant contamination
  • Durable and wear-resistant
  • Hygienic design without ball or needle cages
Learn more
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Track Rollers

guide rollers
  • Endurance runner with high media resistance
  • High wear resistance in extreme ambient conditions
  • Very low coefficient of friction
  • High resistance to temperature and chemicals
​​​​​​​Learn More
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Request a Sample Box

iglide sample box  Fill out the form below, and we will send you a sample box free of charge.
Request a sample box

Browse the Catalog

iglide catalog Click below to view the catalog as a flipbook or download as a PDF.
Browse the catalog

Browse the Engineer's Toolbox

 

Contact a Bearings Expert


Whether you're interested in end-to-end, fully assembled solutions or looking to build your own customizable project, let us assist you with a solution based on your specific application and requirements. Contact us via the form below or call us at (800) 521-2747 to discuss your project today!
 

Contact an Expert

FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions

  • Q:  How do you install an iglide bearing in a housing, and why is the
    bearing oversized prior to installation?

    A:  The iglide plain bearings are designed to be oversized in the free state (prior to installation) so they can be pressed into a housing (with an H7 tolerance) and then secured by a press-fit. This is achieved by the "press-in excess", i.e. the outside diameter of the bearing is, depending on the nominal outer diameter size, about 0.1 to 0.25 mm larger than the housing in the non-pressed state. The inner diameter reaches its final dimenions and tolerances only when pressed in. Learn more about how to install an iglide bearing here.

  • Q:  Why are there so many materials? How do I find the right one?

    A:  The variety of iglide materials have been developed to meet a variety of customer requirements over the past nearly three decades. Most applications can be technically covered by the five standard materials - iglide® G300 (G), J, T500 (X), L280 (W300), and M250. But if there is a special or more sophisticated application, or concerns the last price/performance optimization for high volume production, the other iglide materials can be explored.

    With all these materials, finding the right one may seem like a daunting task. However, with a few questions about the application, we can run our iglide material selector and determine which material is best suited for your application. Learn more about our main 5 iglide materials here.

  • Q:  How do iglide plain bearings work without external lubrication?

    A: The special construction of iglide materials comprised of base polymers, reinforcing fibers, and solid lubricants provide excellent wear and friction properties. The solid lubricants help to optimize the existing wear and friction properties of the base polymer, while the reinforcing fibers provide extra strength to the iglide material. During the operation, solid lubricant particles work their way into the shaft material, providing a better running surface. Any additional lubrication with grease or oil is neither necessary nor practical. Watch this video to learn more!

  • Q:  What is recommended for bonding iglide plain bearings?

    A:  In standard cases, we have very good experiences with superglues (e.g. Loctite 401). For materials like iglide® J that are difficult to bond, significantly better results are achieved with 2-component systems (e.g. Loctite 406 + Primer 770). For applications with higher temperatures, we have good experiences with epoxy resin systems (e.g. Hysol).

    Additionally, for every bonding connection it is essential that the workpieces are cleaned thoroughly and are free of grease. This can be done with professional detergents, but also with simple fast-acting degreasers. Roughening the contact surfaces also enhances the adhesive effect. Bonding can generally only be a supporting measure and doesn't fully substitute the press-fit. Learn more about it in our blog.

  • Q:  How is an iglide plain bearing environmentally friendly?

    A:  Plastic is more environmentally friendly than you’d think - more so than metal, in fact. There are five reasons why polymer plain bearings are considered to be environmentally friendly: the lack of external lubrication, their lightweight nature, high chemical resistance, the minimized energy required to produce a polymer bearing, and the CO2 emissions.

    Plastic bushings do not require lubrication, which keeps the environment cleaner. Unlike metal or bronze bearings that require messy lubrication, every iglide plastic bushing uses solid lubricants embedded inside millions of tiny chambers that cannot be pressed out. This means the bushings do not require any oil or grease and so no contaminants are released into the environment. Plastic bushings are also extremely lightweight, which helps reduce fuel consumption and carbon dioxide output. The reduced weight leads to lower masses and subsequently lower energy consumption.

