First sustainable plain bearing materials from igus made of regranulated tribo-plastics

Member News

The sustainable iglidur
materials ECO H, ECO P, ECO A180 and ECO G consist of regranulate so conserve
resources, and abrasion-resistance helps to reduce microplastics.

Social change, responsibility
towards the environment and changes in how plastics are handled are leaving
their mark on industry. For customers who want a more sustainable design for
their moving application, igus now offers an inspiring option: Four new materials
made of recycled plastic are available in the new iglidur “ECO programme”.

Motion plastics specialist igus
develops and tests many types of tribologically optimised high-performance
plastics for moving applications: sliding, linear, ball or spherical plain
bearings, energy chains, cables, materials for 3D printing or low-cost robotics
based on plastics. The advantages of tribo-polymers – lubrication-free plastics
– are obvious. They are lightweight, maintenance free and require no additional
lubrication during their lifetime. This is a huge advantage, because in Germany
alone, around one million tons of lubricating oil is sold every year, a large
proportion of which ends up in the environment. By using iglidur plain bearing
technology, this environmentally damaging contamination is reduced, while at
the same time the service life of the application can be increased. As igus’s
plain bearing range is made of ECO materials, this greener solution starts even
earlier in the product life cycle by using regranulate (recycled material) to
produce new plain bearings.

Four lubrication-free and maintenance-free iglidur ECO materials

The new series consists of 97% to 100% regranulated iglidur materials. For example, using plastic sprues that are used in injection molding production, a classic waste product in manufacturing that we can reuse.

The new plain bearing range includes four materials, and each demonstrates their advantages in a wide variety of applications. iglidur ECO H is temperature- and media-resistant and is therefore suitable for highly corrosive environments. iglidur ECO P offers high mechanical strength with low moisture absorption and is therefore optimised for outdoor use. The cost-effective material iglidur ECO A180 is suitable for price-sensitive applications, while iglidur ECO G is extremely robust and versatile.

Less microplastics due to abrasion-resistant materials

All igus ECO materials, like the entire iglidur range of plain bearings, are lubricant-free and the service life can be calculated online. The new ECO series and the other 58 iglidur materials have proven in 15,000 tribological tests per year how abrasion- and wear-resistant they are. Less abrasion means less contamination by microplastics and a significantly longer service life. Replacing the machine or the individual components is not necessary so soon and so regularly.

In addition, if these components are “intelligent” and accurately predict their service life in real operation, routine maintenance and replacement intervals can be dropped. The plain bearing is replaced exactly when necessary. This can also increase the service life of the individual components in the application. This means that no component that still works must be routinely replaced, saving carbon and resources