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Dave Biering

Dave Biering


Recent posts by Dave Biering

1 min read

Rulon 641: Performance from Food Processing to Medical Equipment Manufacturing

By Dave Biering on July 16, 2019

Rulon 641: Performance from Food Processing to Medical Equipment Manufacturing

The food and medical manufacturing industries share many commonalities; most notably, they operate in environments with strict regulations for quality, safety and sanitation.  Processing equipment must be of the highest quality and offer contamination resistance.  Rulon® 641 is the only FDA-cleared material for use in food processing that also has USP Class VI approval for medical applications.

Two demanding manufacturing environments, one common material ― Rulon 641.  See our Rulon Comparison Chart to explore the advantages.

Temperature tolerance for food processing

A major food processor approached us seeking a replacement for their virgin-PTFE seals located on the miniature cryogenic valves of the fast-freeze systems. The equipment is used to flash-freeze fruits and other foodstuffs. The PTFE seals were failing from exposure to the cryogenic temperatures and required frequent and expensive change out. Rulon 641 offered our partner a material with superior temperature stability and a longer lifespan for significant savings. Rulon 641 is non-abrasive for use against the systems’ stainless mating hardware, and has maintained good sealability under difficult conditions. 

Superior sterilization for medical manufacturing

We’ve also partnered with the manufacturers of surgical laser devices to replace failing PTFE valves seats with Rulon 641.  Rulon excels in the rotary and oscillating movements required of this application and has a very low coefficient of friction and a superior wear factor.   The material can be lapped using standard procedures to produce extremely good surface finishes in precision valve seats.  And the material’s white, stain-resistant color indicates a sanitary compound for medical environments.  Rulon 641 has USP Class VI approval, and easily tolerates all standard CIP procedures required of both the food and medical industries.

Is Rulon 641 the right material for your application?  Contact our Engineering Experts for a consultation. Or read our free Rulon White Paper to learn about the advantages of Rulon’s processing controls.

Rulon - Quality Assurance Begins With Precision Processing

Topics: Food Rulon Medical
2 min read

National Robotics Week is Here – Explore the Plastic Bearings Factor

By Dave Biering on April 9, 2019

National Robotics Week is Here – Learn How Plastic Bearings Fit In

This year National Robotics Week falls on April 6-14 and there are a wide range of activities and events intended to inspire students in STEM-related fields and to educate audiences of all ages about the cultural and economic impact of robotics – today and into the future.

One thing you may not be aware of is the importance of plastic bearings to the success of many innovative robotic applications. From precision surgical robot arms to pipeline oil-leak sniffing subseas, plastic bearings are a key component driving innovation in this field.

Plastic Bearings Replace Rolling Elements and the Benefits are Clear

Plastic bearings are greaseless, durable and nearly maintenance-free. Compared to metal bearings they can be easily custom fabricated to precise specifications at a significantly lower cost than metal bearings. It’s no wonder that the robotics industry has been so eager to embrace this technology.

Plastic Bearings in Robotics – Some Specific Examples

There are many uses for plastic bearings in robotic applications; here are just a few interesting examples:

  • Swimming Pool Cleaning Robots – Swimming pools are harsh environments and pool chemicals, algae, and UV exposure can quickly weaken metal bearings. Rulon W2 flanged bearings in the wheels of robotic pool vacuums offer clear benefits over metal. The tribological properties of Rulon W2 actually improve when wet and they do not absorb water at all, which keeps them dimensionally stable.
  • Picking and Packing Robots on Food Assembly Lines – TriStar’s FCJ composite bearings excel in the pivot points of robotic arms. They are increasingly used to replace bronze bearings, which corrode and seize in the sub-zero and high-moisture environments encountered in food processing. FCJ bearings offer the same strength-to-weight ratio as powdered steel, but in a lighter, flexible design that can help boost production.
  • Surgical Spherical Robots – Surgical spherical robots require bearing materials that are rigid enough to exert a good level of force, yet also remain flexible enough to deliver precise control. In addition, any components specified must be FDA compatible to meet clean room standards. Rulon 641 meets these requirements. They are self-lubricating to eliminate the risk of oil contamination and give surgical arms excellent rotary and oscillating movements for incredibly precise cutting and placement.
  • Military Remote Tracked Vehicles – Remote tracked vehicles play a key role in protecting soldiers by allowing them to investigate and detonate IEDs from a safe distance. Our CJ Bearings proved to be more reliable than bronze bushings in early tracked vehicle designs. More recently, our Ultracomp bearings have been specified for sophisticated lifting arms and rotating grips due to their tight tolerances and ability to function at the lowest possible friction levels.