    Learn more about the sustainability of our polymer bearings here.

  • Q:  How does the polymer plain bearing influence the shaft selection?

    A:  Reducing costs is crucial for all businesses, and the choice of bearings determines the feasibility of using low-cost shaft materials. Plastic bushings provide more options as they can work with various shafts. iglide® plain bearings offer a wide range of materials, allowing the combination of the most suitable bearing material with the lowest-priced shaft for the application's required service life. Selecting expensive shafts and bearings that outlast the machine is unnecessary. Considerations include avoiding extremely rough shafts, which can cause wear and particle separation, and preventing excessively smooth shafts that lead to increased friction and stick-slip issues. Self-lubricating bearings are more durable in dirty environments, enabling the use of less expensive shafts, while different shaft materials react differently to bearing wear, with hard-chromed shafts showing less wear with iglide® plastic plain bearings.

    Learn more about important characteristics of shaft hardness here.

  • Q:  How does pin gauge measuring work?

    A:  A pin gauge test is the quality check with the highest possible accuracy, because the pin gauge acts like a shaft in a real application and reproduces the narrowest diameter of the bearing. It is usually this aspect that is decisive for the application. Pin gauge inspections are particularly suitable for plastic bearings, as the irrelevant "unevenness" of the bearing due to injection molding is not taken into account. An ideal gliding surface develops later in operation, during the run-in period, when the unevenness of the bearing and the shaft smoothen.

    Among other things, igus® ensures through a pin gauge inspection, also called "go/no go test", that our bearings comply with the specifications and work properly after installation. Learn about how pin gauge measuring works here

  • Q:  What is so special about a self-lubricating polymer plain bearing?

    A:  Some engineers hesitate to use plastic bearings in their designs. Maybe they have trusted metal and bronze bearings for years or they simply don't think plastics can handle the tough applications or environments. Plastic bearings, however, can endure extreme temperatures, heavy loads and high speeds. However, it's important to understand both the advantages and disadvantages of the options available.

    Self-lubricating polymer bearings contain solid lubricants which are embedded in the homogenous material. In operation these solid lubricants reduce the coefficient of friction. They cannot be washed off like grease or oil and due to the homogenous structure they are distributed over the entire wall thickness of the bearing. Unlike in a layered structure, the entire wall thickness of the bearing is available as a wear surface with almost identical glide properties.

    You can learn more about this topic here.

  • Q:  What expertise does igus have with polymer plain bearings?

    A:  In the course of years, the igus® material developers have developed hundreds of material compounds, out of which almost 60 have been entered in the polymer plain bearing catalog. In principle, the setup is mostly the same:

    1. Basic polymers which predetermine the basic tribological, mechanical, thermic, and chemical properties of the bearing

    2. Fibers and filling materials which provide the bearings with a high mechanical load capacity

    3. Solid lubricants that significantly optimize wear and friction

    igus® is continually developing new polymer blends for every application scenario and conducts more than 10,000 tests in its laboratory every year. Unlike most other bearings manufacturers, igus® focuses exclusively on high-performance plastics and is able to economically process them into plain bearings through injection molding. In addition, igus® compiles its test results into a comprehensive database. After each polymer blend is tested, the results are added into the data pool for a unique lifetime calculation program, which allows you to enter your application’s maximum loads, speeds, temperatures, and shaft and housing materials in order to calculate the best plastic bearing and its expected lifetime.

  • Q:  What is bearing wear and what factors influence it?

    A:  Bearing wear means removal of material on the gliding surface, which usually means at the inner diameter of bearing. As iglide® plain bearings have no layered structure and the entire wall thickness is available as a wear surface, the bearing has no theoretical wear limit. Instead, the wear limit is determined by the permitted maximum clearance in an application.

    Factors that influence bearing wear include shaft selection, load, speed & type of movement, temperature, dirt/debris, and contact with chemicals. Different shafting materials are recommended for different types of plain bearings. With increasing radial loads and/or surface pressures, the wear of the plain bearings also rises. With increasing speed, the wear also increases. The type of movement has considerable influence on the rate of wear as well.

