What are Self-Lubricating Bearings?
Most often used in the automotive and aerospace industries, self-lubricating bearings are designed to have a liquid or solid lubrication built into them so they don’t have to be relubricated. This lubrication is evenly distributed throughout the sliding surface of the bearing, so even as the bearing is used and worn down, they are still low friction and their performance doesn’t change. The liquid lubricant can be oil, and the solid lubricants are generally materials like graphite, bronze, or solid polymers. These polymers include ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMW), filled PTFE, acetals, and nylons.
Due to their ability to maintain lubrication throughout the life of the bearing, with little to no maintenance required, self-lubricating bearings provide various benefits — from being more cost-effective to being more sustainable than other options.
The Advantages of Implementing Self-Lubricating Bearings
There are various benefits of implementing self-lubricating bearings. From lowering maintenance costs to improving your sustainability efforts, there are many reasons to consider implementing these bearings.
Since these bearings have lubrication built into them, they generally don’t require much additional maintenance or upkeep and require no additional lubrication or oiling. This eliminates the labor costs surrounding repairs, upkeep, and the cost of replacing parts.
In these bearings, lubrication is constant, causing reduced friction and wear. Self-lubricating bearings can work smoothly and efficiently with little to no maintenance, increasing productivity and reducing downtime. Because these bearings allow machines to work more smoothly, there is less energy consumption associated with them, reducing energy costs.
With no need for additional lubrication and their inherent lubrication abilities, these bearings are much less likely to fail due to friction or inadequate lubrication. The machines that self-lubricating bearings are integrated into also can operate much longer without unexpected failures causing costly downtime.
Having constant lubrication in bearings provides protection against friction constantly, reducing wear on the bearing over time. This leads to a longer service life and improved performance so the machine can reliably operate for an extended period of time.
More Environmentally Friendly
Traditional oils and lubricants are not needed in self-lubricating bearings in any way, meaning the waste they produce and the harmful effects they have on the environment are eliminated completely. Additionally, machinery that is equipped with these products can run much more efficiently, using less energy than equipment with traditional bearings.
Ensinger PolyTech Can Supply All of Your Self-Lubricating Bearings
Ensinger PolyTech has various self-lubricating bearing grade composites to choose from. Created from high-performance polymers, our Poly-Texx® products can handle difficult applications and extreme environments. The Poly-Texx LR166 product is known for its electrical insulation and chemical resistance capabilities while the Poly-Texx 60F is known for its impact strength. There are various options to choose from, and our team is happy to assist you in your decision.