These are just a few of the many robotics applications for plastic bearings. Why not grab a copy of our free Robotics White Paper for a deep dive on the subject with many additional examples?

For more on National Robotics Week check out the official website or explore the ongoing conversation using the #RoboWeek hashtag on Twitter. If you have a robotics application you’d like us to take a look at, don’t hesitate to reach out to our engineering team!

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Topics: Robotics
2 min read

Q&A – Do You Have Any Tips for Annealing Cast Acrylic?

By Dave Biering on August 15, 2018

Do You Have Any Tips for Annealing Cast Acrylic?

We recently had a customer ask us for some tips on annealing cast acrylic. There are definitely some potential pitfalls when working with acrylic in both sheet and finished part form, but following the guidelines outlined below should yield excellent results.

First… What is Annealing?

Annealing is the process of relieving stresses in molded or formed plastics by heating to a predetermined temperature, maintaining this temperature for a set period, and slowly cooling the parts. Sometimes, formed parts are placed in jigs to prevent distortion as internal stresses are relieved during annealing.

Tips for Annealing Acrylic Sheet

To anneal cast acrylic sheet, heat it to 180°F (80°C), just below the deflection temperature, and cool slowly. Heat one hour per millimeter of thickness – for thin sheet, at least two hours total.

Cooling times are generally shorter than heating times – see the chart below. For sheet thickness above 8mm, cooling time in hours should equal thickness in millimeters divided by four. Cool slowly to avoid thermal stresses; the thicker the part, the slower the cooling rate.

Wait until oven temperature falls below 140°F (60°C) before removing items. Removing a part too soon can offset annealing’s positive effects.

Tips for Annealing Parts Made from Acrylic Sheet

While annealing acrylic sheet parts, support them to avoid stress. For example, a part’s raised center section will need independent support – it can’t be supported from the ends. Lack of support may inhibit relaxation or cause warpage. Be sure parts are clean and dry before annealing. Remove paper masking to avoid baking it onto the material. Remove any spray masking, protective tape, or similar material. Plastic masking may remain in place.

For post machined acrylic parts - Heat to 180°F over a 2 hour period, hold for 30 minutes per each ¼” of thickness, cool at 50°F per hour until room temperature. This must be done in a nitrogen oven.

If the only fabrication you have done is surface machining and you do not need to anneal cemented joints, heating time can be reduced. This reflects the fact that machining forms stresses only at and slightly below the surface – the entire sheet thickness needn’t be annealed. Heat at least two hours; cool the same amount of time. If holes have been drilled entirely through the sheet, position the part so heated air flows through the holes.

What are your Material Fabrication, Machining, and Processing Challenges?

This post focused on a specific process for one material, but any product you work with is going to bring it's own challenges – and have a corresponding “cheat sheet’ that experienced engineers pull out to make it all go smoothly. Our engineering team has decades of combined experience and can provide this information. In fact, we’ve just launched an entirely new Enhanced Materials Division (EMD) to help people with just this sort of thing! We have a full suite of services and products to help you find the best, most cost-effective way forward.

Custom Plastic Fabrication: Get the Guide!

Topics: Q&A
2 min read

What are ‘Fluoropolymers’ and What are their Common Attributes

By Dave Biering on June 12, 2018

The first fluoropolymer was polytetrafluoroethylene, better known by its abbreviation, PTFE

First, a definition: fluoropolymers are a family of plastic resins which are based on fluorine/carbon bonding. The family of products is varied through a manipulation of that bond by adding or subtracting fluorine through other bonds such as chlorine, ethylenes and other chemical agents.

