Plastic linear bearings replace PTFE-lined bearings in post-plating machine
A machine used during the post-plating stage of a high-performance metal finishing process uses DryLin R linear plain bearings from igus to apply an abrasive, thermal-resistant coating to the interiors of large exhaust pipes.
The bearings replaced PTFE-lined bearings, which were binding as the fine wet grit worked its way between the liner and the shaft. With the machine’s rigorous operating schedule, the DryLin R linear bearings are in constant operation 24 hours a day, five days a week.
In the metal-finishing and plating industry, special surface finishes and spray coats are used to prevent issues related to wear, corrosion, high temperatures, and lubricity. Whether for performance reasons or simple aesthetics, it is important that the finishing or plating applied to a product is completed correctly. A 56-year veteran supplier of products requiring high-performance metal finishing custom designed the machine. It uses four spray heads, each guided by a DryLin R linear plain bearing, to spray the abrasive, sand-like media.
DryLin R linear bearings are now used in this application because they are optimized for aggressive environments thanks to patented dirt channels: grooved inlays on the bearing’s liner that prevent buildup. The bearing uses the liner’s individual glide pads to wipe away any excess media and move it into the contact-free areas. The glide sections then slide freely on the shaft that has been cleared of all contaminants. They are also self-lubricating, which eliminates the need for messy oil or grease.
DryLin R linear bearings also eliminated abrasion and maintenance on the custom-designed machine. Metal-on-metal contact is no longer a concern like it was with the PTFE-lined bearings, which had to be replaced every five weeks. This maintenance took hours and was costly.
Instead, the DryLin R bearings are only serviced four times per year using a simple shot of pressurized air to keep them clean. If DryLin R does need to be replaced, the bearing’s split adapter means shafts do not need to be removed from the housing. Instead, the two shells of the adapter separate so the split inner-liner can be easily pushed off of the shafting. This unique feature can offer up to a ninety-percent saving in replacement costs. Split adapters also help to keep installation times to a minimum.