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Robotics Industry News

Plastic Plain Bearings Offer Environmental Benefits

igus Inc.

EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. – May 15, 2008 – One billion gallons of industrial lubricants are consumed annually in the United States, of which an estimated 40 percent is released into the environment. This is becoming increasingly environmentally unacceptable and there is a growing need to find ‘green’ substitutes.

Due to continually advancing bearing technology, igus is able to supply metal plain and rolling bearing alternatives more in line with environmental considerations for an increasing number of applications.  Tribologically optimized iglide® plastic plain bearings from igus® require neither oil nor grease. They are lubrication-free, so no contaminants escape into the environment.

The amount of oil used in plastics manufacturing is also very positive in comparison with aluminum and steel production. Whereas the energy from 16 quarts of oil is necessary to produce 1 quart of aluminum, and 1 quart of steel requires 12 quarts of oil, to produce 1 quart of plastic only needs an average of 1.9 quarts of oil. The production of plastics only makes up 4 percent of annual oil requirements globally.

Lubrication-free and lightweight
The solid lubricants contained within iglide polymer plain bearings are not the only ecologically valuable benefit. The lightweight bearings can also help to reduce fuel consumption and carbon dioxide output in vehicles or aircrafts, for example. The reduced weight leads to lower masses and subsequently lower energy consumption.

The high chemical resistance of plastic bearings is another positive ecological aspect because metals are often coated to achieve this effect. This takes place in environmentally unfriendly, high-energy zinc galvanizing baths.

About igus
igus Inc., founded in 1985 and based in East Providence, R.I., develops and manufactures industry-leading plastic cable carriers, continuous-flex cables, plastic bearings and linear guide systems.  With more than 28,000 products available from stock, the company meets the motion control and machinery component needs of customers worldwide.  Product lines include Energy Chain Systems® to protect and house moving cables, Chainflex® continuous-flex cables, iglide self-lubricating, oil-free, plastic bearings, DryLin® linear guide systems and igubal® spherical bearings.  For more information, contact igus at (800) 521-2747 or visit www.igus.com.

igus, iglide, Energy Chain Systems, Chainflex, DryLin and igubal are registered trademarks of igus Inc.  All other company names and products are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies.

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