The first fluoropolymer was polytetrafluoroethylene, better known by its abbreviation, PTFE, and by its brand name “Teflon.” It was discovered accidentally by a scientist at DuPont in 1938.

Fluoropolymers are strong, lightweight, and durable. They can also resist heat, water, salt and chemicals and do very well in demanding environments.

PTFE (which is the only fluoropolymer which does not melt) is processed through press and sinter techniques while the other common fluoropolymers (FEP, PVDF, PCTFE, PFA and a few others) are melt-processible. This means they can be compression and injection molded as well.

Fluoropolymers come in several forms:

  • Granulate
  • Melt-processable
  • Films
  • Paste
  • Dispersions

As with anything, there are both positives and negatives to fluoropolymers:

Positive attributes:

  • Chemically inert (with few exceptions)
  • Broad temperature ranges
  • Low friction
  • Excellent dielectric properties
  • Good thermal insulation
  • Good wear properties (with certain additives)

And on the negative side:

  • Cost (they can be expensive)
  • Processability – grades establish which method is used
  • Cold flow with some grades
  • High expansion rates

Typical applications for fluoropolymers are in electrical and electronics, pipe and chemical processing.

Fluoropolymers are an extremely diverse family of plastics and this blog post really just scratches the surface. For a deeper dive into the topic, watch our video (below).

If you think a fluoropolymer is the right fit for your application, we can help you choose the right one.

 

 

Bearing Selection: Get the Ultimate Plastic Bearing Design

Topics: Fluoropolymers featured
2 min read

Slide Bearings for Pipelines and Bridges

By Dave Biering on May 29, 2018

Slide Bearings for Pipelines and Bridges

Slide plate bearings provide support and a low coefficient of friction while allowing an object to move (or slide) freely along a supporting surface. They consist of an upper and lower component and can be used in both guided and free-moving applications.

Applications for Slide Bearings

Slide bearings are engineered to fit anywhere there is the potential or threat of movement, such as bridges, building footplates, tank farms and petrochemical applications. For example, an oil pipeline — at roughly 800 miles long — could be subjected to a mile of liquid flow movement (hysteresis) within the structure. Such an application requires a bearing designed to resist corrosion, temperature extremes and rugged terrain.

TriStar is your Best Source for Slide Bearings

Here are several materials that we often recommend for slide bearings.

  • Ultracomp, one of our tier one products, is an ideal material for slide bearings. A composite wound bearing, Ultracomp is engineered especially for low speed, high load applications and has a very high corrosion resistance. One interesting application is for the slide bearings used to deploy a retractable swimming pool in an ultra-luxury yacht (cost: $100 million). Ultracomp also excels in railroad and agricultural applications.
  • Rulon materials are ideal for slide bearings and various variants can be chosen based on the specifics of your application. For example, FDA compliant Rulon 1337 has been specified for use in the slide bearings used inside food processing vacuum chambers. Rulon 1337 is ideal for this application due to it’s high load capacity and durability. It’s low abrasion characteristics make it safe to use against softer mating surfaces and high chemical resistance means it can withstand the chemical washdown procedures required for food industry applications.
  • Fluorogold slide bearings easily tolerate thermal expansion and liquid flow movement and hold up well in cold temperatures. They also absorb vibration and impact, making them a preferred bearing material for use in earthquake zones. They also offer outstanding chemical and electrical properties and have proven resistant to radiation, where neither the bearing strength nor the epoxy bond were impacted by doses as high as 10^6 rads.

…And There’s More!

There are many additional materials available for slide bearings and our engineering team has years of experience matching the material to the application. Why not share the details of your application and let us provide our recommendations?

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Topics: slide bearings
2 min read

Ultracomp Grades Decoded

By Dave Biering on May 15, 2018

Ultracomp Grades Decoded

Ultracomp is a family of laminate wound bearing materials with migratory lubricants added to the resin system. All Ultracomp bearing materials are high load, low speed materials designed to operate in extreme conditions without additional lubrication.

