Composite plain bearings for wind, wave, tidal and solar energy systems

Written by: Schaeffler (UK) Ltd | Published:

Schaeffler's comprehensive range of metal-polymer composite bearings, plain bushes and thrust washers are ideal for dry running applications in renewable energy technologies, including solar, wind, wave and tidal energy systems.

In solar energy systems, plain bearings are particularly suitable to the operating conditions, which often involve slow swiveling movements with high loads. In addition, plain bearings are also suitable for operation in media such as water (hydro power) and for dry running applications.

Schaeffler's metal-polymer composite bearings are particularly effective in oscillating applications, where the bearings achieve a higher basic rating life than conventional bearings. These products are available as bushes, flanged bushes and thrust washers and are ideal for applications where there are very small radial or axial design envelopes.

The metal-polymer composite material provides low-wear sliding characteristics, as well as a high load carrying capacities and high thermal conductivity. Static load carrying capacities of up to 250 N/mm2 can be achieved. Composite materials can also be used in water or other media due to its high moisture resistance.

Metal-polymer composite bearings are a cost-effective alternative for applications with minimum available space and a comparatively high sliding speed. The plain bearings are available as bushes and flanged bushes, as well as thrust washers and strips. The material can also be easily formed to specific customer requirements for rotary, linear and oscillating movements. All Schaeffler's metal-polymer bearings are lead-free.

The ELGOTEX® range of plain bushes from Schaeffler provides a variety of technical advantages that stem from the product's unique, entwined double-layer design. Each bush comprises two layers of wound (twisted) material. The inner, sliding layer is made from synthetic fibres and PTFE fibres in epoxy resin, whilst the outer layer comprises continuous glass fibres (filaments) in epoxy resin. This combined, double wound material is stabilised by applying a specific winding angle to the glass fibres, which significantly increases the strength of the bush.

The result is a host of technical advantages, including extreme robustness, compactness and low wear (due to consistent friction levels). In addition, ELGOTEX® plain bushes are lighter than their bronze equivalents.

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