For industries looking for a plastic engineering design approach that is cost-effective as well as innovative, plastic bearing may be the solution. 

The bearing industry leverages different materials for the manufacture of diverse bearing components and plastic is one of the most prominent among them. The plastic materials go through a series of processing so that the performance as well as life is maximized through obtaining desirable properties. They have the capability to make products run more efficiently, quietly and smoothly. Moreover, the maintenance cost is also low compared to the conventional ones that are made of steel. In fact, there are a number of good reasons why businesses should choose plastic bearings. Let us have a look at them.

1)      Lightweight

Plastic bearings can be as much as five times lighter than steel. As a result, the force and energy required to transport them from one position to another are considerably less.  Their light weight also makes plastics a more eco-friendly, fuel-efficient choice.

2)      Corrosion resistant

Corrosion is one of the main causes of the failure of a number of bearings in different sectors. A plastic bearing can be used in place of other conventional materials where the environment is hostile and corrosive in nature. Plastic bearings can withstand destructive environments created by film processing solutions, swimming pools and sea water. In most of these cases, the medium can in fact be used as a lubricant.

3)      Design flexibility

Plastic materials provide ample room for inexpensive and ready creation of flexible designs. This particular aspect gives freedom to the designers to design the bearing with the device in mind rather than forcibly complying with the limited patterns available for standard bearings.   

4)      No lubrication required

Substances made of steel require lubrication in order to dissipate heat, reduce friction and hence resist corrosion.  Many plastics are highly abrasion resistant, making them less likely to corrode over time.  Due to the design of this type of bearing, contact among metals does not occur, causing less friction and reducing the importance of heat dissipation.

5)      Noise control

Plastics make great shock absorbers.  With a little lubrication, plastic bearings greatly reduce engine noise.

6)      Product integration

A plastic bearing can be mounted into other components or parts such as plastic wheels, pulleys or mounted blocks. In certain design concepts, seamless integration can be done with bearings having pulleys as the exterior ring while the shaft becomes the interior ring. This integration lowers assembly time and also results in utilization of fewer parts, increasing affodability.

7)      Cleanliness

Plastic bearings are generally cleaner than metal bearings because they do not need extra lubrication and they are resistant to corrosion. Hence they are a very good option for clean room environments and wash down applications.

8)      Ability to suppress shock loads

Better shock absorption is provided by plastics than any metal owing to plastic’s high elasticity. Many conventional bearings fail to perform as a result of balls denting the raceway-a non-issue with plastic bearings.

9)      Flexible turning

Plastic bearings can run freely due to low frictional co-efficient and hence low inertia. Plastic bearings’ low weight and ability to run grease-free also contribute to the low inertia.

10)  Non-magnetic nature

Bearings made of plastics, when fitted with glass or polymer, have the ability to turn completely non-magnetic. They can be used in places where it is imperative to avoid magnetic distortion.

Due to the above-mentioned qualities, these plastic bearings find widespread use in the semiconductor industry, medical applications, conveyor systems, pool cleaners, and many other industries and applications.       

What kind of bearings do you use in your industrial application?  Let us know in the comments section below.

Interested in learning more about strong plastics?  Download our complimentary guide below.

 

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