    Depending on the material selection, when the maximum application temperature is exceeded, the bearing’s wear can increase significantly. There are also exceptions, which only reach their minimum wear at higher temperatures. Dirt and dust can accumulate between shaft and bearing, also causing wear. Self-lubricating plastic bushings offer an advantage in this situation: they operate grease-free, so dirt and dust will not clog the shaft or damage the bearing. Polymer plain bearings are also corrosion-free and resistant against a wide range of chemicals, but certain chemicals can change the structural properties of a plain bearing, which decreases the bearing's hardness and increases the wear.

  • Q:  What does the stick-slip effect refer to?

    A:  The stick-slip effect refers to the intermittent gliding characteristics when two solid bodies slide against each other. The phenomenon occurs when one body is moved whose static friction is significantly greater than the dynamic friction.
     
    Imagine pushing a heavy cardboard box across a smooth floor. The cardboard box is heavy, which is why we need to apply great force to overcome the static friction - the resistance of the cardboard box against being moved. Due to the smooth surface and the resulting low dynamic friction, the box quickly accelerates. Because of the rapid gliding motion of the cardboard box, we are only able to transfer a small force to the cardboard box. Ultimately, the force applied on the carton is insufficient to overcome its static friction. The cardboard box comes to rest, which is why we need to again apply great force to overcome the static friction, and the process repeats.
     
    However, this effect is undesirable on tribologically optimized materials. The resulting vibrations are transferred to the overall structure and cause noise that is frequently perceived as squeaking or chatter. These effects can be counteracted by minimizing the difference between the static and dynamic friction, by employing vibration-damping materials, and by improving the stiffness of the overall structure (pre-tensioned bearings), or by separating the involved friction partners (e.g. with lubricant).

  • Q:  Are iglide plain bearings RoHS compliant? What does RoHS
    actually mean?

    A: EC Directive 2002/95/EC ("RoHS 1") was replaced by EC Directive 2011/65/RU ("RoHS 2") on 3 January 2013.

    The directive governs the restrictions on undesired ingredients in electrical and electronic equipment sold within the EC. The RoHS abbreviation means "Restriction of (the use of certain) Hazardous Substances". Specific threshold values were established since there are technical limitations in many materials and products that do not permit a complete elimination.

    The affected substances are frequently used in electronics and include lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chrome, polybrominated biphenyls (PBB) and diphenyl ether (PBDE). Application examples include the use of lead in solder, or as an ingredient in metallic composite bearings, and the use of PBB as a flame retardant. The substances also frequently occur in metallic alloys.

    As a look at the substances and these usage examples shows, these substances are irrelevant to thermoplastic polymer compounds such as our iglide® materials. The substances contained within our iglide® materials therefore fulfill the requirements of Directive 2011/65/EU (RoHS 2). We will gladly send you confirmations on request.

    Click here to find our RoHS 2 certifications.



The terms "igus", "Apiro", "chainflex", "CFRIP", "conprotect", "CTD", "drylin", "dry-tech", "dryspin", "easy chain", "e-chain", "e-chain systems", "e-ketten", "e-kettensysteme", "e-skin", "e-spool", "flizz", "ibow", "igear", "iglidur", "igubal", "kineKIT", "manus", "motion plastics", "pikchain", "plastics for longer life", "readychain", "readycable", "ReBeL", "speedigus", "triflex", "robolink", "xirodur", and "xiros" are legally protected trademarks of the igus® GmbH/ Cologne in the Federal Republic of Germany and where applicable in some foreign countries.

igus® GmbH points out that it does not sell any products of the companies Allen Bradley, B&R, Baumüller, Beckhoff, Lahr, Control Techniques, Danaher Motion, ELAU, FAGOR, FANUC, Festo, Heidenhain, Jetter, Lenze, LinMot, LTi DRiVES, Mitsibushi, NUM,Parker, Bosch Rexroth, SEW, Siemens, Stöber and all other drive manufacturers mention in this website. The products offered by igus® are those of igus® GmbH