The Self-Lubricating Slide Bearings
The key to success for a linear bearing design is creating motion without friction, which can cause problems in a large system and deteriorate the materials used to create the parts. Everyone knows that rotating rollers and balls are popular forms of motion control, helping glide a part along a designated path much like a conveyor does. However, these are not the only ways smooth motion can be achieved. Slide bearings do not utilize additional parts to transition a part from point A to point B without friction, but by way of particular materials that guarantee a smooth trip.
The gliding that takes place when a slide bearing is in place is just as friction free as rollers or balls initiating the motion. This linear bearing design can actually be considered more advantageous when certain characteristics are being examined. For example, it is a much quieter process then rollers or balls, particularly when dealing with larger models. Also, materials chosen to create slide bearings are often self-lubricating, such as graphite or high performing polymers. This means the expense of lubrication, as well as the time spent to get the linear bearing separated, lubed up and put back together, is avoided.
The self-lubricating materials used to create slide bearings reduce the amount of friction to a minimum, while requiring less maintenance then other linear bearing models. This is partly why they are utilized in a variety of industries including oil and water transportation, food processing, steel fabrication, manufacturing and various pipelines utilized in a number of other industries. Each of these applications require very different elements from the slide bearings, such as size, weight ratio, movement speed, and the ability to resist certain environmental elements such as high or low temperatures or intense amounts of dust. A level of specification is always involved when incorporating a slide bearing into a system.