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Offering more creativity

Offering more creativity and freedom in design MACHINE ELEMENTS Thanks to high performance plastics, today, the linear plain bearings are being increasingly used in more applications. To unleash the creative potential of designers, igus, the motion plastics specialist provides a variety of linear systems for implementation of completely innovative ideas. In linear technology the tasks are extremely varied, from classical mechanical engineering to innovative automation applications. The starting point for linear solutions at igus is the bearing technology: the linear plain bearings operate - in contrast to re-circulating ball systems - on sliding elements made from high performance plastics. Compared to ball bearings they have technical advantages in the linear and drive technology: due to the higher contact surface for the shaft or guide rail and the associated lower surface pressure, even softer shafts and non-metallic mating partners can be used for sliding. In extreme applications, the thin-walled plastic parts slide on any surface. The expert designers at igus prefer anodised aluminium rails. They are light and give a lot of leeway in geometrical design. In this way, the profiles can be customised. This flexibility is not possible with re-circulating ball systems made of hardened steel. The motion plastics specialist thus complies with the requirements of saving installation space and reducing weight. Optimum friction and smooth operation Once installed the linear guides maintain their good friction coefficient throughout their entire calculated service life, with no lubrication and zero maintenance. For architects and designers, the linear guides once installed, they must operate smoothly. In this context, the quiet operation of igus components plays an important role: the linear plain bearings run quietly, since no mechanical rolling of hard friction partners takes place as with metal or ceramic balls. In other areas of automation, where users still think of ball screws, igus has already replaced the expensive roller technology with a low cost, lubrication-free lead screw unit. The lead screw geometry is finely tuned to the plastics. The efficiency of igus lead screw units could be enhanced by the new dimensions for lead screw units – pitches from 1 to 80 mm have been implemented – and a new plastic material for nuts. Thereby further possible applications have opened up in handling processes and automation. Single source for linear technology systems Igus has four types of offerings in linear technology systems. The flexible drylin W series is being used in drive technology. It comprises lubricant-free linear axes which are driven either with trapezoidal thread, high helix thread or toothed belts. Thereby different rail profiles and carriage options are available. The standard material for rails is made from the drylin modular kit and is hard anodised aluminium, which achieves the best coefficient of friction in combination with iglidur materials as a running surface. For more specialised applications, however, the drylin W modular system also offers more specialised materials such as stainless steel, which is WORLD OF INDUSTRIESMOTION, DRIVE & AUTOMATION 5/2017

Opening new possibilities with every drawer resistant to chemicals or salt water. Igus has also developed a linear guide with a rail made entirely of carbon fibre-reinforced plastic. “The strengths of the so-called carbon are obvious,” says Stefan Niermann, head of the drylin linear and drive technology business unit at igus. “It is extremely light, non-magnetic and is characterised by a high rigidity.” For applications where these properties are required, for example in the aircraft or the medical industry, igus now offers the lightest linear guide in the world. It is designed for up to 2000 mm stroke. Since the entire rail is made from carbon, the weight saving is considerable. Suitable iglidur material for any application For a number of applications, different rail materials and various plastics as liners are needed. Thus there are drawers with 5 different iglidur materials in the drylin W modular kit at igus. For example, the FDA-compliant material iglidur A180, the endurance runner on steel and stainless steel shafts iglidur E7, or iglidur X for extreme temperatures from -100 to + 250 °C. This achieves optimum friction coefficients on hard-chromed steel and reaches the highest service life on hardened stainless steel. All materials are available as liners that can be simply clipped onto the housing bearing. An open geometry and axial movement also facilitate the assembly and ensure the positive location of the liner in the housing. Continous innovation paves the way for new design concepts 01 Linear guides and sliding system for camera mounted applications Further innovations, such as manual clamps, complete the drylin W modular kit. With this, the carriage can be fitted easily by hand. This simple solution can be retrofitted even in existing systems. The new products of this year within the drylin W family, for example, also include linear guides that enable curved movement. This paves the way for completely new design concepts. The guide rails for curves are made of aluminium with an exceptionally resistant, hard anodised coating. Customised carriages allow curved movement with smooth motion. The special feature of the drylin W modular system has always been that you can always open up new drawers and offer new solutions. For example, a complete system with predrilled grid system. This enables the perfect and quick positioning of the carriage by hand on the rail. A ball catch on the underside of the carriage ensures the gradual interlocking. Photographs: igus GmbH About Igus igus GmbH is a leading manufacturer of energy chain systems and polymer plain bearings. The Cologne-based family business has offices in 35 countries and employs around 3,180 people around the world. In 2016, igus generated a turnover of 592 million Euros with motion plastics, plastic components for moving applications. igus operates the largest test laboratories and factories in its sector to offer customers quick turnaround times on innovative products and solutions tailored to their needs. 02 Drylin W series application: Sliding system for hacksaw mounted applications WORLD OF INDUSTRIESMOTION, DRIVE & AUTOMATION 5/2017


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