Most competitors use a wet-wind system, but Ultracomp uses a prepregnated fabric system. Prepreg is a cleaner and more efficient manufacturing system, as wet-wind processing results in a loss of properties; in other words, the wet-wind process reduces the performance of the resulting bearing.

Ultracomp is constructed of synthetic resins and reinforcing fibers and each variant uses one of three migratory lubricants:

1. Graphite

2. PTFE

3. MOS2

Here’s a breakdown of the core Ultracomp products

UC200

  • Description: Designed for high load, high impact, slow speed, and vibratory applications. UC200 has excellent abrasion resistance, does not require lubrication, and has extremely low moisture absorption.
  • Resin and Lubricant: Bearing Grade Polyester / Graphite Composite
  • Applications: Oscillating and sliding applications.

 

UC300

  • Description: Similar in construction to UC200, with PTFE lubricant added to the resin matrix to reduce its coefficient of friction.
  • Resin and Lubricant: Bearing Grade Polyester / PTFE Composite
  • Applications: Rotary or linear applications

 

UC400

  • Description: Similar in construction to UC200 with moly lubricant
  • Resin and Lubricant: Bearing Grade Polyester / MOS2 Composite
  • Applications: Slow rotary, salt water, and dry oscillation applications

 

UC500

  • Description: Unique interwoven laminate using PTFE, polyester fibers, and graphite lubricant.
  • Resin and Lubricant: Bearing Grade Blended Fiber / Graphite Composite
  • Applications: full rotary applications where self-lubricated low friction and long wear is required.

Other Varieties

There are a number of other varieties of Ultracomp, designed to be used in specialized situations. An example of this is UC200FR which has similar performance characteristics to UC200 but utilizes a special resin fabric which makes it fire resistant.  Another variation is UC300AR, which is similar to UC300 but is manufactured with a resin with a higher temperature rating which allows it to operate at a peak temp of 340°F (versus 325°F for regular UC300).

Learn More About Ultracomp

We encourage you to read our Ultracomp case studies, search through our past blog posts, and watch our online videos to learn more about this versatile product line. If you have any questions about Ultracomp just let us know and we’ll put our bearing experts on the case.

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Topics: Ultracomp
2 min read

Thermal Expansion a Key Consideration in Plane Bearing Design

By Dave Biering on April 17, 2018

Blog_20180417Thermal Expansion a Key Consideration in Plane Bearing Design

We are all aware that plastics expand and contract at different rates. When designing plastic plane bearings, one of the most critical considerations is to understand the thermal reactions of the material; designing not just for the normal operating temperatures of your environment, but to consider the minimum and maximum operating temperatures as well. Otherwise, you may lose the press fit (in cold temperatures) or expand to the point of shaft seizure (with hot temperatures).

Here’s a Basic Definition for Thermal Expansion

“Thermal expansion is the tendency of matter to change in shape, area, and volume in response to changes in temperature.”

Expanding (pun intended) on that, the Wikipedia page for thermal expansion offers some solid information, like how expansion is a result of the change in kinetic energy of molecules. Also included is a table a comparison of various materials.

Calculating the Coefficient of Linear Thermal Expansion (CLTE)

The Coefficient of Linear Thermal Expansion is a critical metric when working with dissimilar materials in applications where large temperature changes are anticipated.

This measurement is the ratio of the change in a linear dimension to the original dimensions of the material for a unit change of temperature. This is generally expressed as in/in/°F.

When it Comes to Thermal Expansion - Some Materials are Definitely Better Than Others

Our CJ material has a similar thermal expansion rate to steel, so we can run much tighter press fits and ID tolerances because the materials will stay stable from cryogenic to 350° F.

Some exotic materials like Torlon and polyimides also have good thermal expansion rates. On the other hand, UHMW would not be a good choice in an application with extreme heat as it has up to 13x the thermal expansion of steel!

Here is a breakdown of linear expansion in some of the key materials from our tier one product line along with some other common materials.

 Coefficent-of-Linear-Expansion---Material-Comparison

We can Help

This is a lot to unpack! We can answer any questions you might have about thermal expansion. Let us review your materials and design criteria.

