Plain bearings for single-axis tracking systems

Schaeffler has expanded its range of plain bearing solutions for solar energy applications.

The new product range includes metal-polymer composite plain bearings and ELGOTEX plain bearings, as well as the company's ELGOGLIDE plain bearings. ELGOGLIDE is a sliding layer that comprises a technical woven material with support fibres, Teflon fibres and a synthetic resin matrix. The bearings are said to be maintenance-free and are designed to offer very high load carrying capacities, particularly if very high loads are present on one side combined with swiveling movements. The composite materials used for the ELGOTEX bearings are resistant to corrosive media and offer continuously low friction and low wear sliding characteristics, ensuring maintenance-free operation. The bearings comprise two intertwined, wound layers. The internal sliding layer – which is embedded in a resin matrix with fillers and solid lubricants – is made from synthetic and PFTE fibres. The external layer comprises continuous glass fibres (filament) in epoxy resin. A specific winding angle of the glass fibres stabilises the layer, which Schaeffler says significantly increases the strength of the plain bushing.