Polymer ball bearings in plasma technology

Patrick Czaja | 12. May 2021

Within the industry, plasma technology has established itself as a technical standard for optimising material surfaces. Atmospheric pressure plasmas are created, for example, by electrical discharges in the air or by other gases. They enable remarkable material surface treatment due to a large amount of reactive and short-lived chemical species. The species clean, disinfect and modify the surfaces and are intended, among other things, as a pre-treatment for bonding and painting work. But what do xiros polymer ball bearings have to do with atmospheric pressure plasmas? We will tell you!

Advanced Plasma Tech Ltd. from Ireland was looking for bearing components for their rotating atmospheric pressure plasma machine, which is used for the activation and coating of powders,, granules and small parts. These small parts, powders and granules are placed in a quartz or glass tube and placed on two rotating electrodes. Helium gas is then injected, which changes the state of aggregation into a plasma that is energised by a high voltage field from a high frequency power supply. The contents of the cylinder interact with the plasma as it rotates. This changes the surface energy and enables a new type of particle processing for the plastics, pharmaceutical and agricultural industries.

What did the customer see as his problem?

Since the rotating rollers are also the electrodes, to which a voltage of up to 20,000 volts is applied, the electrons will try to find the easiest path and create an arc at the nearest conductive point. It is imperative that the bearings of these rollers are absolutely non-conductive and ozone-resistant.

How did the customer solve the problem?

xiros polymer ball bearings successfully solve the problem and defy the adverse application environment. The roller electrodes are arranged exactly parallel to each other and there is no electrical voltage breakdown at the bearings. Despite very high powers and voltages, arcs are no longer visible. Our polymer ball bearings with glass or polymer balls make it possible.

Do you need further information about our ball bearings? You are welcome to take a look at our info world: https://www.igus.eu/info/ball-bearings-technology?L=en

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