iglidur Z plastic bearings from igus – which have recently been introduced to Australia by Treotham Trading - have been used in the new “X” roller coaster at the Six Flags Theme Park in the USA, which provided a high-level performance field test for engineering applications for this technology.
Six Flags needed a maintenance- and lubrication-free bearing as the access to this individual part was difficult. Due to the required high degree of vibration dampening, high flexibility was also required for optimal performance.
iglidur Z supports the gear unit from which the vehicle is suspended as it races through the loops while revolving about its axis at the same time, carrying eight people.
After six months continuous running during the high season the special bearing has been tested. There was practically no wear at the bearing or the shaft. Maintenance could be reduced about 96%, annual costs for spare parts could be reduced about 55%, and laboratory costs about 9 percent.
In addition the flexibility of the material and its tolerance of alignment errors improved the installation and removal of the bearing.
With this application, Six Flags has won the “gold manus” in the 1st North American competition for plastic bearing designs. In 2003 the first “manus” competition for plastic bearing applications was held in Germany.