Plastic in an agricultural world. Is there a place for such relationships?

“8 times longer service life for agricultural machinery by the use of plastic plain bearings and igus® energy chain”.

Did you know that, in the UK, we use 69% of the country’s land area for farming, employ approx. half a million people and British farms now provides 61% of the food that we consume every year? I must admit, I had no idea on the statistics relating to Agriculture in the UK and was quite shocked at the sheer size of the industry and facts surrounding it. I found it very intriguing digging deeper (excuse the pun) into the above statement, industrial agricultural machinery using  polymer over their metal counterparts? Can that relationship truly work? 

Researching the industry, it highlighted my ignorance, but it also surprised me on how little emphasis we have on the importance of this vital lifeline. Agriculture is a huge industry and igus® products are heavily involved in a multitude of areas. These range from e-chains® on the back of field sprayers, replacing large heavy-duty metal bearings with polymer ones, to drylin® linear systems assisting moving parts of tractor cockpits.

1. iglidur® J bearings in mirror adjustment mechanisms

2. drylin® W guide carriages in motor adjustment mechanisms

3. drylin® W linear guides in backrest adjustment mechanisms

4. iglidur® G bearings in steering columns

5. triflex® 3D e-chain® in controls

6. igubal® double joints in hydraulic valve connections

7. drylin® W linear guides in backrest adjustment mechanisms

8. drylin® W linear guides in armrest adjustment mechanisms

9. E2 energy chain and chainflex® cables in seat adjustment mechanisms

igus® products are ideal for agricultural applications. It is essential that all products are resilient to dirt, heat, shock and edge loads. igus® products adhere to all these factors and consist of the following:

  • Dry-running and corrosion-resistant
  • Resistant to dust and dirt
  • High mechanical stability
  • Vibration dampening
  • Compensation of misalignment and deflections
  • Easy installation

All the above lead to our mantra “plastics for longer life”, so it is easy to see why igus® products are used so readily in this industry.

igus® innovation

We designed a specific range of bearings to match the stability, endurance and load that would replace metal ones in the field.  Introducing the TX1 bearing.

The TX1 bearing has excellent dimensional stability due to the method in which it is manufactured. The long fibre wound bearings still allow for them to be maintenance-free as well as lubrication-free whilst not compromising on strength.

We do have other materials that are used predominantly in this industry such as: iglidur® Z and iglidur® Q. Both of these materials work well under extreme conditions and promote the long service life required in Agricultural situations.

Other products such as e-chain® are used in various applications, allowing cables to be protected whilst in the field. The nature of the application will determine the size and series of the e-chain® but we have multiple variations to suit all solutions.

Our clevis joints are also found in this industry, in fertilizer spreaders offering: corrosion resistance, vibration dampening and high tensile strength.  When you are investing in such large heavy-duty machines, being able to incorporate products that are lightweight, can offer endurance and can save you time and money, it is obvious why igus® products are installed at the design stage.

In a world where conservation is key and the importance of the UK being self-sufficient as much as possible, it is imperative that we protect the machines that help maintain the land on which we grow our food. In order for us to be able to meet the requirements for domestic UK food consumption, we need to use products that offer long life and little maintenance. The UK farming industry plays a vital role in the overall economy of this tiny island and now, more than ever, we should protect it with igus®

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