Bearing Selection: Get the Ultimate Plastic Bearing Design

Topics: bearing temperature
2 min read

UHMW 101: From Molecular Weight to Machining

By Dave Biering on March 20, 2018

UHMW 101: From Molecular Weight to Machining

UHMW remains a hot topic here on Tech Talk, and on our Ask the Experts portal, too. Why is this true? For one, the material offers great value over other plastics, and has good abrasion-resistance properties, plus it is processed via a unique control (no molding, only machining). This trifecta of properties values make for a distinctive material, read on for more top FAQs:

UHMW is short for ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene; or a semi-crystalline polymer. As a point of reference, high-temperature polymers are classified based on their molecular structure. Semi-crystalline polymers are solid until heated to certain temperatures, where they will quickly turn to liquid. Amorphous polymers do not exhibit any crystalline properties and resist liquid melting. UHMW is a considered a high-density polyethylene with a median molecular weight (falling within a range of 3.1 to 5.0 million).

1) UHMW has a low melt point, but a high COF

Like all polyethylenes, UHMW has a low melting point (270°) and a high COF (120 x10” In/In/°F). It gives one of the lowest wear rates (even better than steel, nylon or fluoroplastics) to resist most forms of abrasive media. These qualities give the material good impact resistance.

2) Molecular weight = better abrasion resistance

Molecular weight has a direct impact on a material’s ability to resist abrasion. For instance, a molecular weight grade of 4 million has an abrasion resistance of 100 when measured using a sand slurry test. Yet when you increase to the molecular weight to 6 million, the abrasion rate goes to 75, or an improvement of 25%. Compare this with steel, which has a resistance of 160 and it becomes clear why the material is a good choice for abrasive wear environments.

3) No molding, machining only

Though known as a tough material, UHMW cannot be molded; machining is the best processing method. In fact, waving and warping are common to large sheets of virgin UHMW, so molding is nearly impossible without compromising the integrity of the material. And unless you use the right tools and techniques (revealed in this technical guide), your machine cutting tools are known to actually become melting tools instead! Coolants are critical to maintaining the right heat levels.

4) Beware of expansion to avoid deformation

When machining UHMW, special attention must be paid to how quickly the material expands (up to 20x the rate of steel expansion). Anytime you machine UHMW, or any material with instability, it’s critical to consider the final operating conditions of the part and machine accordingly. Materials that are fabricated in a warm climate will expand and contract and otherwise behave differently when installed and operated in cold-weather environments, and vice versa.

5) Inert to most chemicals

Most liquid solutions are compatible with UHMW, including various forms of alcohol, ketones, and acids. But one should beware of chemicals with high-oxidation, like bleach, and hydro carbons like gasoline.

UHMW is available in many variations, including glass or moly-enhanced or cross-linked. Submit your specs to our team, and we can walk you through the pros and cons of each.

Custom Plastic Fabrication: Get the Guide!

Topics: UHMW
2 min read

Q&A Can Composites Replace Bronze Plain Bearings?

By Dave Biering on March 6, 2018

Can Composites Replace Bronze Plain Bearings?

If you’re a regular reader of Tech Talk, it will be no surprise that we’re big fans of composite plastics as a replacement for bronze bearings.

Composites offer a simple, one-piece construction and they eliminate many of the downsides of metal bearings – which we will outline below. When designing for your next application, here’s why you might want to consider a composite design instead.

No matter the operating conditions or bearing load, chances are there’s a composite replacement for traditional bronze bearings. Plastic composite bearings eliminate the regular maintenance required of bronze, yet still provide good strength and versatile movement to support construction, automotive and other heavy-duty applications.

