Which factors influence the wear of a plain bearing?

Lars Butenschön | 2. July 2019

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1: Wear test with oscillating motion of an iglidur plastic plain bearing from igus. _x000D__x000D_
 
Influencing factors:

Selection of the shaft: Different shaft materials are recommended for different plain bearings. Each shaft-bearing combination has different wear results.

Load: With increasing radial loads or surface pressures, the wear of the plain bearings also increases. Some plain bearings are designed for low load, others for high load.

Speed and type of movement: With increasing speed, the wear also increases. In addition, the movement type (oscillating, rotating or linear) has a decisive influence on the wear rate.

Temperature: Within certain limits, the temperature hardly has any effect on the bearing wear, but it can also accelerate the wear exponentially. Plastic bearings are suitable for a wide temperature range,  depending on the material selection.  When the respective maximum application temperature exceeds, however, the wear can increase significantly. For most iglidur materials, the wear rate increases with increasing temperatures. However, there are also exceptions that reach their minimum wear only at elevated temperatures.

Dirty environment: Dirt and dust can accumulate between shaft and bearing. That causes wear. Self-lubricating plastic bushings offer an advantage here: they do not contain oil, and hence dirt and dust cannot adhere to the shaft and damage the bearing.

Contact with chemicals: Plastic plain bearings are completely corrosion-free and resistant to a variety of chemicals, but certain chemicals can even alter the structural properties of a plain bearing, reducing the hardness of the bearing and increasing wear.
2: Wear tests with different shaft types.

Valid for all these points is: the closer I know my application and the mentioned parameters, the more specific an iglidur material selection and a service life calculation can be. Choosing the right material is crucial for the service life.

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Plain bearings

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