No more synthetic grease application thanks to drive components molded from plastics with inherent lubrication—that's the promise of a new compounded thermoplastic targeting linear-drive components. Modified Luvocom materials for linear drives allow designers to apply the well-established principle of transforming rotational into linear motion, but instead of lubrication-requiring metal, spindle-and-spindle-nut constructions, inherently lubricated plastic components can be used.
Luvocom's plastics reportedly perform under a broad range of temperature, loads, and chemical conditions by selectively combining carbon fibers and incorporable lubricants with different base polymers.
As a result, endurance tests with 2 million cycles at a linear velocity of 50 cm/sec have revealed a very low level of heating in the plastic spindle nut, with temperatures of 4 to 5 Kelvin and practically no abrasion of the metal spindle or plastic nut, according to the manufacturer.
Design freedom, cheaper manufacture through injection molding, long service life, and less maintenance are among the advantages these materials provide over metals in linear drives. Additional benefits include assembly reduction and savings in weight and noise. Linear drives are used for adjusting wheels and seats in cars, moving doors and gates, and in solar and shading systems, among other applications.
Luvocom materials are formulated to individual customer requirements by Lehmann & Voss & Co. (Hamburg, Germany). Product families include electrically conductive, lubricant-modified, carbon-fiber reinforced, high-temperature resistant, and thermally conductive materials. —PTStaff