Composites bearings are advancing manufacturing designs:

Have high-load and high-shock conditions?
Unlike rigid metals or bronze bearings, composites have inherent elastic qualities, so they can accommodate tremendous compression and shock and vibration— without deformation.
Operating in dangerous temperatures?
Unlike metals, composite bearings excel in temperatures ranging from cryogenic right on up to +600°F, depending on whether constant or intermittent operating service is required.
Working in FDA or other high-sanitation environments?
Plastic composite bearings meet a range of food and medical certifications and most are RoHS compliant, unlike metal ball bearings. Read more on bearings and certification.
Need a thick-wall or reinforced design?
Custom design options are virtually endless with composite materials, and off-the shelf options are a quick delivery away. Like metals, plastics can be fabricated to thick or thin wall construction, or reinforced with a hybrid design featuring two layers of materials to protect expensive machinery from a bearing failure. Composites are also good choices for press fit and freeze fit to ensure good mounting between parts.
What about dimensional stability and corrosion?
Metals and bronze plain bearings are susceptible to rust and corrosion after extended exposure to liquids and chemicals. Not so with composite bearings, which easily endure most solutions with little pitting or swelling.
Friction a concern in your application?
You can’t go wrong with composites, which offer coefficients as low as 0.05 in dry applications and 0.09 in lubricated environments.

What is the key takeaway? Composites are an excellent choice to replace bronze bearings by offering quality-without-compromise in heavy-duty applications. TriStar has been offering them to manufacturers for over thirty years to 70+ industries. Get the Industrial Bearings Technical Paper to learn more.

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Topics: Bronze Bearings
2 min read

The Dust Stops Here: Which Bearing Types Overcome Dusty Environments?

By Dave Biering on January 30, 2018

Which Bearing Types Overcome Dusty Environments?

Dust and debris are a challenge to all bearings. but impact some bearing types more than others. Food processing lines, paper mills, construction sites and other environments produce airborne contaminants than can clog and impede bearing rotation. And lubrication levels play a key role in bearing success or bearing failure, too. Let’s clear the dust to review bearing attributes for overcoming a dusty environment.

Why is dust a problem in bearing performance?

It boils down to length of service. A contaminated bearing will simply fail sooner, which can impact production rates, as manufacturers are forced to stop their equipment for maintenance and replacement. Dust can be in the form of sand (from paper processing), food debris (generated from peanut processing), metal particulate (kicked-up from machining) are just a few examples. No matter the cause, as dust accumulates, it becomes abrasive, which lowers the effectiveness of seals and bearings alike.

Dusty environments are a big challenge for rolling element bearings, as particulate pits the rollers. racers and bearing surface. Dust thickens into layers as it accumulates (forming a lapping compound), which interferes with the clearance between the bearing and shaft. And without good clearance, bearings will stop running and equipment will seize.

How can you stop dust accumulation?

We have a few solutions. A good filtration system is essential to capture larger contaminants. Good compatibility between bearing and seal should be considered. Regular cleaning of your metal bearings and housings will also make a difference; it’s critical to remove excess grease by following a regular maintenance schedule. Because the more grease build-up, the thicker the lapping compound.

Beyond these preventative measures, you can also eliminate the problem of lubrication buildup entirely by considering a non-metal, composite bearing design. Although all bearing types require a level of lubrication to block contaminants from entering the bearing surface, self-lubricating bearings operate in a way that does not produce excess grease. They can reduce overall bearing maintenance costs, and promote a cleaner manufacturing environment. An extended service lifetime is another benefit; you can learn more about avoiding bearing failure here.

Connect with an Expert with any questions about the right bearing type for your environment!

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Topics: Bearing Selection
2 min read

Why Choose a Career in Plastics Manufacturing?

By Dave Biering on January 23, 2018

Why Choose a Career in Plastics Manufacturing?

Are you a problem solver? I read this interesting article in Design World, which describes manufacturing as one of the best career choices for problem solvers. Given my plastics manufacturing and engineering background, this topic sparked my interest. Here’s why I chose this career, and some of the steps needed to grow the industry...

Generations ago, manufacturing was considered a repetitive job requiring limited skills and offering limited opportunity. This perception could not be further from the truth today. Modern manufacturing plants now incorporate robotic automation, 3-D printing, AI and other leading technologies. The field requires highly-skilled workers; employees that are becoming harder to find as baby boomers retire. In fact, as we dive into 2018 and beyond, Deloitte cites that nearly two million manufacturing jobs are expected to go unfulfilled in the next decade – that’s a significant number!

