Testing plastic and metal bearings subjected to high loads

Treotham announces a new front loader test rig from igus designed to assess
the performance of plastic bearings vis-à-vis metal bearings subjected to high
loads, such as in the agricultural or building machine industry.

A front loader is kept moving for twenty four hours a day outdoors,
where it is exposed to all the elements. The new testing system, which has been
commissioned by igus in their own test laboratory, makes it possible to compare
different bearing solutions in order to find the best products for the
heavy-duty application.

In the current set-up, the surface pressure is between 22 and 29.5 MPa,
depending on the bearing point (29.5 MPa approximately corresponds to a load of
1.2 metric tons on a bearing with a diameter of 20mm).

To find the optimum bearing and shaft combination or the most suitable
iglidur Tribo polymer material, the load to be lifted can be increased from 250
to up to 500 kilograms. Four cycles are completed per minute, with the
resulting speed depending on the pivoting angle of the respective bearing

The test, which lasts for around two weeks, also involves daily visual
inspections to ensure that the front loader is not damaged in the event of
failure of a bearing point.

The operation of the test rig can be followed live at http://www.igus.eu/frontloader-test.

Uwe Sund, Industry Manager Agricultural Technology at igus explains that
these tests make it possible to precisely calculate the service life of the
products. Test results are stored in databases, on the basis of which the igus
online configurators work and predict the expected service life of selected

The maintenance-free iglidur bearings are proving themselves not only in
the test rig but also in similar applications such as the wheeled loaders made
by F.X.S. Sauerburger. This company has been using iglidur bearings in the
lifting arms of their wheeled loader for more than ten years. A surface
pressure of approx. 21 MPa acts on the iglidur bearings in the lifting arm,
with the plastic bearings dealing with this force without any problems. The
lubrication-free bearings are also impervious to wind and weather.

For more information, please visit the Treotham Automation website www.treotham.com.au or call 1300 65 75 64.

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