Published 04-08-2022

A breakthrough in linear technology: iglidur E3 from igus

03-08-2022

Whether in an industrial environment or a coffee machine, to maximise the service life of a linear guide and keep the required drive energy low, it is important to reduce friction and wear as much as possible. 

With its new iglidur E3 sliding material, igus has achieved a breakthrough in tribological plastics. The motion plastics specialist has developed a material that delivers gains of up to up to 40% in terms of friction coefficients. It therefore enables new levels of design flexibility in linear technology for users, expanding the classic 2:1 Rule to 3:1 for the first time. iglidur E3 is available from Treotham.

The drylin T miniature linear slide offers extremely smooth running and new design freedom thanks to the newly developed iglidur E3 sliding material. Depending on the operating point, this has a friction coefficient of around 0.16 and thus achieves up to 40% less friction compared to the igus standard materials, measured on hard-anodised aluminium, and even less compared to commercially available sliding materials. This also means that manual adjustment required 40% lower displacement forces. 

“This is an important step towards greater design freedom, as it enables us to expand design leeway for the first time,” says Stefan Niermann, head of igus’s Linear and Drive Technology business unit. 

 

Rewriting the rules 

The traditional 2:1 rule, which generally applies to linear plain bearings, states that the distance between the driving force and the fixed bearing should not be more than twice the bearing clearance. Otherwise, an uneven movement sequence could jam the system. The greater the distance between the drive and the guide bearing, the higher the wear and required drive force. 

igus has now extended this design rule to 3:1, so that the drive can be 50% further away without impairing linear guide movement. At the same time, the required drive forces are reduced by 40%, resulting in 40% energy savings in electrically driven applications. The drylin T miniature guide is available from Treotham in three sizes (09, 12, and 15) and can be used in such applications as laboratory and medical technology and tool-building.

Sliding better – without harmful lubricants

The miniature linear carriage with the new iglidur E3 sliders offers several advantages. The solid lubricants incorporated into the material of the high-performance plastics ensure low-noise operation, high resistance to dirt, and minimal need for maintenance. Eliminating lubrication is good for saving costs but also the environment. With new material mixing and processing as well as rigorous laboratory testing, igus has pushed the application limits of motion plastics and delivered new design freedom in linear technology.

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