Advantages of iglidur® plain bearings in a vehicle interior using the example of backrest adjustment

Jonas Burk | 17. May 2021


The backrest adjustment, with its multitude of moving applications, is an excellent example of the advantages of iglidur® plain bearings in a vehicle interior. Both manual and electric backrest adjustment have long been used in almost all vehicle types. In this context, noise minimisation, weight reduction and freedom from lubricants are the essential requirements for modern seat design. The elimination of engine noise for the increasing number of battery-powered electric vehicles (BEV) and hybrid-powered electric vehicles (HEV) poses new challenges for designers in terms of noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) requirements. The weight reduction of the vehicle design helps to meet the increasingly stringent vehicle emission specifications and is an essential criterion for increasing the range in vehicles with regenerative drives. The elimination of additional lubrication saves assembly time and is also an important aspect in the course of current sustainability efforts and sustainable engineering.

With its polymer plain bearings made of iglidur® materials, igus® offers the ideal solution for overcoming the described challenges.

Advantages at a glance

  • Quiet operation and vibration dampening
  • Save up to 80% weight while maintaining the same load
  • Reduce emissions, maximise range
  • Up to 40% more cost-effective parts price
  • Dispensing with downstream assembly steps
  • No additional lubrication necessary
  • Longer service life
  • Better Co2 balance
  • Design freedom
iglidur® plain bearings and gears in backrest adjustment

The following five specifications show why this is the case and what additional advantages the use brings with it:

1. Noise minimisation

Noise always arises where components interact with each other, i.e. where friction occurs.
With the tribologically optimised high-performance polymers from igus, you achieve an especially low coefficient of friction and therefore a quiet application. Another advantage is the dampening effect of plastic compared to metal. The iglidur® materials, which were developed with a special focus on a dampening effect, reduce the background noise in the vehicle interior under high vibration loads and help to meet your NVH requirements.

2. Weight reduction

The legal requirements regarding the reduction of vehicle emissions are becoming more and more stringent. Less weight leads to lower fuel consumption for internal combustion engines and higher range for regenerative drives.
The iglidur® polymer plain bearings are up to 80% lighter than metallic alternatives and still offer sufficiently high load capacity as well as low bearing clearance in your application.

3. Cost reduction

The automotive industry is characterised by enormous price pressure like hardly any other industry and forces suppliers in particular to continuously optimise costs.
The application of iglidur® plain bearings is a cost-effective alternative to expensive metallic variants such as composite metal bearings or rolling bearings, and offers cost savings of up to 40%. In addition to lower production costs, intelligent injection moulding designs and the omission of lubricants offer cost savings by eliminating downstream assembly steps.

4. Promoting sustainability

The keyword, sustainable engineering, is currently more topical than ever, and in addition to emission reduction, the supply chains and the cumulative Co2 balances are increasingly coming into focus in terms of sustainability.
Bearings made of iglidur® materials are characterised by integrated solid lubricants, which reach the bearing point through micro-wear and do not require additional lubrication with oil or grease. The plain bearings are injection moulded entirely from tribologically optimised material and therefore they do not lose their effect when wear occurs on the functional surface, which in turn extends the service life of the system. In addition, the production of polymer plain bearings requires only about one tenth of the energy needed for the production of metallic alternatives.

5. Design freedom

Manufactured in the polymer injection moulding process, an individual design is possible almost without restriction via the in-house toolmaking department. In backrests, the iglidur® plain bearings can be perfectly adapted to the given geometries of the metal structure. Time-consuming assembly steps or subsequent forming processes are eliminated or reduced.

Custom shapes

Have I sparked your interest?
I will be happy to provide you with free samples, answer your questions and present you with further advantages based on your specific application.


Just contact me:
Jonas Burk
Phone:  +49 (0) 2203 / 9649-7074
Mobile:  +49 (0) 162 / 6272 697
e-mail: jburk@igus.net

You can find more information about automotive applications here.

Plain bearings | Gears | Rollers | 3D printing | Lead screw technology | Special parts according to drawing

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