Manufacturers use a wide range of composite materials to manufacture composite bearings. The most common composite materials are composite plastic and fiber-reinforced resin. Composite plastic bushings combine solid lubricants, fibrous reinforcements and thermoplastics. The percentage of constituents can be varied to manufacture composite bearings for specific applications. These bearings have a predictable lifetime.
Composite bearings don’t require external lubrication and maintenance. They have corrosion and debris resistance. A composite bearing fits precisely. It maintains high compressive strength, dampens vibrations and conducts heat efficiently. Here are the reasons for using composite bearings:
Composite bearings materials weigh less than metal bearing materials. You can reduce weight by 25% using composite plastic bearings in the place of metallic plastic bearings. Composite plastic and metals have a density difference of 1 to 3 g/cm3 vs. 7 to 9 g/cm3.
As no metal is used in manufacturing composite bearings, you don’t have to worry about corrosion. Most of the composite materials don’t corrode in basic or acidic solutions. Composite bearings are also immune to exposure to traditional lubricants. They can resist hydrochloric acids and other harsh acids. Composite bearings can also resist high-energy radiation such as UV rays. Keep in mind that chemical resistance is not the same at different chemical concentrations and temperatures. Therefore, consider the conditions in the application.
You can use composite bearings in dry conditions without using any external lubrication. Fiber reinforcements can hold solid lubricant particles. When there is friction against the shaft, these solid lubricants are released. No lubricant is pressed out due to the homogeneous blending of the material. As a result, the bearing remains self-lubricating throughout its life.
Composite bearings can dampen or absorb vibrations. They also run quietly. The vibration-dampening capability and mechanical loss factor of composite bearings are higher than those of metal bearings. Manufacturers tailor fiber-reinforced materials according to the specific requirements of an application. As a result, composite bearings can stand up to edge load and shock in different application settings.
Works well with a variety of shaft materials
You can use plastic bearings with a wide range of shaft materials without worrying about corrosion. However, all pairs of shaft and bearing are not equal. The right pair delivers excellent wear performance.
Excellent Wear Rates
Shaft imperfections are filled with bits of thermoplastic and solid lubricant abrade. This also provides continuous lubrication. This minimizes wear and stick-slip. After the initial startup, there is a significant drop in abrasion rates. Composite bearings provide excellent wear resistance.
After conducting thousands of empirical tests and on the basis of satisfactory results, specialists recommend composite plastic bearings. They are fit and forget bearings. Engineers rely on test data to choose the best bearing and shaft combination. As external lubrication is not required, these bearings offer 100% maintenance-free operation.
Dirt and Dust Resistance
Abrasive particles can make a metal bearing wear prematurely. On the other hand, composite plastic bearings can absorb these abrasive particles. Moreover, you are not using any oils or grease that can attract debris.
Many applications have specific composite bearing requirements. For example, you may have to use bearings underwater. You may have to use bearings at extreme temperatures. It is easy to manufacture composite bearings for specific applications.