No lubrication needed with these types of bearings is a key feature. Dust and contaminates will eventually settle on the operating surfaces and cause performance degradation. This feature (along with preventing food contamination) is an important advantage with this product over lubricated bearings.
This is a very interesting article on plastic ball bearings...from what I understand they are also lighter and quieter than other types. I wonder what the cost comparison is regarding steel or ceramic ball bearings but you would also have to factor in the plastic bearings comparitively lower maintenance and longer expected cycles into the equation...
Very informative post Michael. One of the most difficult consulting jobs I have ever had was specifying bearings for conveyors used in a chain of bakeries. The issue was sugar granules getting into the bearing components and creating a remarkably short bearing life. Sealed bearings did not seem to do the job adequately. For this one department, I did specify a polymer. That saved the day. Again, very good post. Good information.
Plastic bearings do offer very real advantages in some applications, but it is absolutely vital to assure that the bearing selected is adequate for the application. Of course, that is true with all bearing types, but sometimes the failure of an incorrectly applied plastic bearing can be quite impressive, even spectacular. So just as with other types of bearings, the application is not a trivial matter. The correct selection will assure satisfactory performance.
The resistance to water and other liquids that are quite hard on regular bearings can be a very big benefit.
Cost effective, robust and easy to manufacture? What's not to like but like, however I agree with William in that it depends on the application as well as the environment on which type of bearing works best.
Another place these plastic bearings are being used is in a concept car, the Personal Transport Vehicle by Redbud Technology http://www.redbudtechnologyllc.com/3.html according to an igus press release I just saw here http://igus.com/Corporate/Press/5536/student-built-personal-transport-vehicle-uses-plastic-bearings
The promise of the Internet of Things (IoT) is that devices, gadgets, and appliances we use every day will be able to communicate with one another. This potential is not limited to household items or smartphones, but also things we find in our yard and garden, as evidenced by a recent challenge from the element14 design community.
If you didn't realize that PowerPoint presentations are inherently hilarious, you have to see Don McMillan take one apart. McMillan -- aka the Technically Funny Comic -- worked for 10 years as an engineer before he switched to stand-up comedy.
The first Tacoma Narrows Bridge was a Washington State suspension bridge that opened in 1940 and spanned the Tacoma Narrows strait of Puget Sound between Tacoma and the Kitsap Peninsula. It opened to traffic on July 1, 1940, and dramatically collapsed into Puget Sound on November 7, just four months after it opened.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.