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The new iglide L500 material from igus is now being used to manufacture the first self-lubricating plastic bearing for continuous, high-speed rotation applications under low loads. The material is suitable for use in fans, electric motors and related products.

Clare Goldsberry

July 9, 2015

1 Min Read
Self-lubricating plastic bearings introduced for low-load, high-speed applications

The new iglide L500 material from igus is now being used to manufacture the first self-lubricating plastic bearing for continuous, high-speed rotation applications under low loads. The material is suitable for use in fans, electric motors and related products.

igus-L500-300.jpgThe L500 material provides wear resistance in long-running, high-speed applications and is designed to perform under extreme environmental conditions, including temperatures ranging from -148° to 482°F. Continuous rotational speeds of more than 16 ft/second are possible, and the material is also characterized by low moisture absorption and thermal expansion, according to igus' information.

For applications with high speeds and low loads—electric motors, for example—sintered bearings are often used. Because of their structure, sintered bearings are more vulnerable to shocks and edge loads than solid bearings, said igus' information. Additionally, a sintered bearing's oil impregnation limits the operating temperature range, making it unsuitable for operation without external lubrication. In comparison tests between sintered bearings and bearings made of the iglide L500 material, the wear rates of sintered bearings were as much as fivefold higher at all tested speeds, according to igus. The L500's material properties allow the self-lubricating operation of electric motors, fans and ventilators, where sintered bearings were previously used.

The standard range of RoHS-compliant L500 bearings will be available from stock this summer. Additionally, the L500 material also will be available for the development and production of customer-specific bearing solutions.

About the Author(s)

Clare Goldsberry

Until she retired in September 2021, Clare Goldsberry reported on the plastics industry for more than 30 years. In addition to the 10,000+ articles she has written, by her own estimation, she is the author of several books, including The Business of Injection Molding: How to succeed as a custom molder and Purchasing Injection Molds: A buyers guide. Goldsberry is a member of the Plastics Pioneers Association. She reflected on her long career in "Time to Say Good-Bye."

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