East Providence, RI – To celebrate 30 years of its plastic bearings, igus has retrofitted a Mercedes-Benz Smart car with 56 iglide bearings. These components are in all areas of the car, including the pedals, alternator, window regulators, convertible top, gearshift and more. 200 million plastic iglide bearings were already installed in cars and trucks last year, and now igus is putting them to the test on a 20-country, nine-month world tour.
Starting in February 2014 in India, the car will be shipped across oceans, and then driven around continents, stopping along the way at igus subsidiaries, partners, customers, trade shows, expos, and manus winners. In late July, the car will make its way to North America, beginning a tour of the US and Canada in Anchorage, Alaska, where it will make its way from ocean to ocean until early October.
The round-the-world journey will be a test of the iglide plastic bearings installed within the car. The iglide bearings are wear resistant due to their tribologically optimized plastic compound, designed to withstand high stresses. Such features support long service life of the vehicle components. The iglide bearings are already used in millions of cars produced annually, in applications like moving the seats or in the throttle valves.
Specific features of iglide bearings, including resistance to dirt, oil and chemicals, pressure resistance and shock absorption, make them suitable for use in the chassis, engine compartment and gearbox.
Low-weight plastic bearings contribute to light weight automobile construction. This reduces fuel consumption.
The iglide bearings are also a solution for other industries, including in the medical and food-packaging industries, in agricultural machinery and in machine tools. For more information about the car’s world tour, visit www.iglide.com/30, or visit the company’s blog, with photos from the worldwide adventure and the retrofit process, at www.blog.igus.com.