iglidur® polymer bearings with felt seals is a winning combination

The use of polymer bearings over their metal counterparts can be hugely beneficial for numerous reasons: weight reduction, predictability, cost saving. However, sometimes you need that extra protection, that extra noise reduction, the extra vibration dampening and igus® have developed a new product which does just that.

The new felt seals, SG03, are not produced from your typical felt! The felt is modified for industrial use, as the material needs to be able to withstand some harsh environments without becoming detrimental to the smooth running of the bearings.  The felt is a cellulose fibre- filled material, more commonly known as pressed wool, that is not only durable but it resistant to wear and tearing. It is an excellent insulator for both temperature and sound and unlike some more porous, delicate seal materials, felt holds its edges when cut, it simply won’t unravel.

Physically, the seal sits slightly proud of the flange of the bearing or washer by approx. 2mm. Due to the natures of felt, this is easily compressed and creates a filtered seal.

The development of these seals has massive potential benefits when combined with igus® polymer bearings:

  • Embedded dirt contact with the shaft is almost eliminated.  
  • The seals homogenous structure means that the performance of the surface is maintained throughout the life of the bearing without fraying.
  • The felt seals can act as a filter from dirt particles, ensuring the dust stays away from the shaft surface and therefore eliminates wear of the shaft.
  • The felt seals can be compressed without increasing resistance to rotation.
  • When wet or dry, the felt seals offer a constant coefficient of friction.
  • The seals can maintain their properties over a range from -40°C to +100°C, not too dissimilar in the temperature ranges of the polymer bearing materials.
  • Using felt allows for a high energy absorption, which enables vibration or sound energy to be dissipated.

Ensuring the combination between the polymer bearing material and the seal is vital. igus® has a large range of materials that are designed specifically for dusty environments, materials such as iglidur® Q2, W300, M250 and G, so ensuring the best combination for the application should be simple.

The areas where these felt seals were designed for, were as previously mentioned, dirty, dusty environments. Industries such as agricultural, brick works, motorsport, flour mills, any application where there is a requirement for the shaft to be protected against dirt, ensuring less downtime.

In the igus® laboratory, constant tests have been running, simulating many different environments and applications. The results are that there is an increase to the shaft life by 50 times when using an igus® polymer bearing and a felt seal. The focus is not always on the wear rate of the bearing, sometimes the focus is on the service life of the shaft and these seals can prevent the wear rate, giving you more service life.

The SG03 felt seal prevents the admission of dirt and dust into bearing points and therefore protects not only the bearing itself but also the shaft against wear and early failure.

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