Why should you chooseplastic insert bearings overmetal?

Shery George | 28 May 2024

Anyone who’s worked with metallic insert bearings is likely aware of the frequent — and
frankly tedious — relubrication efforts required for such components. Without the proper
lubrication, these bearings are almost certain to wear prematurely and fail, leading to
costly downtime and lost production. This may seem like an unavoidable reality,
however there’s a simple solution that helps avoid this issue entirely: high
performance polymer insert bearings. They not only eliminate the need for regular
relubrication, but are a low-cost, lightweight alternative to metal that can last 8 times
longer than metal. Read on to learn more.

Outperforming the competition

It’s a common misconception that metal will always or almost always outperform plastic,
regardless of the component or application conditions. It’s seen as a more robust and
mechanically reliable material with a superior service life. But in many cases,
tribologically optimized plastics offer superior performance over a more extensive
service life than metal alternatives.

Tribo-plastics utilize embedded solid lubricants to ensure constant, adequate lubrication
over the entire surface of the component, both eliminating the need for relubrication and
preventing premature failure due to improper or inadequate lubrication.

In the case of plastic insert bearings, this embedded lubrication can lead to a service life
that’s as much as 8 times longer than metal insert bearings. This increased lifetime
means less bearing replacements are needed, and operational costs are reduced.

Another benefit of using solid lubricants is an inherent resistance to dirt and dust. Since
there are no greases or other external lubricants for dirt to cling to, dry-running plastic
insert bearings can operate successfully in dirty environments without any adverse
effect on wear rate or service life.

Switching from metal to plastic

If you’re already using metal insert bearings in your application, you may be concerned
at the prospect of switching out each and every bearing within your machine. However,
insert bearings like those from igus offer 1:1 replacement with metal insert bearings,
making the process quick & easy. Watch the video below to see just how simple the
process is.


Not sure where to start?

If you’ve decided on making the switch to plastic insert bearings but don’t quite know where to start or which material to select, igus experts are available to help you find the perfect product for your application.

You already voted!
You are also welcome to comment on the article - we look forward to your opinion!

Article keywords:


Choose a topic now