Reliable bearings, even in hot environments: new igus material for the food industry
October 12, 2021
Electrostatically dissipative iglide AX500 tribo-polymer ensures maintenance-free applications with food contact
October 12, 2021 – igus has developed a new wear-resistant material for high-temperature applications that will help ensure reliable and durable operation, and will be especially beneficial for the food and packaging industries.
The new material, iglide AX500, is a long-lasting bearing that can stand up to friction, heat and electrostatic charges. Bearing points in food and packaging industry applications frequently experience high temperatures and speeds, and the new AX500 material functions reliably in such situations.
Dosing systems equipped with highly sensitive mechanisms can fill thousands of bags in no time. Slides and belts then move the products to a box. At these high speeds, all the packaging mechanisms, especially bearings, are subjected to wear.
Plain bearings made of the new iglide AX500 high-performance polymer help make bearing points maintenance-free and durable. The new material is electrostatically dissipative, ensuring that the bags do not stick to each other and employees do not receive electric shocks.
In very dusty environments such as flour processing, sparks can also lead to dust explosions. These sparks can take the form of small arcs that occur when moving machine parts do not have an electrically dissipative design.
Safe, wear-resistant bearings, even in high temperatures
iglide AX500 is also specifically suited to the high-temperature range, allowing it to be used in applications such as ovens and bottle cleaning. Its good chemical resistance means that aggressive cleaning agents will not harm the bearing. Nor is there any problem if iglide AX500 contacts food, since the tribologically optimized polymer, with its embedded solid lubricants, requires no additional lubrication. The material also complies with Regulation (EU) No. 10/2011. iglide AX500 plain bearings are not only maintenance-free, unlike stainless steel bearings, but also cost and weigh less than stainless steel bearings.
On the test rig: wear testing
iglide AX500 achieves much better wear results than the long-running food material iglide A500. The wear of the iglide A500 and iglide AX500 was tested in a rotation test on stainless steel shafts in igus’ in-house laboratory. The new material achieved a coefficient of wear that was up to three times as good as those of the old one. igus, the Germany-based manufacturer of motion plastics, runs its North American operations out of Providence, R.I.
Special dimensions from injection molding can be supplied in a few days
igus currently offers the new material in standard dimensions (6-20mm diameters), with or without a flange. For special dimensions that are needed quickly, the FastLine service is also available to users. Expanding in-house toolmaking allows igus to manufacture and deliver iglide polymer plain bearings in special dimensions at low part prices within a few days.