What can we do to develop the next generation of plastic manufacturers?

  • Start earlyCompanies that invest in developing the next generation of engineers and designers will reap the benefits. Events like National Robotics Week, which emphasize STEM education and competitions are sparking a love of building and engineering in millennial students.
  • Changing perceptionPlastics manufacturing – and manufacturing in general– is not your father’s manufacturing. Today, 3D design, CAD, AI, robotics are all common on the manufacturing floor. Manufacturing is no longer a staid environment.
  • Opportunity knocksManufacturing may be a non-traditional career, but there’s no doubting there’s opportunity for future growth and a stable career. In fact, 6 out of 10 open positions are a result of a talent shortage, as seen in the graphic below.
  • Consider the benefitsManufacturing is one of the best industries for employee-sponsored healthcare benefits, cites the Kaiser Foundation. And 80% of manufactures are willing to pay above-market rates for their employees, as noted.

These are just a few steps that I believe will keep us headed in the right direction. And having just returned from a tour of our partners in China, it’s evident that a shortage of workers is not exclusive to the US. Manufacturers there are experiencing a similar challenge.

If you are interested in an exciting career in plastics manufacturing, we just might have the job for you here at TriStar Plastics!  What are your thoughts on the future of plastics manufacturing? Share below!

us-pip-skills-gap-infographic.jpg(Source: Deloitte)

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Topics: Plastic Manufacturing
2 min read

6 Reasons to Choose Filament Wound Composite Bearings

By Dave Biering on January 16, 2018

CJ - Filament Wound Composite Bearings

Looking for a tough, durable and versatile bearing for an industrial application? A filament wound composite bearing might be just the ticket based on several key qualities. Let’s review the top reasons:

What is a filament?

A filament is defined as a conducting thread or wire that has a high melting point. Filaments are usually associated with an electric or vacuum tube, which is then heated to produce an electric current inside a bulb.

In the world of composite bearings, multiple filament threads are wound in a helix configuration to improve the strength of a bearing wall. In the case of our CJ (composite journal) bearing, the liners are made of PTFE/Nomex/Polyester which are woven into a sock and then intertwined with glass filaments to produce a reinforced product. This multilayer design gives the bearing reinforcement for good reliability, and longer service uptime without the need for maintenance. The bearings are wound on precision mandrels with preset ID dimensions.

What are the benefits of a filament wound bearing?

Filament wound bearings are among the strongest in their class and offer superior versatility:

  1. Element of elasticityFilament wound bearings present a good level of elasticity that falls between rigid metals and soft plastics. This modulus gives the bearing the ability to support heavy loads, but enough flexibility to tolerate shaft misalignment without stressing the bearings ends.
  2. Shock absorptionA composite filament wall acts like a spring to absorb shock and vibration in high-stress environments. Even our thin wall CJ’s have the ability to compress and recover during shock and impact conditions without failure.
  3. Resistance to corrosionThe special winding technique and multilayer construction gives filament bearings good resistance to chemical, galvanic (electrochemical contact) and fretting corrosion. These are all primary causes of bearing failure. Explore more causes of bearing failure.
  4. Versatile motionsFilament wound CJ’s and FCJ’s are best applied in oscillating motions at variable frequencies but can also be utilized in lubrication free rotary and lineal motions.
  5. Good service lifetimeA filament wound composite is best used against a hard shaft and 8-16 rms finish to resist abrasion and fretting and improve overall service. In fact, one test showed that improving the surface of 50-55 Rc hardness and an 8 rms finish could extend the wear life of a bearing from 500,000 cycles to over 1 million cycles. All without lubrication.
  6. Self-lubricating qualitiesComposite bearings run dry and grease-free to help you save on all costs associated with manual grease application.

You’ll find filament wound composites work exceptionally well as a bronze replacement in applications including transportation, construction, mining and more. For best results, we also recommend that you look for bearings that are designed and manufactured in the US. Ask us for details.

Bearing Selection: Get the Ultimate Plastic Bearing Design

Topics: filament wound composite bearings